Bob Jones University’s Gospel Fellowship Association has announced the sale of Christian 94.5 WMUU Greenville SC to Salem Communications.
The station, which airs a mix of Preaching and Christian and Secular Beautiful Music will flip to Conservative Talk according to the letter published below. Said format will use Salem Radio Network programming and other syndicated hosts. The move will put the station in direct competition with Entercom’s “Newsradio WORD” triumlcast (950 WORD, 1330 WYRD, and 106.3 WYRD-FM). The 94.5 signal will give Salem a potential advantage as its 100kW at 454 meters gives it one of the best signals in the market. Most of Salem’s Conservative Talk programs currently air on Radio Training Network’s “Christian Talk 660” WLFJ/92.9 W225AZ.
Salem will continue to provide the current format online.
The following letter was sent by University Chancellor Robert Jones III in regards to the sale:
For several weeks, the GFA executive committee–which is comprised of some local GFA board members–has been wrestling with the decision to sell WMUU (which is wholly owned by GFA). After prayer and discussion, we have entered into an agreement for the sale.
GFA is a worldwide-Gospel-furthering organization. The radio station was a very expensive local manifestation of our mission. We believe the proceeds from this sale will enable GFA to better accomplish its objectives for spreading the Gospel.
The distressing part to us in all this is the effect on our local/nationwide loyal listening audience, who will feel like this is the death of a loved one. There will be an on-air announcement of the sale on Friday when the audience will hear from the new owner (Salem Radio Network) about the new format. It will not be religious–it will be news/talk. For those who want the current WMUU programming, the new owner will be providing it via live streaming through the Internet. Of course, that will be available to anyone anywhere in the world who has a computer.
Considering that terrestrial-based radio is coming to the point where it is being diminished as the way people receive their news, information, music, etc., when someone recently walked in off the street and requested to buy the station, we felt that we had to walk down that road until it happened or until the door closed. Some on the board had discussed the possibility of selling it while it still had value, but I had no leading from the Lord about it. I did start praying three years ago that if the Lord wanted it to sell that someone would walk in who wanted to buy it. The station was established in 1947 and was previously owned by Bob Jones University. In all of these years, to my knowledge, no one has ever surfaced with money in hand to buy the station. A couple of months ago, however, that happened. Since I had been telling the Lord that I would listen if that happened, I had no choice but to bring that offer before the executive committee so that they could make their decision. In the process of pursuing this, he (the one making the offer) discussed the matter with a friend of his (the owner of Salem), and Salem then stepped in and said that they would like to make an offer, which was considered by the executive committee and deemed to be the better offer.
The executive board has asked Salem Radio Network to draw up contracts, which are now in the hands of the attorneys. Because of the new format–news/talk–and because the presidential election lends itself to a lot of material for a format like that, they would like to take ownership very soon. That, of course, will depend upon the lawyers.
The vote of the executive committee is unanimous; and as chairman of the board and representative of committee, I would be happy to hear any questions or thoughts from those of you who are receiving this. At the next annual meeting, all of this will have been completed and full details regarding the terms of the sale will be given to you.
Thanks for listening.
Bob Jones III
Gospel Fellowship Association