MU acquires radio station from Stephens College

The purchase would allow KBIA to become a nearly all-news station.

MU officials announced Friday that the university will purchase radio station KWWC-FM from Stephens College.

MU will spend $50,000 for the purchase and allow Stephens College $50,000 in public service announcements over a five-year period. The sale is still pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

According to an MU news release, the purchase will enable MU-owned KBIA-FM, the National Public Radio member station for mid-Missouri, to transition from airing classical music from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily to become a nearly all-news station.

“The purchase of KWWC will allow us to expand the educational experience for broadcast students at the MU School of Journalism,” KBIA director Michael Dunn said in the release. “This acquisition also will allow us to improve our classical music service for the residents of Boone County from our current programming of 15 hours most days to 24 hours, seven days a week.”

MU spokesman Nathan Hurst said in an email the new station will be overseen by KBIA management. He said KBIA hopes to add short newscasts to the new station and offer more opportunities for MU journalism students.

“However, the new station will create many more student opportunities (at) KBIA since it will free up more time for news on KBIA, since the classical music that has run during the day will now be moved to 90.5 FM,” he said.

Once the sale is finalized, MU will change KWWC’s call letters and allow Stephens College to retain the call letters for an online-only station. A new set of call letters for the MU-owned station has not been determined at this time.

Stephens College spokeswoman Rebecca Kline said the online-only KWWC will feature “cool jazz and awesome ‘80s” programming and allow more students at the college to create content for the station as an extracurricular activity.

“The online station will become more convenient for students and will give them a broader audience — friends and family members will be able to listen in from anywhere in the world,” she said in the release. “We’re pleased our university neighbors will be able to incorporate 90.5 FM into their academic programming.”

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