EXCLUSIVE: FAMU Radio Station Investigation

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By: Andy Alcock
November 7, 2013

TalIahassee, FL - It was exactly one year ago some FAMU students told us they'd been complaining for months to school administrators because non-students were taking several on-air positions at WANM Radio policy says are for students.

Results of a recently completed investigation found three on-air personalities weren't students.

It also found three other non-students were DJ mixers and not considered on-air personalities.

The investigation also found two individuals were hired as Operations Manager and Program Director.

Both of them are 2007 FAMU graduates and appeared on the air until they both resigned.

Additionally, investigators checked claims of former station employees pocketing money from sponsors meant for the station.

Investigators noted due to a lack of a paper trail, "they cannot determine if all moneys owed to WANM were collected and accounted for."

Based on the investigation, School of journalism Dean Ann Kimbrough says changes have been made.

They include clarifying the policy of hiring non-students.

The WANM manual has been revised to state only students may serve as on-air personalities, including DJ mixers.

WANM's Director and administrative support personnel have also received Cash Collections training from the university controller's office.

Both Journalism School Dean Ann Kimbrough and Radio Station Manager Keith Miles declined our request for an on camera interview about the investigation's results.

There's a new investigation at Florida A&M University of what's supposed to be a student run organization.

Students claim FAMU's radio station W-A-N-M is not only dominated by non-students, they also claim it's costing the station money.

WANM 90.5 is run out of FAMU's campus.

According to FAMU's handbook, because part of the operating budget comes from the Student Government Association, all on-air personalities must be enrolled at FAMU full or part time.

"I can guarantee, if you turn on your radio station at any given time, it's not a student," said Ramon Foster.

Foster says he and other students submitted a list of non-students who are on air personalities to the radio station's general manager and the dean of the journalism school.

That list includes seven names.

Two of them are people who graduated from FAMU five years ago.

Another one graduated seven years ago and a fourth one three years ago.

Three other on air personalities on the list never attended FAMU.

"We're not getting the experience that we dreamed of, I know I didn't get the experience that I dreamed of," said student Latara Bailey.

According to a letter one student sent to FAMU interim president Larry Robinson, she claims students like herself have been complaining for years to anyone who would listen about opportunities taken away from us because alumni won't leave.

And she claims these people are making a deliberate point of getting rid of students who have been a part of 90.5 and also costing the station money.

Foster is one of several students who've brought this matter to the attention of FAMU administrators beginning months ago.

"They've done nothing, to my knowledge, they haven't done anything," said Foster.

In an e-mail President Robinson sent a student, he wrote on October 24th, "I'm asking VP Rick Givens to investigate these allegations."

We started asking questions last Wednesday.

Givens told us he started his investigation that same day.

"Nothing has been resolved and I believe it's because of relationships that have formed over time with those individuals," said Bailey.

"I've provided paper work and no one seems to do or care about it," said Foster. "They want to sweep it under the rug," he said.

Givens says the radio station's investigation starts with his office of audit and compliance.

While FAMU's Police Chief has also been contacted, Givens says if his investigation finds criminal wrongdoing, then it will be turned over to the police.

WANM station manager Keith Miles tells us he's aware of the accusations. He says he's taking them seriously and confirmed there's going to be an investigation.

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