Northern Kentucky-based public radio station WNKU (89.7 FM) will more than triple its population reach with today's announcement that it's acquired three stations: 105.9 FM and 910 AM in Middletown (both currently WPFB) and 104.1 FM in Portsmouth (currently WPAY). The station's normal daily programming will be simulcast on the new frequencies beginning Feb. 1.
In particular, 105.9 FM has strong reach throughout the city of Cincinnati, including downtown, areas where reception for 89.7 FM can be hit or miss.
“Year after year, the number one complaint we hear is in regards to signal strength and reach,” WNKU Station Manager Chuck Miller said in today's press release. “It got to the point where we eventually had to post reception tips on our web site just to be proactive about it.”
The additional stations will add 51 new counties in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia to WNKU's reach, which will extend north of Dayton and southeast to Charleston, W.Va.
WNKU is owned and operated by Northern Kentucky University, whose president, James Votruba, hailed the acquisition as a sound investment.
“Frankly, if the economy weren’t in the state it is in, there is no way we could afford to do this,” Votruba said. “The price is right, right now. We were presented with an opportunity that we could not pass up.”
Details about the purchase price and financing were not announced.
WNKU will run the new stations through a management operating agreement while the purchase awaits final approval from the Federal Communications Commission. WNKU expects to take full ownership of the properties in April or May.
Get more information on the announcement here.