Folks, here is an excerpt from a WOSU press release issued this afternoon. This is bittersweet in that 820AM has been part of WOSU and Ohio State since 1922, but we’ve planned for years to move our focus to FM to grow our listenership and this completes the circle.
WOSU Public Media announced today it has signed an agreement to sell its 820 AM radio station. The $2 million dollar sale was approved by the Ohio State Board of Trustees today. The buyer is St. Gabriel Radio, Inc., which provides Catholic radio in central Ohio. Transfer of ownership is pending FCC approval, which should occur by the end of the year. St. Gabriel, Inc. will be running the station under new call letters yet to be determined.
The sale of the AM station by WOSU is part of our plan to build listenership that began in December 2010 with the purchase of 101.1 FM and the launch of Classical 101, which allowed WOSU’s 89.7 FM to shift to an all-day NPR and local news station.
“This was necessary to cover the up-front costs of the purchase of 101.1 FM. Now, we can focus our complete attention to strengthening our two FM stations—89.7, central Ohio’s only 24-hour NPR news station, and Classical 101 which brings listeners the finest in classical music all-day every day,” said Tom Rieland, WOSU Public Media’s general manager.
AM 820 has been duplicating the NPR programming schedule on 89.7 FM over the last nine months. Listeners of WOSU AM should tune to 89.7 FM to continue receiving the quality news programming they have come to expect such as All Sides with Ann Fisher and national programming like NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation.
For the second straight year, WOSU 89.7 was voted the Best Radio News Operation in Ohio by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. The news team, headed by News Director Mike Thompson, also captured a first place award for Best Continuing Coverage for its coverage of “Ohio’s Sour Economy” and WOSU Reporter Mandie Trimble won three top awards.