Last year we wrote about the uncertainly surrounding the future of Penn College radio station WPTC. Following the discontinuation of its mass media major, the station’s fate was in limbo. Well, as of September of this year, WPTC’s license has been assigned to a local non-profit, which plans to utilize the FM channel for blues and jazz music programming. According to an asset purchase agreement dated May 7, 2013, Williamsport Lycoming Broadcast Foundation agreed to purchase the FM license and station property (including broadcasting equipment) for $125,000.
A construction permit application from June, 2013 states,
“WILLIAMSPORT LYCOMING BROADCAST FOUNDATION HAS BEEN FORMED TO BE ASSIGNED THE LICENSE OF WPTC SO AS TO SEAMLESSLY MAINTAIN THE STATION’S STUDENT OPERATION AND, THEREFORE, TO ALLOW PRESENT AND FUTURE PENN COLLEGE AND LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS TO RECEIVE PRACTICAL HANDS-ON BROADCASTING TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE WHILE PROVIDING MUSIC AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAMMING TO THE WILLIAMSPORT, PA LISTENING PUBLIC.”
On the date that the station’s consummation notice was filed with the FCC, Penn College issued an announcement about the FCC’s approval of the license assignment. According to the statement,
“‘We are sad to see the end of WPTC as a college radio station,’ said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. ‘The station was instrumental as a laboratory for the mass media communications program that ended recently, thus concluding the instructional mission of WPTC.'”
The new station owner, Todd Bartley, is the General Manager of a local commercial radio station. His father was also involved with radio and helped start college radio station WRMU in Ohio in the 1960s. Bartley plans to welcome former WPTC DJs to the station’s new location. The article states,
“Todd Bartley has established the Williamsport Lycoming Broadcast Foundation to own and operate the station, which will remain in Williamsport with studios on Market Street. Bartley said the foundation is deeply appreciative of WPTC’s heritage; his intention is to maintain a similar format, with a focus on jazz programming. He welcomes those who have volunteered with programming at WPTC to continue in that capacity.”
So, it would appear that this college station sale has a bit of a silver lining, as students will still have an opportunity to gain radio experience. No word yet on whether the new station is up and running, but stay tuned…