The Lansing Community College Board of Trustees has approved a budget that would defund the college’s radio station.
LCC Radio Station Manager Daedalian Lowry told WKAR he learned of the college’s decision on Monday, June 19.
"They’re looking to put the staff on furlough, and they’re still considering budget options, so the board is supposed to vote next week as to the situation and where it will go from here,”Lowry told WKAR last week.
The budget was approved unanimously by the board in a virtual meeting Monday evening.
LCC President Brent Knight, who retires June 30th, said he heard from many people in the community regarding the radio station. Knight vowed that the station would not go dark under any circumstance.
“The college and the board will consider the choices,” Knight said. “The radio station is an asset, and again, it will not go dark.”
Before voting, Trustee Samantha Vaive said she supported the proposed budget on the condition that “the school is doing some creative problem solving in order to save the radio station and that it will not go dark.”
President Knight did not specify what the school would do to keep the station operational.
The Lansing City Pulse reported that a citizens' group had formed to try to come up with ideas on how to save the station.
City Pulse founder Berl Schwartz, a member of that group, was one of the people that spoke during the public comment period. He noted he was pleased to hear Knight’s comment to keep the station from going dark, but wasn’t sure how it would work.
“I’m a little mystified by how that will happen with no money in the budget for it, if you do that, but I’ll stay tuned,” Schwartz said.
Though Schwartz did hint at progress being made between Knight and the citizens' group for a possible plan.
LCC released a statement last week saying that the defunding of WLNZ would not be an immediate process.
LCC Radio has suspended normal programming since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new budget goes into effect July 1.