Monday, July 24, 2017

OH Radio: Grant County Broadcasters To Acquire WNKN

While non-com WNKU will switch to religious content soon, a different fate awaits its Middletown affiliate, according to

That's because a Grant County, Kentucky, country music station announced Thursday it bought WNKN 105.9 FM from Northern Kentucky University for $5.3 million.

The future format for WNKN is still undecided.

WNKN, a simulcast station for 89.7 FM WNKU, broadcasts the same programs as WNKU in the Middletown area.

Bible Broadcasting Network out of Charlotte bought WNKU for $1.9 million in February, touching off a wave of anger among fans of the station's adult album alternative format. That means the music of artists like Big Star, Elvis Costello and the Velvet Underground will give way to Bible readings.

That change will happen once the FCC approves the sale, something NKU officials expect to happen in August or September.

Dry Ridge-based Grant County Broadcasters, which operates classic country music station WNKR-FM (106.7 FM), purchased WNKN for more than its parent station because its signal was stronger and had more listeners, NKU officials said.

WNKN 105.9 FM (34 Kw)
Just because the buyer is a country music station doesn't mean WNKN will also be country. Grant County Broadcasters has yet to decide the format, President Jeff Ziesmann said in a statement.

"The company will convert the station back to a for-profit, commercial operation and is doing research that will determine the format that will present the best possible ratings and revenue opportunity for the station," Ziesmann said.

The adult album alternative format is an option, Ziesmann said.

Grant County Broadcasters was the highest of four bids on WNKN.

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