Chattanooga State Radio Station Going Online; Tower, License To Be Sold

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chattanooga State Community College President Dr. Jim Catanzaro said the college's radio station, WAWL, will be converted to web radio.

He said the school was facing a cost of well over $1 million to convert the station to digital and has decided to sell the license and radio tower located at Flintstone, Ga.

Dr. Catanzaro said proceeds from the sale will be used to convert the former WTCI TV building on campus into the home of the radio.

He said the sale also will allow enhanced radio equipment for use by the students so they can do live remotes and other ventures that are not currently feasible.

Dr. Catanzaro said the station will no longer be under FCC regulation and students will be able to take more of a management role at the station.

He said the college earlier engaged a broker to try to find a buyer for the license and tower. He said he believes a deal has been reached to sell it for $1.5 million.

Dr. Catanzaro said under Tennessee Board of Regent rules he does not yet know the identity of the buyer.

He said there will be no cutback in radio staff.

Students in the mass communication program were told about the change on Wednesday morning.

Judy Lowe is over media services, and Will McDonald is the professor who works directly with the radio program.

Dr. Catanzaro said the FM radio market for the station had been "rapidly declining" with young people going to newer media forms, including the Internet.

He said the station has several very popular shows with a wide audience and those will continue online.

He said the station's shows will be archived and a web user can listen to them at one's leisure.

The move will also allow a needed expansion of the school testing center, he said.

He said some proceeds of the sale will be used "to enhance other student services."

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