The fate of Centenary College radio station WNTI (91.9 FM) became a little clearer today. Philadelphia public radio station WXPN (88.5 FM), which is owned by the University of Pennsylvania, has bought the license for $1.25 million (plus $500,000 in underwriting value), it was announced. WXPN’s music programming will be broadcast on WNTI, starting at noon this Thursday.
Meanwhile, students and community volunteers will team to operate their own Internet-only radio station at WNTI.org. It is not known when this venture will launch.
Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite, president of the Hackettstown college, said in a statement that the deal “preserves a strong voice for great music in our region and opens new horizons for the WNTI community and for Centenary College.”
She also said: “Centenary students will also be afforded opportunities to intern at WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania. We intend to reinvest the proceeds from the license sale in building Centenary’s academic offerings, to support student recruitment and retention and fuel Centenary’s role as an economic engine in Warren County, New Jersey.”
WXPN general manager Roger LaMay said in the same press release, “We will extend WXPN’s demonstrated commitment to local artists, music and events in the communities we currently serve to the WNTI community, and will apply our deep experience in public music radio management to strengthen its overall operations. In the long term, we expect this transaction to benefit our artists and audiences, and strengthen WXPN’s financial sustainability.”
WXPN’s World Cafe program had already been heard on WNTI, and will remain part of its programming.
The station, which has played a vital part in the Northwestern New Jersey music scene for many years, closed without warning on Oct. 5, forcing many of its longtime DJs to say goodbye to their fans and followers online.