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WKSU merging with WCPN (Ideastream)

tyrannical bastard

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A major public radio merger in Northeast Ohio is about to take shape.


Ideastream (who owns WCPN 90.3, WCLV 104.9 and WVIZ-PBS) taking over NPR station 89.7 WKSU which is owned by Kent State University.



The plan is to have WKSU as the sole NPR station for Northeast Ohio, with 104.9 to act as a Cleveland-area repeater.  It's now the successor to 95.5 WCLV, once a commercial classical station.  It moved to 104.9 in 2001 as part of a switch-e-roo between Salem Communications, Clear Channel and WCLV, then owned by Robert Conrad.  WCLV later converted to a non-commercial foundation before being donated to Ideastream a decade ago.


90.3 was an NPR/Jazz station (that merged with WVIZ under the Ideastream umbrella in 2001) and will soon become the new home of WCLV, continuing the tradition of classical music.  104.9 will take the WCPN calls and relay WKSU.


On the flip side, Kent State is part of a consortium (Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio) that owns two PBS stations, under Western Reserve Public Media.  The University of Akron and Youngstown State University are the two other partners, and provide a secondary PBS station for the Cleveland/Akron area (WEAO 49) and a primary one for the Youngstown area (WNEO 45).  WNEO is the primary station licensed to Alliance, while WEAO has always been a repeater licensed to Akron.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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  • 2 months later...

Semi-related.  Northeastern Educational Televison of Ohio (NETO), who runs WNEO 45 & WEAO 49 is converting their board from a consortium of universities into a community-based board.  NETO has always been a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does not receive financial or in-kind support from the 3 universities that run the consortium (Akron, Kent State and Youngstown State). 

https://d1qbemlbhjecig.cloudfront.net/prod/filer_public/wneo-bento-live-pbs/Press Releases/2021/d5ea591653_2021-PBS Western Reserve Board of Directors.pdf


This may have been in the works independently from WKSU entering into the Ideastream arrangement, or it may have necessitated it with WEAO serving as a secondary PBS member station for the Cleveland market, and Kent State's continuing ownership of WKSU with Ideastream's management (WVIZ's owner) may have clashed with their ties to NETO.

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