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Montana Tech cancels live radio shows for summer

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Jun 21 2013 06:18:46 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 21 2013 06:59:30 PM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

Volunteer DJs at Montana Tech are speaking up after upgrades took them off-air. But the school tells us the move is temporary.

The volunteer DJs at Butte's KMSM said they put time and money into the station they love.

"There are people who've been on there for a long time that this is what they do and love," said Chris Johnson, a volunteer at the station. "Every week they look forward to doing a radio show."

But Tech's new station manager and the student government recently decided to cancel all live shows for the summer.

DJ Jim Guidry said, "you're going to completely destroy the listening audience over the course of the summer."

The move took the DJs completely by surprise.

"We could have reached a compromise somehow that would have been OK," said DJ Hank DeGroat, "if we weren't stuck like this with nothing instead of having these shows."

They feel like they've been left with nothing but confusion.

NBC Montana talked to school officials who said the changes are not permanent and they're necessary to improve the station.

Student Body President Hank Pratte explained, "they feel like we needed to cancel the shows for the summer that way we could do remodeling and start fresh in the fall."

We asked if they might've been more transparent with the DJs. "I think we all apologize for that," said Pratte.

He said they didn't realize there would be such a response and that he "really underestimated how much they loved the radio station." But he assured us they are doing what they think is right for the future of the station.

"We really are going to try to open it up to the general public in the fall," Pratte said.

The school also showed us a survey they gave to about 250 Tech students who said they prefer country and rock music, and would like to see more of those genres played at their station.