SDSU recently remitted $3000 to a former student who claimed that KCR, the on-campus radio station, damaged his chances to get a job in radio. KCR is a free-form radio station where DJs (unpaid students and alumni) select their format and playlists. KCR can be heard online at KCRlive.com.
“I walked in to hang up a flyer,” says Jefferson Jay about his first visit to KCR in January 2006. “They gave me an application, and before I knew it I was on the air.” The Jefferson Jay Show aired Mondays from midnight to 4 a.m. “Then, the person who was on before me stopped coming in, so they gave me 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. I played an hour of local music during my show. I interviewed King Stahlman and [columnist] Ed Decker. People called in. It was the only show on KCR that got calls or [media] attention.”
Jay says letters were sent to SDSU president Stephen Weber “[that] said I was a disgrace and revolting. The letters accused me of making racist comments about Jews on the air. Come on. I’m Jewish.” He believes they were sent by one person, a DJ with whom he’d admittedly had a tiff.
Then Skot Norton, KCR’s faculty advisor, accused Jay of drinking on the air. “He said somebody went through the trash and allegedly found beer bottles,” says Jay, “[but] the trash can was outside the station in the quad area.”
Jay was released from KCR in September 2006 but says that the KCR general manager and the DJ with whom he had had the falling out continued to bash his character on blogs.
“They wrote that I was gay. After I was fired they continued to ridicule me. They said I was banned from the premises, when in fact I was a student in good standing.”
Last year, Jay retained an attorney, and an SDSU committee reopened the affair by launching an investigation into the matter.
“The judiciary committee apologized to me and said I hadn’t done anything wrong. That’s [when I decided] to sue.”
Norton was asked to comment about the fact that his administrative decision to expel Jay from the all-volunteer station just cost SDSU $3000. “This is the first I’ve heard about it,” he said on June 23. “I don’t have much comment.”
Skot Norton, faculty advisor to KCR, responds: "I made no administrative decision to expel [Jefferson Jay] Gottlieb. I did speak with Gottlieb about the decision on the phone, but this is a student-run organization and the students made the decision." Gottlieb maintains that Norton was involved in the decision. "You can't tell me that a 19-year-old student [Jayson Schmidt, who is no longer KCR general manager] made that decision on his own." At the time the article was written, Norton requested that all questions be submitted via email. Norton declined to answer most written questions regarding this article.
President Weber’s office referred questions to Tyler Sherer, SDSU’s director of government and community relations, who said he was not aware of the settlement but that he would “try to get back to you."