WAMU, the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in Washington D.C., is poised to purchase Spotsylvania County’s classical music station WWED.
According to the asset purchase agreement, WWED 89.5 FM will transfer its tower, building and all FCC licenses to WAMU for $375,000.
The station is owned the by Educational Media Corporation, a non-profit Christian ministry, based in Spotsylvania. The company also owns WWEM 91.7 FM, which simulcasts WWED to the Lynchburg area.
WAMU 88.5 is member-supported, professionally-staffed, and licensed to American University.
Since 1961, WAMU 88.5 has provided programming to an audience of listeners that now totals 787,000 listeners on-air and online, according to its website.
The station’s 24-hour format blends a unique mixture of news, public affairs talk programming and bluegrass.
WAMU released this statement about the purchase but declined to comment further:
“WAMU is interested in the possibility of purchasing WWED 89.5 in Spotsylvania, Va. We have filed an assignment application with the FCC and the American University Board of Trustees is reviewing the purchase. We would hope to have the purchase complete this fall.”
However, an application filed with the FCC in 2011 to renew WAMU’s license remains pending, the station disclosed in the asset purchase agreement.
A petition against the renewal of WAMU’s license filed by Dr. John Nelson, questioning the qualifications of American University to hold the license, holding up the renewal.
In the agreement, WAMU stated that they are confident the FCC will rule in its favor.
WWED has been through several incarnations since its inception in 2005.
During its first year, the station carried a praise and worship music. Then in 2006, the station switched to country and southern gospel.
The next year it became a bluegrass gospel station.
In 2009 WWED dropped the bluegrass and remained silent until a contemporary Christian format launched in its place in 2010.
And in early February 2012, it became a classical music station.
The station has 8,000 watts of power behind it. It is rated as a “class A” FM station, which typically have a range of more than 28 kilometers.
Fredericksburg also receives RADIO IQ, 88.3 FM, which broadcasts NPR. The station, licensed to Virginia Tech, broadcasts around-the-clock news and talk format including content from the BBC, NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, independent sources and its reporters and producers.