WOSU Public Media to Acquire 101.1 FM to Expand its Public Service Broadcasting
WOSU Public Media, through its licensee, The Ohio State University, has agreed to terms to acquire radio station frequency, 101.1 FM, to expand WOSU’s public service broadcasting for the region. WOSU expects to officially take over the station within approximately four months pending timely FCC approval.
101.1 FM is a locally owned adult alternative rock radio station, which will continue to provide its programming through 102.5 and will continue to serve as the #1 Alternative station in Columbus. WOSU Public Media, with the addition of 101.1 FM will provide the community with its only full-time classical music station and transform WOSU 89.7 FM into central Ohio’s only 24-hour FM NPR news station.
“This is a superb opportunity to enlarge the University’s outreach to Central Ohio and beyond,” said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. “WOSU has been a valuable community asset for nearly 90 years, and this new acquisition enables us to expand its reach in important ways.”
WOSU’s public radio services currently include WOSU-AM, a news and information service, and WOSU-FM, a dual NPR news/classical music service, plus four repeater FM stations.
WOSU has filed with the FCC for approval of the assignment of the broadcast license and plans to apply for new call letters. WOSU will operate the station as a noncommercial service, in keeping with its public service mission, while also providing live online streaming of both 101.1 and 89.7 FM.
WOSU will kick off a special Classical 101 Campaign by inviting major donors and grassroots supporters to become founding members and support the new all-classical service. WOSU additionally plans to turn its station 91.1 FM, WOSB in Marion, into an all- classical music service to better serve Marion County and the northern portion of Delaware County, including the city of Delaware.
WWCD is owned by Fun With Radio LLC, Inc., and will continue to operate 101.1 pending FCC approval of the sale.
Fun owner Roger Vaughan, OSU MBA ’81, said: "We plan to relocate CD101’s programming to 102.5, and we are pleased to provide an opportunity to play an integral part in WOSU's efforts to provide a 24-hour classical music station in Central Ohio. Both the sale of the 101 frequency and CD101’s programming move to 102.5 are unbelievably positive for the future, allowing us to continue to serve our listeners, our advertisers and help the university we love. We are extremely excited. This could not have worked out better!”
WOSU Public Media has a vital classical music tradition dating back to the 1920s, when it provided “live” radio broadcasts of faculty and student performances from its studios on the Ohio State campus.
“We’re thrilled to expand our commitment to classical music and the performing arts, while making 89.7 FM a full time NPR news station adding to the schedule quality local programming like All Sides with Ann Fisher and national programming like NPR’s Talk of the Nation and On Point. We’ve consistently heard from our listeners that they want this and we’re finally able to deliver,” said Tom Rieland, WOSU Public Media’s general manager.
WOSU partners with a variety of local music organizations to provide full concerts, artist profiles and educational outreach in central Ohio. In the past year, WOSU has broadcast concerts of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Jazz Orchestra, OSU School of Music, and many others.
“I know, on a very personal level, how much our community has missed 24/7 classical music. The launch of this new station is going to be fabulous and so deeply appreciated. I have every faith it will play a critical role in sustaining our community of performing arts. This is Wonderful! Lucky Columbus!” said Christine Mortine, Founder of the Columbus Bach Ensemble, active concert soprano and member of the WOSU Friends Board.
WOSU Public Media was represented in the transaction by Public Radio Capital (PRC), a non-profit organization with headquarters in Denver. PRC’s mission is to strengthen and expand noncommercial media to provide local communities with more in-depth information, unbiased news, diverse music and cultural programming. Since its founding, PRC has worked with more than 200 public radio organizations, securing access to public radio services for approximately 45 million people. Fun With Radio LLC was represented in the transaction by Greg Guy of Patrick Communications. Patrick Communications is a media brokerage firm based in Elkridge, Maryland.