Smithtown radio station goes on hiatus

James Brierton broadcasts on SmithtownRadio.com from a studio James Brierton broadcasts on SmithtownRadio.com from a studio in the basement of his parents' home in Nesconset last year. Brierton and four of his old high school buddies are the staff of SmithtownRadio.com, an Internet radio station that started as an after-school project five years ago. They've kept it going ever since. (August 2, 2011) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

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An online radio station run by Smithtown college students has gone silent.

SmithtownRadio.com, the Internet-based station begun eight years ago as a student project at Great Hollow Middle School in Nesconset, dropped its live-stream broadcast at midnight on Saturday.

Program director and disc jockey James Brierton said the station is on hiatus while its young announcers focus on their college classes. He said he hopes to relaunch the station next spring.

"I'm sure it has a lot more to give, but we have so many other things going on with our lives and with school," said Brierton, 21, who is entering his senior year at the University of Georgia. "I'm hoping one day we can bring it back in bigger and better form."

The station's last hours Friday night were filled with highlights of past shows, such as news coverage, live parade and concert broadcasts, and on-air bloopers. At midnight, DJ's planned to play "All Star," by the band Smash Mouth, the first song they broadcast when the station premiered.

The station was begun by Brierton and several friends when they were in seventh grade. They continued broadcasts at Smithtown High School East.

After graduating from high school, Brierton and his friends, Nanci Hammer and Alejandra Gomez, both 21 and of Nesconset, and Andrew Natoli, 20, of St. James, broadcast shows from their parents' homes. The station played a mix of current pop hits, oldies and specialty programs on topics such as technology.

Brierton, who also hosted shows from his college dorm room, said the station's website would continue to post news about community events.

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