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Station Shut Down After Racial Slurs Aired

February 20, 1987

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ A student-run radio station was shut down indefinitely by the University of Michigan for broadcasting anti-black jokes, officials said.

WJJX, which broadcasts only to campus buildings, was taken off the air Thursday, one day after about 50 students demonstrated outside the Top 40 station, objecting to the jokes aired by a student disc jockey Feb. 4.

One student taped the program and played it for Henry Johnson, university vice president for student services, who said he was ″shocked personally, and it’s pretty hard to shock me.″

University President Harold T. Shapiro said in a statement Thursday that he was appalled by the racial remarks. He warned that any ″manifestation of bigotry or racism″ would be dealt with as violations of university policy.

The disc jockey, Ted Sevransky of Fair Lawn, N. J., was fired after WJJX officials learned of the jokes, said Colin Schiller, station general manager. Repeated telephone calls to Sevransky’s home Thursday went unanswered.

″It’s unfortunate one student can cast such a gloomy picture over all the hardworking and dedicated students at this station,″ said station manager James Lamb.

A copy of Sevransky’s broadcast will be sent to the Federal Communications Commission, said Roderick Linzie, a student minority organization member.

The station is licensed by the FCC, and the agency’s guidelines are followed as part of the education of student operators, but WJJX is not bound by FCC rules, Schiller said.

Student volunteers run the station under the supervision of two paid employees, he said.

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