Last week it was announced that WNTI 91.9, Hackettstown, New Jersey had been sold to an “undisclosed NPR station.” Monday it was learned that the purchasing station is WXPN, Philadelphia. WXPN programming will debut on WNTI on Thursdays, October 15th at Noon ET.
The deal is another feather in the cap of Public Media Company (PMC) who represented WXPN in the transaction. WXPN is paying $1,250,000 in cash and $500,000 in underwriting announcements for Centenary College, the current owner of WNTI. The purchase will be finalized when the FCC grants formal approval in 60 to 90 days.
The purchase is being called a “win/win” situation because WNTI will continue to continue a Triple A/Progressive Rock format. The continuity of service was one of the reasons Centenary and WXPN did the deal. WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay said:
“We will extend WXPN's demonstrated commitment to local artists, music and events…to the WNTI community. It will strengthen [WNTI’s] overall operations and…benefit our artists and audiences, and strengthen WXPN's financial sustainability."
According to LaMay, WXPN was not looking to purchase another station until they became aware of the college’s intent to sell WNTI. Then WXPN and PMC acted quickly to complete the transaction.
WHY WXPN BOUGHT WNTI
• #1 WNTI’s COVERAGE AREA
As you can see on WNTI’s map, the 91.9 signal covers an area from the Jersey suburbs to eastern Pennsylvania. An estimated one million people live in this area. There is no other Triple A station that reaches most of these people.
• #2 THE SUCCESS OF WXPN’S REPEATER STATION IN HARRISBURG
WXPN owns WXPH in Harrisburg and it simulcasts WXPN 24/7. Harrisburg has been an important source of new members for WXPN. WXPH, plus repeaters in the Leihigh Valley, Lancaster, York and the exurbs of Baltimore, are cheap to operate. Together, they make WXPN a regional player. WNTI adds considerable heft to regional identity. This is an important advantage to underwriters and other supporters.
• #3 BECAUSE THEY CAN
Someone once said the future is determined by those who show up.
That is particularly true for public media. Noncom radio will succeed only if people and organizations that have the passion for it step up and promote it. WXPN and Public Media Company are helping build the public media infrastructure.
Congratulations and thanks for a job well done!