Purdue University plans to transfer control of West Lafayette’s local NPR station, WBAA, pending approval from the school’s board of trustees and the Federal Communications Commission. WBAA’s AM frequency is the longest continuously-operating radio station in the state.
The university announced plans Thursday to transfer management of the nearly century-old radio station to Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media – the same group that manages Indianapolis’ NPR and PBS station, WFYI.
The terms of the deal between the university and the group have not been released. Officials from Purdue and Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media declined to comment beyond the media release. WBAA lists eight staff members, including journalists, managers and fundraisers.
According to the university, WBAA will keep its call letters and maintain a physical presence in West Lafayette. The merger will provide for some station donors to receive new perks, expanded internship opportunities for students, and more shared programming with WFYI.
The Purdue Board of Trustees will discuss the change at its July 7 public meeting next week. If all goes well, officials expect FCC approval early this fall with new management likely taking over around Oct. 1.
WBAA first received its broadcasting license in 1922, and is a member of Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations. WBAA is broadcast on 920 AM and 101.3 FM.