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The Lookout | November 30, 2020

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Radio station WLNZ’s future discussed

Radio station WLNZ’s future discussed
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  • On October 22, 2020

By Chloe Gregg
Staff Writer

For over 25 years, LCC has broadcasted WLNZ throughout Lansing. After the LCC Board of Trustees promised to continue the LCC radio station on June 22 despite budget cuts, the question of “how?” has arisen.

LCC has paid for the entirety of running the station for the past 25 years, and it simply cannot afford to do so anymore, according to the board.

The WLNZ 89.7 FM Listening Event was hosted by LCC President Dr. Steve Robinson and Senior Vice President of Business Operations Seleana Samuel, Friday, Oct. 16. It was staged to hear from listeners, students and faculty about the future of LCC radio.

“Truthfully, the absence of an academic program with a direct connection to WLNZ has made it increasingly difficult to create a workable model for funding the station,” Samuel said. “Various proposals have been discussed over the years, but nevertheless, WLNZ remains 100 percent funded by Lansing Community College.

“We do value the radio station and appreciate what it has to offer to the community. But we’d like to pursue a more sustainable financial model that will stand the test of time, regardless of budgetary constraints and economic shifts.”

Samuel then asked for opinions on the radio station’s effect on the community and students, and what makes the radio station great. She also wanted to hear what people thought LCC should do to make the radio station more cost-effective, and whether or not radio is considered “antiquated” versus other listening methods.

Some options thrown out included that the radio station should be supported by student fees or via fundraising from memberships to the radio.

Attendee and WLNZ listener Cassandra Little said although she listens to Spotify more than the radio, it is important to her to receive localized and community-based information.

“I think the radio is a great way to do that,” Little said. “I value the LCC radio for that reason and for being an independent and local station.”

Little suggested creating some kind of app or podcast for the radio as well, so that people are able to stream on their phones and increase the reach WLNZ has.

Those who have suggestions or recommendations about the future of LCC radio can email WLNZListeningEvent@lcc.edu. The email will be open for replies until Dec. 2.

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