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WRVU Nashville Sold; To Go Classical

Classical 91.1 WRVU Nashville Vanderbilt University WFCL SaveWRVU

Vanderbilt Student Communications, a subsidiary of Vanderbilt University has sold 91.1 WRVU Nashville, TN to Nashville Public Radio for $3.35 Million.

Nashville Public Radio, operators of 1430/90.3 WPLN will waste no time in taking over their new property as the station will flip to “Classical 91” WFCL tonight at midnight allowing WPLN-FM to shift to 24/7 NPR News/Talk. The call sign change to WFCL took place on June 1.

Listen to the abrupt end of WRVU and the launch of WFCL at FormatChange.com.

The former WRVU College Alternative format will remain online at WRVU.org and will move to WPLN-HD3 this fall. Since Vanderbilt Student Communications had made its intentions known of plans to look into selling the 91.1 frequency, an online campaign to save the station had generated some media attention. It will be interesting if they see online and HD as a worthy continuation just like Rice University’s KTRU Houston.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

3 Comments


  1. At least RVU will live on, albeit stuck on an HD3 side-channel. I had expected it to be a purchase by Moody, which happens to own WFCM which covers the southern part of the Nashville market but not city-grade coverage into Nashville. When WRVU became WFCL, I had thought that Moody would simulcast WFCM on WFCL, but obviously that was just a call letter coincidence since the CL in there seems to stand for Classical. WFCL = We’ve Flipped to CLassical.

    $3.35 Million is nice, but Vanderbilt has lost something in the 91.1 FM license that it will likely never be able to reclaim. End of an era for Nashville radio.

    I feel for the WRVU alumni; when Evansville almost sold WUEV a few years back, I was livid, and luckily other WUEV alumni were on board with me and managed to convince the powers that be to not sell the station.

    First Rice lost KTRU to an HD2 subchannel, now Vandy has lost WRVU to an HD3 subchannel, which is worse since the audio clarity on HD3 subchannels tends to be worse than HD2. I suppose it could have been worse, though, without an HD subchannel option.

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      We’re only going to see more such deals like WRVU, KTRU, and KUSF going forward. The finances of consolidation have finally made it to non-commercial radio as groups like Public Radio Capital work with the larger networks to grow regionally.

      As schools and smaller institutions face financial hurdles, selling out is going to be an option crossed by many more stations.


      • I’m afraid that you’re right about that, Lance. As if the radio biz hasn’t cannibalized itself of talent training grounds enough post-1996, the idea that colleges are selling off their stations saddens me, even if they live on via the internet and HD2 or HD3 subchannels. But, as always, money talks, particularly in this economy, even for major universities.

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