Facing significant cuts in funding from the state of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mears told the staff of AAA 89.7 WNKU Highland Heights KY/Cincinnati on Tuesday that the school will “explore the possibility of a sale of WNKU-FM and its assets.”
Northern Kentucky University also owns 105.9 WNKN Middletown OH, which serves Dayton and the northern portions of the Cincinnati market and 104.1 WNKE New Boston OH serving the Portsmouth OH and Huntington WV areas. The university purchased those two stations in January 2011 to expand WNKU’s coverage.
The move to potentially divest WNKU/WNKE/WNKN comes after Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued a 4.5% cut in higher education funding across the state last week. NKU spokeswoman Amanda Nageleisen told the Northern Kentucky Tribune that “this step is exploratory, and no decision has been made regarding the future of WNKU. But in these difficult economic times and in the face of significant budget cuts from the state, we have a responsibility to align our efforts around our core mission: the education of our students.”