Another college FM ponders selling its license


Deals for college radio stations in Florida and Texas have been struck in 2010, and now Vanderbilt University’s Vanderbilt Student Communications Inc. is contemplating spinning off student-run WRVU-FM. If it does, the buyer for the 91.1 MHz facility would have to be another noncom.

English professor Mark Wollaeger, who doubles as VSC board chair, said, “Currently, operating revenue for student media is mostly generated from print advertising whose future is less than certain. We want to explore whether a sale would help protect our students’ future interests better.”

The station would live on as an internet operation; and regardless how the decision on divesting the station goes, use of the internet and other streaming applications is going to be increased.

“A new set of mobile device apps was made available this summer to local and worldwide fans of WRVU to deliver the shows they love anywhere via the Internet,” said Wollaeger.

Explaining the decision to explore a sale, Wollaeger said, “Our surveys indicate that each year fewer Vanderbilt students are listening to over-the-air radio. Our other traditional media outlets, such as and VTV at, have already begun to experiment with new opportunities within today’s rapidly changing media environment, making them among the most innovative and progressive nationally. It is time to explore how WRVU could be transformed as well in order to keep pace with the times and anticipate new developments.”

WRVU is a Class C2 with 10 kW of power.

RBR-TVBR observation: The selling universities are citing changing student listening habits which are moving them away from radio as a factor in the decision to cash out. If this is true, commercial broadcasters interested in holding on to an audience in the future need to take that very seriously and figure out a way to change it.