Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Network

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Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Network

Post by Mr. Jones » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:49 pm

https://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines ... u-network/
http://wvxu.org/post/nku-looks-selling- ... s#stream/0
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/20 ... /82694768/
Facing significant cuts in funding from the state of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mears told the staff of AAA 89.7 WNKU Highland Heights KY/Cincinnati on Tuesday that the school will “explore the possibility of a sale of WNKU-FM and its assets.”

Northern Kentucky University also owns 105.9 WNKN Middletown OH, which serves Dayton and the northern portions of the Cincinnati market and 104.1 WNKE New Boston OH serving the Portsmouth OH and Huntington WV areas. The university purchased those two stations in January 2011 to expand WNKU’s coverage.

The move to potentially divest WNKU/WNKE/WNKN comes after Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued a 4.5% cut in higher education funding across the state last week. NKU spokeswoman Amanda Nageleisen told the Northern Kentucky Tribune that “this step is exploratory, and no decision has been made regarding the future of WNKU. But in these difficult economic times and in the face of significant budget cuts from the state, we have a responsibility to align our efforts around our core mission: the education of our students.”

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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by cgarison » Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:22 pm

Noooooooo!!!!!!!!
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by genlock » Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:24 pm

" Our core mission: the education of our students.” Univ Prez.
I guess this means Basketball.
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by The Interpreter » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:23 am

They moved NKU to Lexington?

Whoa! When'd that happen?

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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by genlock » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:49 pm

I wonder if K-Inbred is looking for another station?
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by The Interpreter » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:09 pm

Where oh where is KnowItAll when you need him?

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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by cgarison » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:55 pm

I have not had a chance to see how this whole 4.5% cut in budgets is going to impact my friend's that teach and work at NKU. OTOH, I talked to a couple of department heads from University of Kentucky and I learned they have no wiggle room in any of their budgets until January 2018 because the vast majority of salaries are locked in place. Cutting copy paper and other supplies was one option along with cutting air conditioning in the summer has also been considered.

Dunderhead Bevins once again has run his mouth without considering the realities of how business/government/education/insurance/healthcare actually work.
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by cgarison » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:35 pm

And why could we not have someone as strong as Andy Beshear to fight Paul Patton when he carved up UK like a Christmas turkey and created KCTCS from all the scraps that hit the floor. :evil:
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by Arp2 » Thu May 05, 2016 7:41 pm

Yes, we all knew they seriously overpaid and were almost surely headed for trouble since the day the purchases were announced, but $900,000 in subsidy is necessary even after some personnel cuts??

Man, I'd love to see their books........sheltered-from-the-real-world academics and their outrageous sense of entitlement....... :evil:
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by cgarison » Fri May 06, 2016 10:17 am

Arp2 wrote:Man, I'd love to see their books........sheltered-from-the-real-world academics and their outrageous sense of entitlement....... :evil:
My wife's friend (who is the CIO of a major software company) invited us to be part of an audience of an academic panel dicussion on the state of academia and its relation to preparing students for work in the real world. After the first volley of discussion between this so called thought leaders in 'big data' concepts, I realized that academics had no clue on how to relate their research to the corporate standards that we have to maintain to be compliant to regulations. On top of that, these folks had there heads buried so far into the sand that they had no idea about the concept of monetizing an idea or developing a compelling business case. In fact, academia is far more removed from the real world than it was when I was in school 20 years ago.

My final jab was when they picked on the 'Republicans' defunding education. I responded, 'How can you fund a system as flawed as common core and the concepts of STEM? Teaching our youth science and math with out including arts and humanities just creates a generation of highly skilled factory/assembly line workers who will not have the creativity to solve the world's next big problem and apply the scientific method to this out of the box thought process.' :twisted:


One of these days, we need to have some lovely beverages while I describe my encounters with some of these gas bags in academia. It will be very amusing indeed.
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by Arp2 » Mon May 09, 2016 12:48 pm

May the Currwiki and Coursera models expand and prosper.....

...but, back to NKU, what's the budget to run this radio station been, and why has it apparently been so high? And why can't that be remedied in almost nothing flat?

Even as AAAs go, it doesn't sound like it's being programmed to build the usual audience. I'm a possible candidate for a Triple-A station, but even I, with a background in the business and musical interests as broad as Russia is wide, have had trouble finding the station's "front door" in the times I've checked it out.

