Baltimore’s NPR station steps in to save Towson’s longtime Triple A station…
By Paul Marszalek
Triple A NON-COMM WTMD/Baltimore has been acquired by crosstown NPR member station WYPR/Baltimore. The deal saves the local Triple A format.
Towson was shopping the station and, according to a press release, it had generated “a great deal of interest.”
Representing Towson in the sale was Patrick Communications – a media brokerage with a long history of dealing non-commercial radio stations – very often to religious broadcasters. Patrick Communications is also local to the Baltimore area.
Last year we reported that cash-strapped licensees of all stripes, but college and universities in particular, were being approached by religious broadcasters looking to add non-commercial licenses to their portfolios. The timing remains attractive as schools are attempting to come back from devastating COVID financial losses, and religious buyers find virtually no competitors bidding against them for non-commercial stations.
In this case, WYPR, with representation by Public Media Company, stepped in.
“We’re grateful to have found a partner in WYPR to continue the community-first, public radio station in its existing format that listeners have come to appreciate from WTMD,” said Ben Lowenthal, CFO and Vice President for Administration and Finance at Towson University. “Maintaining WTMD’s format was of the utmost importance for TU as we sought a new home for this award-winning station.”
WYPR was the former WJHU, licensed to Johns Hopkins University. In 2002, community members formed Your Public Radio to take over the signal.
“WYPR is proud to preserve another university radio station, to serve the Baltimore community, on the heels of our 20th anniversary year,” said President and General Manager LaFontaine E. Oliver. “We plan to build on the investments made by Towson University and the success of WTMD, which provides a rich and unmatched music discovery platform with opportunities for Baltimore’s musicians and artists at its core. What [General Manager] Scott [Mullins] and his team have been able to accomplish over the years has been tremendous.”
Synergies between the two stations with regard to distribution, technology, talent, fund-raising, and events should prove significant.
Terms of the deal were not released.