Only On 12: Reaction on both sides of pirate radio issue

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

News 12 First at Five, June 13, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga -- It's a new radio station that's doing a lot of explicit talking, illegally. Now the community is talking about 99.9 FM.

For the second day in a row, 99.9's owner said he would meet with News 12 to explain himself and for the second day in a row he backed out, and that has some in the community are crying foul.

It's renegade radio right in the middle of your FM dial, and on 99.9 is where you will find DJ Shortdog, "Yeah it's official, we're underground. We don't have a license. Slap me on the wrist."

He's operating without a license, he's airing explicit content and that has some people in the community like Margo McNair, unhappy. "No, I don't think it's right, do you?"

For Margo, the license is the tip of the iceberg. More frustrating is the station's heavy use of the 'N-word'. "You say the 'n-word' over your newscast and see if Al Sharpton's not down here yelling, 'get them off!' What do you think? Try it and see!"

But 99.9 doesn't stop there, in fact every word in the book is heard in the songs and from the DJ's.

"I think it's degrading I think it's degrading to everybody and I don't want my grandkids to listen to it." says Grandmother Cathy Potter.

But some listeners, like John Cook, don't see the problem. "I think they should be able to talk how they want to talk."

"It's hip hop for what it is. It's not stripped down for radio sales," Ian Houston also doesn't mind that 99.9 is a pirate station. "I don't really have a problem with it. No one else is using it, why not let them?"

But people trying to stop them are speaking up loud and clear.

"Let's show some accountability. Let's show some backbone and do what's right for our kids." adds Potter.

As for McNair, "I think the FCC is wrong and they're in the wrong. I think the day they came on and knew it was illegal, shut them down. Why do they have to investigate? What are they investigating?"

The FCC told the sheriff's office they'd be down to investigate, that was three weeks ago.

The station also says they contribute to the Golden Harvest Food Bank, but when News 12 contacted them, the organization had never heard of 99.9.


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