December 11, 2003


Antioch places conditions on ’YSO radio host’s return

The administrative leave of WYSO Music Director Vick Mickunas grew more confusing this week when two Antioch University officials gave conflicting reports on Mickunas’s status.

While one university administrator said that “nothing has changed” regarding the university’s decision to take Mickunas off the air, another stated that the university has offered Mickunas “the opportunity” to come back to work, but that Mickunas has not yet decided to do so.

“ It’s still in the negotiating phase,” Suzette Castonguay, the Antioch human resources director, said of Mickunas’s status. “The investigation is continuing and nothing has changed.”

Castonguay officially placed Mickunas on leave three weeks ago while Glenn Watts, the Antioch University vice chancellor who oversees the station, was out of the country. The university has refused to disclose reasons why Mickunas was placed on leave, citing confidentiality regarding personnel matters.

The situation has continued this long because “that’s the nature of the process,” said Castonguay, who added that she was “not at liberty to discuss” the specifics.

However, this week Watts indicated that Mickunas has been given a chance to return to the air.

“ It’s largely up to Vick to make a decision,” Watts said. “We offered him the opportunity to return to work and had hoped he would make a positive decision.”

Asked if there were conditions placed on Mickunas’s return to the station, Watts said, “Yes. He must agree to do certain things.”

However, Watts said that he would not elaborate on those conditions.

Watts also said that he did not want to respond to a question about what happens if Mickunas chooses not to accept the university’s conditions.

Mickunas said that he cannot comment on the situation. His home answering machine says that Antioch University has ordered him not to speak to the press.

When Watts returned to his job last week, he said that he had no knowledge of the disciplinary action before it happened. Antioch University Chancellor Jim Craiglow has also said that he was unaware of the action before it took place.

A popular on-air personality and the host of “Book Nook,” Mickunas was placed on leave Nov. 20. An initial story on the situation by the Dayton Daily News reported that Mickunas was being investigated for “insubordination.” WYSO General Manager Steve Spencer, who is Mickunas’s immediate supervisor, has since said that he had nothing to do with placing Mickunas on leave and that the action was between Mickunas and the university.

A year ago, WYSO News Director Aileen LeBlanc quit the station, citing difficulties with station management. Her immediate supervisor was Spencer.

— Diane Chiddister