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public TV and radio in the United States

Cincinnati’s WGUC acquires seven-station X-Star Network

Originally published in Current, March 14, 2005

WGUC will buy another Cincinnati pubradio operation, WVXU and six affiliated repeater stations, from Xavier University. The sale price of $15 million is the second-largest sum ever paid for a pubradio license, WGUC President Richard Eiswerth told the Cincinnati Post last week.

Selling WVXU was “tough but very necessary,” said Xavier’s president, Michael Graham. The Cincinnati school will use the funds to build a student learning and residential center. The deal had been in the works since September but kept under wraps, according to WGUC.

With the acquisition, WGUC will likely become a fulltime classical station — it now airs some news programming — and WVXU will focus on news and talk, Eiswerth said. "Obtaining a second frequency to better serve both our classical and news audiences has been a core part of WGUC’s ongoing strategic plan for the past five years.”

According to the Post, WGUC’s bid was not the highest Xavier officials received, but they felt the match would keep WVXU a locally owned pubradio station. The deal, brokered with the aid of Public Radio Capital, must be approved by the FCC.

Jim King, the guiding force behind WVXU and the six other stations in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan that comprise the X-Star Network, stepped down as g.m. Dec. 31 after 28 years. He planned to teach communication arts at Xavier.

Public Radio Capital to coach 12 stations seeking to expand

Originally published in Current, March 14, 2005

Twelve public radio licensees will participate in a second round of Public Radio Capital's More Channels, More Service program, which will aid their efforts to acquire additional stations.

The broadcasters are: Alabama Public Radio in Tuscaloosa; Capital Community Broadcasting in Juneau, Alaska; the new Iowa Public Radio, to be created by three university licensees; KFAI in Minneapolis; KQED in San Francisco; KUT in Austin, Texas; Pacifica Foundation in Berkeley, Calif.; Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles; WMHT in Schenectady, N.Y.; WMUB in Oxford, Ohio; and WNCU in Durham, N.C.

Public Radio Capital will lead the stations in assessing expansion opportunities and in November will hold a conference for their managers, board members and licensee reps.

The second round of More Channels, More Services was funded by an anonymous donor's grant of $150,000. The first round, partially backed by CPB, aided station expansions in Denver; Tulsa, Okla.; and Amarillo, Texas.

Web page posted March 14, 2005
Copyright 2004 by Current Publishing Committee

EARLIER ARTICLES

Economics are moving colleges to sell or give away their public radio stations.

By going all-classical WGUC is betting against pubradio's trend.

LINKS

Xavier, a Catholic university, turned down religious broadcasters vying for the channel, the Enquirer reported. Jim King, WVXU's longtime g.m., quit because he didn't want to sign sale papers. "It's a very sad and disturbing day," he said.

WGUC's bet on classical music is bucking the national trend, the Enquirer said. For the university, it was a hard decision, said Xavier's president.

Like many other station purchases arranged in recent years, this one had the help of Public Radio Capital, a nonprofit that helps arrange financing for stations. PRC answers Frequently Asked Questions about what it's up to.

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