WNKU Ends Broadcasting Thursday Sept. 28

Sep 21, 2017

The end is near: WNKU announced Thursday that it will cease broadcasting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, on Middletown's WNKN-FM (105.9), the university's last signal.

A new format will be heard Monday, Oct. 2, on FM 105.9, says Jeff Ziesmann, who agreed to buy Northern Kentucky University's last radio asset July 19.

Interim general manager Aaron Sharpe and program director Liz Felix in the WNKU-FM studio in August.
Credit John Kiesewetter

Ziesmann operates classic country WNKR-FM in Dry Ridge and Grant County Broadcasting.

Since August 18, the Northern Kentucky University station has been heard only on the Middletown FM. That's when Bible Broadcasting Corp. bought NKU's original campus signal. WNKU-FM's Portsmouth area station changed hands in early August.

On July 19, the Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents approved the purchase of Middletown's old WPFB-FM to Ziesmann's company for $4 million cash and $1.3 million in advertising time. The Federal Communications Commission approved the sale Sept. 13.

Ziesmann has not announced a format for the Middletown FM. The Middletown and Dry Ridge stations will give him coverage from nearly Georgetown, KY, to Piqua, Ohio, north of Dayton.

DJs scratched out the Portsmouth FM station and Middletown AM station from the legal station identification card as they were sold off by Northern Kentucky University.
Credit John Kiesewetter / 1953

The original WNKU signal on FM 89.7, dating back to April 1985, was sold in February for $1.9 million to Bible Broadcasting Inc., which primarily airs spoken word religious programming. Bible Broadcasting started programming the station this month. NKU sold Middletown's WPFB-AM  (910) to the Catholic Sacred Heart Radio last year.

Fans of WNKU and its Triple-A (Adult Album Alternative ) format will enjoy reading my Aug. 17 story, "WNKU Alum Share Their Favorite Memories Of FM 89.7."   

If you want to share your favorite memories of the station, email me at johnkiese@yahoo.com. I’ll post more remembrances and tributes from WNKU listeners and former staffers before the station ceases to exist on Sept. 28.