Pa. youth to start radio station

September 19, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

FORT LOUDON, Pa. - Teens from Franklin and Fulton counties are tuned in to the idea of having an hour of air time all to themselves in the form of "The Truth" radio program from 6 to 7 p.m. Sundays, starting Nov. 2.

"I think it kind of gives the kids a new outlet to get everything out," said Mike Schaefer, a student at Chambersburg Area Senior High School who came up with the program title.

About 30 high school students representing four school districts from both counties came out for the Youth Teen Radio Conference Thursday night at the Fort Loudon Community Center.


In between eating pretzels and pizza and listening to a local teen band, the group talked about the format of the program and voted on the title that they said represents their idea of the show - to make the opinions of their generation heard.

"It's our turn to speak what we feel is the truth," Schaefer said.

"Now we have a chance to say `this is what I think,'" added Matt Shultz, also a Chambersburg student.

Greencastle, Pa.-based radio station WCBG 1590AM is giving up the hour for "The Truth," which will be produced, marketed, managed and run by teens from grades nine through 12 with help from advisers.

"We want to put on a program that will relate and make a difference in teens' lives," said Darin Peck, radio station employee assigned to help the teens with the program.

The basic format of the show will contain a roundtable discussion with teens and guests who will talk about different issues including youth health and drugs, peer pressure and racism.

"We basically want to get the message out to the younger kids. You guys are the role models in this program," John Budesky, program development chairman, told the rambunctious group.

The radio show will not be without music. Teens will get the chance to spin their favorite songs and air time will be given to feature music from local teen bands.

The teens will also assist in marketing, creating and selling advertisements to local agencies and businesses, producing public service announcements, getting sponsors, planning contests and conducting interviews.

"This is your show. We want to make it fly. We need as many involved as we can," Budesky said.

The teens think the show will be popular among their age group and younger because they'll be able to relate to people their own age and topics familiar to them. But the show isn't meant to be anti-adults.

"I hope the adults will tune in, too," said Steve Prescott, also a student at Chambersburg.

The idea of producing a teen radio show came from a survey conducted by both counties in which the public identified three major areas of health concerns or problems in the area. One of those areas was high risk behavior among teenagers.

In response to the survey, Healthy Communities Partnerships was formed, which is made up of volunteers from within both counties. Members include school districts, administrators, physicians, counseling/social workers, clergy and teachers, among others.

After meeting for a year, the group decided that a teen radio program would reach the greatest number of youth.

The radio program is open to students in grades nine through 12 in all schools, public and private, in both counties.

For more information on the program or to participate, call 1-717-261-3893 or 1-717-264-5410.

The Herald-Mail Articles