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Jamie McK­ibben pur­chased WCSR Radio Hillsdale in December 2019. | Facebook

WCSR Radio Hillsdale, a longtime staple of its com­munity, will soon be under the man­agement and own­ership of Jamie McK­ibben, owner of McK­ibben Media Group of Jackson. WCSR signed a pur­chase agreement of $3.8 million with McK­ibben Media Group to acquire WCSR 1340 AM, 92.1 FM, and 99.5 FM. 

Michael Flynn said he made the decision to sign a pur­chase agreement with McK­ibben after the passing of his father Tony Flynn, the former station manager at WCSR. 

“This is not the end of some­thing, just another chapter in the history of our business,” Flynn said. “Jamie brings a lot of youth and enthu­siasm. He knows a lot of nuances of the new tech­nologies.”

A Hillsdale native himself, Jamie McK­ibben praised WCSR and its staff. 

“I grew up lis­tening to the radio station, and they do a great job,” McK­ibben said. “It’ll be the same as it has been. Not much of the station will change from week to week.”

Scot Bertram, general manager for Radio Free Hillsdale, also com­pli­mented WCSR and its involvement in the com­munity and college. 

“The Hillsdale com­munity relies on WCSR and the station is a won­derful example of how rel­evant and nec­essary local radio is,” Bertram said. “We have had stu­dents work for WCSR while attending Hillsdale, and I look forward to talking with the new owner after the transfer is com­plete.”

WCSR’s local news cov­erage was a major selling point for McK­ibben who also revealed that WCSR will con­tinue to broadcast Hillsdale College sporting events. 

“They’ve been doing such a great job, locally. They’re going to keep doing what they’ve been doing,” Bertram said. “I think the chal­lenge radio has is not being local enough. And WCSR is local, so hyper­local.”

Sim­i­larly, McK­ibben does not antic­ipate any sig­nif­icant staff changes with Flynn con­tinuing at his current position. “It will take a while to settle in and make some changes. I don’t think there will be any radical changes,” McK­ibben said. “The staff will be the same.”

McK­ibben, however, said he’s inter­ested in growing Hillsdale student engagement and involvement with the station. 

“I believe with the college teaching classes, I think there are oppor­tu­nities for kids to work as interns and part-time employees and maybe even full-time employees for the radio station.”

Martin Peterson, Hillsdale College senior and aspiring radio host, praised his expe­ri­ences with WCSR and encouraged other stu­dents to look into the station. “I’ve been on the air since sixth grade, and it has been a true blessing. Working with such great people and doing some­thing I love has been a great expe­rience.” 

As a part of the acqui­sition agreement, McK­ibben filed in December with the Federal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mission to receive per­mission for the exchange of license. McK­ibben said he expects the FCC to approve the grant in early spring, granting him control over WCSR.