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NKU Hires Broker For WNKU Stations

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WNKU-FM
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Northern Kentucky University has given Tucson-based Kalil & Co., one of the nation's biggest media brokers, a one-year contract to explore selling the three WNKU-FM stations.

NKU President Geoffrey Mearns announced in April that NKU would "explore the possibility of a sale of WNKU-FM (89.7) and its assets," which include WNKN-FM in Middletown (formerly WPFB-FM 105.9) and WNKE-FM in Portsmouth (formerly WPAY-FM 104.1).

Kalil will determine the value of the stations, and explore a potential sale of some or all of the assets, says Amanda Nageleisen, NKU director of public relations, marketing and communications.

Kalil sold Notre Dame University's WNDU-TV in South Bend, and helped Sinclair Television Group (WKRC-TV's parent) and Raycom Media (WXIX-TV's parent) purchase TV stations in Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Florida.

While Mearns and Nageleisen have stressed that "no decision has been made" about WNKU, a sale is very likely due to the stations' operating debt and Kentucky state budget cuts resulting in an $8-million NKU deficit. The radio operation has needed a $3.3-million subsidy from NKU over the past five years, she said. In May, the university cut 105 positions to eliminate the $8 million deficit. 

Kalil & Co. "has more than four decades’ experience and is widely recognized as the nation’s top media broker. We look forward to working with Kalil as we explore all options regarding WNKU,” Nageleisen said.

Universities pulling the plug on radio to save money is nothing new. Georgetown College sold its full-power station to K-LOVE in 2003. Xavier University sold WVXU-FM to Cincinnati Public Radio in 2005. Since 2009, Cincinnati Public Radio has operated Miami University's WMUB-FM (88.5).

NKU sold Middletown's WPFB-AM (910) to Sacred Heart Radio (740 AM) in April.