Evansville, Ind. (WEHT) – A UE icon on the radio dial is going away after an almost two-year review, the University of Evansville has announced the sale of WUEV 91.5 FM to Colorado Springs Christian based radio station. The rumored sale sparked controversy and as expected the sale’s reality is renewing debate.
WUEV first hit the air waves as WEVC in 1950 when UE was known as Evansville College, today’s announcement not only upset long time listener’s, but station staff and alumni are asking why…
Driving by campus and listening to WUEV might not be the same in the near future, the station’s new owner has not said what it plans to do with the station, WAY-FM primarily operates a Christian Broadcasting Network. The decision to sell has some students and alumni upset.
“Radio isn’t dead and if there was one radio station that was never dead WUEV was always the station to be the first almost the first Indiana to be on the air” says former DJ and alumni Tom Fisher.
The school simply sold the license for the frequency. It will keep the production facilities for its communication and journalism classes. While supporters of the campus radio station are ok with that- they don’t believe the price, tag was worth the education of many future students
“They’re making a huge mistake here, especially since they couldn’t even tell us which department runs the radio station was ran by back in November” student DJ Zach Barnett says.
Students, alumni, and faculty have rallied several times to save the station since rumors of a sale became public last year.
The University of Evansville released a statement defending the sale of what some call a community staple, saying in part:
“This decision did not come lightly…Ultimately, this was a strategic decision with the long-term interest of our students as our most important consideration. We evaluate expansion and constriction of programs annually to meet the marketplace of tomorrow” said Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, Shane Davidson.
As for students and alumni, their hope is to keep the music playing.
Fisher adds “why is this happening, looking at the camera – the president is watching- the trustees- I’ve reached out to many of them, why won’t you let us and the students sit down with you all and let us figure this out on how we can continue WUEV rather than closing the door in our face.”
The university estimates this decision will save $1 million over the next 10 years.
The FCC must also approve the sale. That process is expected to take three months. Until then the university will continue to operate the station.