Deal resolves ownership of Ohio’s WYSO-FM as the college that built it revives

By Ben Mook

Two years after Antioch College reopened its campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio, it negotiated an $8 million deal to buy back WYSO, NPR News and contemporary music station broadcasting at 50,000-watts on 91.3 MHz.

Antioch University, a five-campus university system, has operated WYSO since 2008, when its undergraduate school in Yellow Springs shut down. A group of Antioch College alumni bought the school and most of its assets in 2009 and accepted a new class of freshmen in fall 2011.

The $8 million purchase agreement announced Dec. 10 transfers ownership of WYSO back to the small liberal arts college in Yellow Springs; it also strikes clauses in the 2009 purchase agreement that would have allowed the university to claims on Antioch College’s campus or assets.

The station’s 10 full- and part-time employees are expected to stay on and become employees of the college.

“This agreement has both symbolic and practical significance for us at Antioch College,” said Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt, in a statement. “Symbolically, WYSO is important to us. Antioch students founded the station in 1958. Practically speaking, the College and the University can move forward in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation as we both work to offer the finest educational experiences for our students.”

In May 2012, the university completed renovation of WYSO’s studios and boosted the pubradio station’s signal to 50,000-watts from 37,000-watts as part of a $1 million project.

The upgrade extended the station’s reach in the Miami Valley region of southwest Ohio and improved signal quality.

The purchase needs regulatory approval from the FCC.

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