"Near-zero familiarity with 'alternative alternative' music; younger-voiced-but-older-style AOR-ish jocks who talk too long; college-radio imaging and fundraising, but NPR-ish underwriting announcements" is the note I made. If that's how you're going to approach the format (meaning not doing AAA despite calling it that; it's really a new 97X [BAM]), then why have more than, say, five-equivalent people on staff when you can fill in everything else with your school's students earning no-cost credits?

Five paycheck/benefits packages ranging from, say, 30-110K, the electric bills of the three big signals, and some promotion, maintenance, web, IT, subscription, fundraising, and rights and legal fees....subtract the expense of the web and IT that could/should be coming from the students/university and add some revenue that should be coming from the owned towers.....how are these people needing $900,000 to run, let alone that amount in subsidy?? I'm imagining/fearing 20 hippies of various ages, who do 40%-effort work no more than 50% of the workday, slouching around a weird-but-expensive conference room table and alternating conversation between the virtues of vinyl and how tough life is for them and that they "need"/"deserve" more....sort of an updated version of the movie "FM."

In this case, THAT's where my frustration with the mindset of the academy is....they might decide they "have to" dump these stations because they came in completely lacking the real-world paradigm and can't imagine the solution, not because they actually DO "have to." I actually don't want them to...I have a hunch AAA can and would work, whatever that might mean, on those two Cincinnati-area signals. Sell the 104.1 so the university can have some money to play with without touching their own hallowed salaries and structures while keeping the Cincy two and getting some time to do something right with them....maybe even actually doing AAA.
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by cgarison » Thu May 12, 2016 8:34 pm

Arp2 wrote:
Even as AAAs go, it doesn't sound like it's being programmed to build the usual audience. I'm a possible candidate for a Triple-A station, but even I, with a background in the business and musical interests as broad as Russia is wide, have had trouble finding the station's "front door" in the times I've checked it out.

"Near-zero familiarity with 'alternative alternative' music; younger-voiced-but-older-style AOR-ish jocks who talk too long; college-radio imaging and fundraising, but NPR-ish underwriting announcements" is the note I made. If that's how you're going to approach the format (meaning not doing AAA despite calling it that; it's really a new 97X [BAM]), then why have more than, say, five-equivalent people on staff when you can fill in everything else with your school's students earning no-cost credits?
In short, WNKU has tried to become an Ohio Valley clone of the almighty WXPN in Philly. Two problems:
1.) I agree their music is much to eclectic for an AAA station. That being said, this is a problem that has been growing worse since 2012. I used to irritate my mother when we were listening to the station while working outside and I could name every artist playing (from BB King, Taj Mahal, Rolling Stones, Paul Butterfield Blues Band to more mainstream pop artists) that she eventually commanded me to cut out the game and change the station. But in the last year, it has been much more difficult for me to know what is being played with the reduction in blues and the increase in alt bands that I don't know. I can see the people of the Ohio Valley listening to the blues mixed with pop, rock and some non-Nashville sound country/western, but currently, the mix of music does not match that of the majority of people away from the NKU (or even the UC) campus.

2.) As much as I love the concept of having NKU on my dial for my entire drive from Ashland, KY to Mason, OH, they essentially have too many sticks consuming too much electricity. WXPN just has a single stick with modest coverage in southeastern PA and extremely limited coverage to south Jersey and northern Delaware. But the problem with NKU is that they need the Highland Heights, KY and the Middletown sticks to cover a similar area.

Arp2 wrote: In this case, THAT's where my frustration with the mindset of the academy is....they might decide they "have to" dump these stations because they came in completely lacking the real-world paradigm and can't imagine the solution, not because they actually DO "have to." I actually don't want them to...I have a hunch AAA can and would work, whatever that might mean, on those two Cincinnati-area signals. Sell the 104.1 so the university can have some money to play with without touching their own hallowed salaries and structures while keeping the Cincy two and getting some time to do something right with them....maybe even actually doing AAA.
I agree. The need to toss the 100K watt 104.1 WNKE blow torch on the market because they have just gone beyond the reach of their donating market with a signal. They need to find a buyer for the WNKE transmitter and shed that power bill.

