By jeanne starmack
The Summit of Akron hopes to get the license for the Struthers School District’s radio station, and if it does, the station’s Saturday ethnic programs would continue.
The school board is considering using a broker to sell the license for WKTL, but that very well could mean an end to the ethnic programs that begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and continue all day.
The Summit, which does the daily programming for WKTL 90.7 FM, will make a presentation to the school board at its November meeting, said Tommy Bruno, The Summit’s general manager.
He would not say how much The Summit plans to offer the district, or whether it would propose buying the license or leasing it.
Struthers Schools Superintendent Robert Rostan said there are “one or two other entities who may make a presentation.”
If the school board opts to sell or lease the license to one of those entities, that would eliminate the need for a broker.
Broker Patrick Communications, based in Maryland, already gave the board a proposal in July. The broker’s commission would depend on how much the license sold for — 5 percent up to $3 million and 2 percent over $3 million.
The school board is considering selling the license because the high school no longer offers a radio class.
WKTL first went on the air Sept. 13, 1965, according to the school district’s website. The letters KTL stand for key to learning. It was the first high-school all-student-staffed radio station in the country, the website says.
Bruno said that The Summit is a public broadcaster that targets college- educated listeners. He said the station also airs 600 nonprofit messages a year.
He said the station offers Internet programming as well. Kid Jam caters to 9- to 12-year-olds; Summit Flashback offers 1980s music; and Rock and Recovery offers “music and messages” for people who are struggling with grief and addiction.
He said The Summit is about to begin its Music Alive program in the Youngstown area, which donates instruments to schools.
“We’ve donated 200 so far in Akron schools,” he said. The Summit broadcasts in Akron on 91.3 FM.
The possible loss of the ethnic programs is not sitting well with listeners who don’t want to give them up.
Rostan said in July that he has gotten emails and calls from listeners.
Tibor Check, who hosts Souvenirs of Hungary on WKTL at noon Saturday, addressed the board in July.
Check told The Vindicator that the free air time is an important publicity tool for the area’s ethnic clubs and churches.
“We would wholeheartedly embrace and keep on the ethnic programming,” Bruno said.