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WFYI To Expand Network To Terre Haute

89.7 WISU Terre Haute Indiana State University 90.7 WZIS WFYI IndianapolisAfter acquiring 90.7 WMHD-FM Terre Haute, IN from Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in June, Indiana State University has announced its plans for its second station.

ISU will relocate its student produced programming from 89.7 WISU to 90.7, which will change its call letters to WZIS. The move will clear the 89.7 signal to flip to Public News/Talk on September 15 as a simulcast of 90.1 WFYI Indianapolis.

Indiana State University announced a new partnership today with WFYI Public Media. The agreement will bring a full schedule of National Public Radio public affairs and news programming to west-central Indiana and significantly expand opportunities for student broadcasters.

The partnership was made possible through the acquisition of radio station WMHD, 90.7 FM, from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The transfer of license from Rose-Hulman to the Indiana State University Board of Trustees was approved last month by the FCC.

Indianapolis-based WFYI will rebroadcast its programming on WISU, 89.7 FM. The current student-operated, music intensive programming of WISU will move to 90.7, and that station’s call letters will change to WZIS.

“This arrangement will satisfy a need for a full-time NPR news and information station in the Wabash Valley while continuing Indiana State’s 50-year tradition of providing experiential learning for student broadcasters,” Indiana State President Dan Bradley said in announcing the moves. “I would like to thank the leadership of Rose-Hulman for their assistance in making this possible.”

Bradley noted that the additional radio station and the partnership with WFYI will greatly expand opportunities for Indiana State students. ISU students will have on-air and behind the scenes work at WZIS, opportunities to be involved in locally produced public affairs programing on the new WISU, and internship opportunities with WFYI in Indianapolis. Upgrades are also planned to improve the signal and reach of WZIS, Bradley said.

“WFYI Public Media is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Indiana State University, not only to bring our top-quality public radio programming to the Wabash Valley, but also to build a closer connection with the communities of west-central Indiana,” said Lloyd Wright, president and CEO, WFYI. “We hope that by sharing the stories and amplifying the voices of our Hoosier community, we will inspire the very best in people. WFYI looks forward to serving the Terre Haute community and the people of west-central Indiana.”

Rose-Hulman students will also be given the opportunity to work with the new WZIS station, indicated Bradley. Rose-Hulman moved to an online radio station last fall which cleared the way for its FM station’s license to be transferred to Indiana State.

Jim Goecker, vice president of enrollment management and strategic communications at Rose-Hulman, said, “WMHD has had a long broadcasting tradition in the Wabash Valley and we are pleased to see the station reborn at Indiana State University. The fact that it began as a student-operated station on the Rose-Hulman campus and will continue to operate with the same student focus at Indiana State is great.”

In a joint statement issued today, WFYI Public Media will partner with Indiana State University to bring a full schedule of National Public Radio and local programming to west-central Indiana, while expanding educational opportunities for student broadcasters.

Beginning September 15, some 178,000 listeners in the Terre Haute market will have access to 90.1 WFYI Public Radio’s broadcast, including local programming such as “Indiana Week in Review,” “No Limits,” “Indiana Lawmakers,” “Sound Medicine,” and more. The addition of west-central Indiana represents a 10-percent increase in WFYI’s listenership potential. WFYI’s radio signal will now extend east to west from New Castle, Ind., to Mattoon, Ill.; and north to south from Kokomo to Columbus, Ind.

“WFYI Public Media is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Indiana State University, not only to bring our top-quality public radio programming to an increased number of Hoosiers, but also to build a closer connection with the communities of west-central Indiana,” said Lloyd Wright, president and CEO, WFYI.

“We’re excited that the university approached us because of their interest in WFYI’s news and information brand.”

Education is a primary focus of WFYI Public Media, not only in its programming, but in its collaborations. The station already has similar simulcast arrangements with Franklin and Wabash Colleges, broadcasting from their campuses daily.

“The additional partnership with a well-respected state institution like Indiana State allows us to explore further ways to build our collaboration with students through internships with student broadcasters, as well as the possibility of joint news coverage,” Wright said. “WFYI is committed to lifelong learning, and this move is another step along that path.”

Leaders at Indiana State University say they approached WFYI about this collaboration in particular, because of WFYI’s brand of news and information programming. “This arrangement will satisfy a need for a fulltime NPR news and information station in the Wabash Valley while continuing Indiana State’s 50-year tradition of providing experiential learning for student broadcasters,” said Dan Bradley, president, ISU.

As the only local radio station in the Indianapolis market to still employ non-opinion-oriented news hosts (according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, June 23-29, 2014 edition), WFYI can offer students opportunities to practice traditional journalism, a hallmark of NPR local member radio stations.

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.

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