But back to the point the station needs to act more like a proper radio station with a less eclectic playlist if they want to keep supporting listeners. I used to stream WNKU all the time when working in Philly, but now, not so much. Even when I am in Ashland, I rarely tune in 104.1 on the dial because the mix of music is just too strange for casual listening. For me, I spend more time with Google Music or Apple Music instead of listening to WNKU or some station originating on 4th Ave. that sounds like it plays more commercials than music in a given hour.
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by cgarison » Thu May 12, 2016 8:57 pm

Arp2 wrote: Even as AAAs go, it doesn't sound like it's being programmed to build the usual audience. I'm a possible candidate for a Triple-A station, but even I, with a background in the business and musical interests as broad as Russia is wide, have had trouble finding the station's "front door" in the times I've checked it out.

"Near-zero familiarity with 'alternative alternative' music; younger-voiced-but-older-style AOR-ish jocks who talk too long; college-radio imaging and fundraising, but NPR-ish underwriting announcements" is the note I made. If that's how you're going to approach the format (meaning not doing AAA despite calling it that; it's really a new 97X [BAM]), then why have more than, say, five-equivalent people on staff when you can fill in everything else with your school's students earning no-cost credits?
In short, WNKU has tried to become an Ohio Valley clone of the almighty WXPN in Philly. Two problems:
1.) I agree their music is much to eclectic for an AAA station. That being said, this is a problem that has been growing worse since 2012. I used to irritate my mother when we were listening to the station while working outside and I could name every artist playing (from BB King, Taj Mahal, Rolling Stones, Paul Butterfield Blues Band to more mainstream pop artists) that she eventually commanded me to cut out the game and change the station (which was the queue to spin up the Irish folk on my Pandora streaming app.) But in the last year, it has been much more difficult for me to know what is being played with the reduction in blues and the increase in alt bands that I don't know. I can see the people of the Ohio Valley listening to the blues mixed with pop, rock and some non-Nashville sound country/western, but currently, the mix of music does not match that of the majority of people away from the NKU (or even the UC) campus.

2.) As much as I love the concept of having NKU on my dial for my entire drive from Ashland, KY to Mason, OH, they essentially have too many sticks consuming too much electricity. WXPN just has a single stick with modest coverage in southeastern PA and extremely limited coverage to south Jersey and northern Delaware. But the problem with NKU is that they need the Highland Heights, KY and the Middletown sticks to cover a similar area.

Arp2 wrote: In this case, THAT's where my frustration with the mindset of the academy is....they might decide they "have to" dump these stations because they came in completely lacking the real-world paradigm and can't imagine the solution, not because they actually DO "have to." I actually don't want them to...I have a hunch AAA can and would work, whatever that might mean, on those two Cincinnati-area signals. Sell the 104.1 so the university can have some money to play with without touching their own hallowed salaries and structures while keeping the Cincy two and getting some time to do something right with them....maybe even actually doing AAA.
I agree. The need to toss the 100K watt 104.1 WNKE blow torch on the market because they have just gone beyond the reach of their donating market with a signal. They need to find a buyer for the WNKE transmitter and shed that power bill.

But back to the point the station needs to act more like a proper radio station with a less eclectic playlist if they want to keep supporting listeners. I used to stream WNKU all the time when working in Philly, but now, not so much. Even when I am in Ashland, I rarely tune in 104.1 on the dial because the mix of music is just too strange for casual listening. For me, I spend more time with Google Music or Apple Music instead of listening to WNKU or some station originating on 4th Ave. that sounds like it plays more commercials than music in a given hour.

But in the end, my choice to stream music is the problem that is facing all radio stations including WNKU.
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Re: Northern Kentucky University To Explore Selling WNKU Net

Post by sportsvoice » Fri May 13, 2016 10:35 am

They just managed to swindle some Catholics out of $450k (plus $500 a month tower rent with a 2% yearly increase) on the 1kw AM in Middletown. That should make the books look better for this year.

Not to mention the buyers are having to put in a new transmitter and processor because the ancient Harris transmitter at 910 was half dead...

That's the other part NKU got soaked on...I think 104.1 had more recent vintage equipment because of the tower collapse, but 105.9 may still be limping along on an old RCA transmitter from the 1960's. I seem to remember seeing an article about how they were going to have to get funds to replace it.

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