Thousands sign petition against sale of NKU radio station

Thousands sign petition against sale of NKU radio station

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS (FOX19) - More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to keep radio station WNKU off the chopping block amid budget cuts at Northern Kentucky University. started the appeal after NKU announced it is exploring the possibility of selling the public station.

In an April 5 email to staff members, NKU President Geoffrey Mearns said a broker will advise the school about a possible sale of WNKU and its assets. The decision is not one he takes lightly, the email stated.

"In these challenging economic times, and as we face the very real prospect of significant funding cuts from the state, it is our responsibility to align our efforts with our core mission: the education of our students," wrote Mearns.

The 30-year-old radio station has required a $3.3 million subsidy from the University over the past five years, according to University spokeswoman Amanda Nageleisen. It is also supported through listener fundraising.

A final decision has not been made, but hundreds of people have voiced opposition to the sale in the comment section of the petition.

"WNKU is a champion for our region—for our music, our arts and culture, our neighborhoods, and our community organizations. WNKU celebrates diversity, brings people together, and encourages community engagement as we do," reads the petition's open letter to the board of regents.

NKU recently announced budget cuts would eliminate 68 staff and 37 faculty positions. A decline in state funding and increase in state-mandated pension contributions are to blame for the cuts, NKU says.

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