The University of Pennsylvania’s music-heavy public radio station WXPN(FM) will expand its footprint across state lines. WXPN and WNTI(FM) have jointly announced a sales agreement and transfer of ownership for the Hackettstown, N.J., public radio station owned by Centenary College.
On noon Thursday, WNTI listeners will hear WXPN’s music on the airwaves, the same time that the Public Service Operating Agreement will go into effect.
The sale price is $1,250,000 in cash and another $500,000 in underwriting value over 10 years. Public Media Co. represented WXPN/University of Pennsylvania throughout the transaction, and Centenary College was represented by Greg Guy and Jason James of Patrick Communications.
After the filing, FCC approval is expected to take 60 to 120 days.
WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay said that Centenary College approached the station about the public service operating agreement, and he explained that, although WXPN was not looking to acquire another station, they “quickly realized that WXPN was the best option to preserve WNTI’s long tradition of musical discovery for listeners in northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania.”
He also noted an expectation that this will “benefit our artists and audiences, and strengthen WXPN’s financial sustainability” in the long term.
“We are pleased to reach this agreement with WXPN, which preserves a strong voice for great music in our region and opens new horizons for the WNTI community and for Centenary College,” said Centenary College President Dr. Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite. “WXPN brings exceptional resources and expertise in public radio and a deep commitment to serving the needs of listeners and supporting local artists. Centenary will continue to operate its own Internet radio station at WNTI.org to enhance our curriculum and involve students and community volunteers in programming. Centenary students will also be afforded opportunities to intern at WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania. We intend to reinvest the proceeds from the license sale in building Centenary’s academic offerings, to support student recruitment and retention and fuel Centenary’s role as an economic engine in Warren County, New Jersey.”
Outside the Philadelphia area (where they broadcast at 88.5 FM), WXPN can also be heard on HD channel XPN2; in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton, Md./Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster, Pa./York, Pa., at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg, Pa., at 99.7 FM and via online streaming.