Late last Friday (2/24) we received a message from Michael Skolar, President of Louisville Public Media (LPM) regarding WNKU. (Scroll down to see Skoler’s complete verbatim message.)
One sentence caught my attention:
“We are now looking at options for how we might help save WNKU as a community-focused, Triple A station. We’d love to find a way that makes financial sense for us to help keep WNKU’s service to the local music community not just alive, but thriving.”
Skoler did not specify what options LPM is considering. However, Skolar said that Stacy Owen, PD of WFPK, once worked at WNKU and has connections in Cincinnati.
The ball is still in Northern Kentucky University’s (NKU) court. Though the deal for Bible Broadcasting to acquire WNKU is done, the sale is not final until the FCC gives its approval. It possible, though not likely, NKU could change its mind.
Skoler clarified LPM’s discussions with NKU to date. LPM did not offer a Local Management Agreement (LMA), their intention was always to purchase WNKU. Apparently NKU’s decision to sell to Bible Broadcasting was a surprise. Though LPM was still in negotiating with NKU, they never had a chance to make a counter offer.
VERBATIM COMMENT REGARDING WNKU
From: Michael Skoler
President, Louisville Public Media
President, Louisville Public Media
I joined Louisville Public Media in December, heading back into local public radio after more than six years running digital for PRI and many prior years at WGBH, MPR, APM and NPR. I saw your newsletter today mentioning WNKU and thought I would clarify LPM’s interest.
I know that Cincinnati Public Radio proposed an operating agreement for Northern Kentucky University, but we never did. We were looking at purchase of WNKU’s original signal when I joined LPM and we had hired Public Media Company to help us evaluate the opportunity. For all the reasons you mentioned in the newsletter, we knew that the University was looking for a sale.
As a new leader, I needed to get up to speed on our own shop and how a purchase might affect it. I asked for time and Public Media Company heard from WNKU’s broker that there was no other pending offer. We were surprised to suddenly hear of the sale without any warning or a chance to make an offer.
We are now looking at options for how we might help save WNKU as a community-focused, Triple A station. Stacy Owen, the PD of WFPK, was a host and music director at WNKU, so she knows the market and still has strong connections in Cincinnati. WFPK often features Cincinnati bands and we sometimes host concerts with them in Louisville. We’d love to find a way that makes financial sense for us to help keep WNKU’s service to the local music community not just alive, but thriving.
WNYC, WAMU & KNOW GAIN POST-ELECTION WEEKLY LISTENERS
Both commercial and noncommercial news and talk stations appear to be benefiting from news regarding the transition and early weeks of the Trump administration. Common wisdom is that listening to news and talk stations goes down after elections are over. Things are different now because of inflammatory statements, controversial plans and a growing resistance to Trumpism.
Nielsen Audio has released estimates for January 2017. We compared the new data with listening in January 2016. WNYC-FM, WAMU and KNOW all had major increases in estimated weekly listeners.
In New York, even WNYC-AM appeared to benefit from the hot news cycle. The number of weekly listeners grew by 41% from January 2016 to January 2017. WNYC-FM’s estimated 907,900 weekly cumulative listeners may be a record high for the station.
Also in New York, Classical WQXR posted a nice gain of weekly listeners. Jazz WBGO and Triple A WFUV both had declines. There is one new station on the chart: WKLV airs satellite-delivered K-LOVE.
WAMU is currently the top station in the DC market according to Nielsen Audio average quarter hour share rankings. Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP leads WAMU in weekly cumulative listeners, but that gap is tightening.
KNOW’s estimated weekly listeners may also be a record in the Twin Cities. Triple A KCMP a/k/a 89.3 The Current continues to be a strong performer.
Jazz noncom KBEM may have also set a new high in weekly listeners, up 35% in the past year.