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Long-Time College Broadcaster Sells to MPR

Long-Time College Broadcaster Sells to MPR

After more than 80 years, St. Olaf College is stepping away from WCAL.
Noncommercial “Classical 89.3,” a Class C1 station, broadcasts in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. It is being sold to Minnesota Public Radio, which says it will maintain the format until it can determine “the best public service for the station’s future.”
Terms were not disclosed; the Associated Press reports the bid price was $10.5 million and that discussion of the sale was prompted by MPR.
The school said the station’s campus facility will be used for other purposes. Its president said the sale is good for students because they will benefit from new resources to invest in academic programs.
The station was among those that helped found NPR in 1971. It was licensed as an AM in 1922; the FM license was granted in 1968. It is listed as an HD Radio licensee by Ibiquity Digital though not yet on the air in digital.
The station says it has 80,000 weekly listeners.
MPR President Bill Kling called WCAL a “significant public service institution for the Twin Cities for most of this past century.” And in a statement on the MPR Web site, he said MPR “moved quickly to ensure that this community asset is preserved as a public broadcasting station rather than being sold to one of the many special-purpose entities currently in the market for such stations.”