Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cincy Radio: Non-Com WNKU Sold To Bible Broadcast

Northern Kentucky University plans to sell WNKU 89.7 FM radio station to Bible Broadcast Corp. for $1.9 million.

According to, the Board of Regents authorized President Geoffrey Mearns to execute the sale at a special meeting Tuesday. WNKU will still be on air and the operations won't change until the sale is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, which could take several months.

About 20 people work at the station that operates out at the Highland Heights campus. NKU will maintain the WNKU call letters.

Rich Boehne, chair of NKU's board of regents, said the radio station is "painful to let go," but the "marketplace has changed and it's against (WNKU)." Boehne, who is also president and CEO of the Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Co., said the millions of dollars the university spends to subsidize the station could be invested directly in education.

WNKU 89.7 Fm (12 Kw)
Dozens of WNKU listeners, musicians and employees showed up to the board meeting in an effort to save the radio station from being sold.

“You’re not just selling a radio station, you’re selling off the well-being of our music community,” said Ian Bolender, a partner in who helped organize the rally. “Without WNKU, a lot of artists would’ve never broke in this market.”

The board also approved the sale of WNKE 104.1 FM, WNKU’s simulcast signal in New Boston-Portsmouth, Ohio, to Educational Media Foundation, which specializes in adult contemporary Christian music. The proposed purchase includes license, all equipment, and tower for $700,000 plus 75 percent of the net sale proceeds of WEKV in South Webster, also in Scioto County along with WNKE.

For more than 30 years, the non-commercial radio station served the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati areas at 89.7 FM. The stations feature an "adult album alternative" (Triple A) format.

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