WOSU Public Media is getting a second FM signal in the Columbus, Ohio market, and the acquisition is prompting some other changes.
The Ohio State University licensee will acquire WWCD in Grove City, Ohio, giving it a signal at 101.1 MHz. WOSU’s public radio offerings currently include WOSU(FM), a news and classical music service at 89.7; four FM repeaters; and WOSU(AM), a news and information service that it now hopes to sell.
Price and terms were not disclosed; the Columbus Dispatch pegged the sale at $4.8 million.
Fun With Radio, the current licensee of WWCD, gains a stronger signal for its alternative rock format (it also airs broadcasts of Columbus Blue Jackets games). Its “CD101” format will change frequencies to 102.5 FM, which is WCVZ. The newspaper reports that WWCD entered into a partnership with that frequency’s owners, WHIZ Media Group, to operate 102.5 using the same format and staff currently heard on WWCD.
With these changes, WOSU says the 101.1 signal will provide the only full-time classical format in the market — and enable it to change WOSU 89.7 FM into what the broadcaster says will be central Ohio’s only 24-hour FM NPR news station.
WOSU has filed the necessary sale paperwork with the FCC and applied for new call letters. Pending regulatory approval, WOSU expects to take over the frequency in September. Fun with Radio LLC will continue to operate the station as CD101 until then.
WOSU will seek a buyer for its AM to help finance the FM acquisition, while kicking off a fundraising campaign to boost the new all-classical service on 101.1. WOSU also plans to turn its repeater station on 91.1 MHz, WOSB in Marion, into an all-classical music service.
Public Radio Capital represented WOSU with the transaction; Patrick Communications represented Fun With Radio LLC.