Skip to comments.WGUC buys WVXU stations for $15 million
Posted on 03/14/2005 9:34:50 AM PST by dalight
In a mini-deal reminiscent of the commercial radio station consolidations that have taken place the last 10 years, a new era in Cincinnati public radio was unveiled Friday as two of the area's legendary stations will soon be under one nonprofit ownership group.
(Excerpt) Read more at cincypost.com ...
The station was successful because of its entrepreneurial bent, its partnership with local businesses that used the "commercial" non-commercials of public broadcasting to stunning effect. The demographic of the listening audience was stunning, so it enjoyed a situation where only two one week on-air fundraising events were held and these were just about as much fun as anything they broadcast, because of the easy good humor and various ideas that were tried and succeeded.
Most of the staff will be let go, and its hard to imagine this station being a shadow of what it has been as a Cincinnati institution and this all reflects very poorly on Xavier University who obviously doesn't understand how to keep the public's trust or the value that this station brought to what is actually a small University nestled in the hills of Cincinnati.
Thats the bad.
The good is, one less NPR outlet. One less stream of hated biased drivel. This could be the beginning of a cascade of events where public radio stations disappear because the value of their frequency is too much for school administrators to ignore. If this is so, consolidation that reduces the expenses in one market, can lead to the whole of NPR collapsing as it has to raise fees to deal with the loss of stations, only to force the loss of more stations. Perhaps this signals the beginning of the end of NPR.
But, on the bright side, so many stations offer streaming radio online, that it's easy to find whatever smorgasboard of platforms you want these days.
Still, some things just aren't for sale. Xavier only had a nominal investment in this station, it was at Xavier because Father Flynn and Dr. Jim King and several other individuals were at Xavier and they were radio enthusiasts. The station on the whole supported itself and made a real contribution to the community and then the whole state and region.
This station "belonged" to Xavier University, but it wasn't their baby. Instead, it was a quasi-independent organization that grew and grew because of the contributions and aspirations of the staff and listeners.
Anyway, Xavier saw the station as an asset not a public trust, and decided it was too good to let go of the opportunity to rake in the cash this could bring, rather than having to do fund raising for a building they were planning.
This is a move that to me is a high water mark for Xavier, who's national reputation now depends completely on a basketball team. The Xavier University name was being beamed for free (as far as the University is concerned) across 4 states, they will never ever have the name recognition they enjoy today, unless some Ward Churchill makes a nice scandal to get them in the news. This was a major lame move.