Board Changes At Volunteer State University Ops


The FCC has been asked to grant approval for the transfer of control of a pair of Volunteer State public universities’ stations from its present board to an entirely new board of trustees.

It’s a good reminder for other noncomms that may see a 100% voting change in their leadership board.

Because the proposed transfer of East Tennessee State University‘s NPR-affiliated WETS-FM 89.5 in Johnson City, Tenn., and translator W218BW in Lenoir, N.C., involves an entirely different group of people, use of FCC Form 315 is appropriate—and necessary, so as not to run afoul of a violation resulting in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture.

The current board of trustees for the stations is comprised entirely of members of the
Tennessee Board of Regents. In 2016, the state of Tennessee passed legislation
authorizing a state university board for each TBR university.

On Feb. 13, Tennessee adopted Senate Joint Resolution 32, approving the appointment of the initial state university board for East Tennessee State University. Because the proposed change is done by state law, there is no written agreement memorializing the proposed changes. However, a list of the present and proposed trustees for East Tennessee State University was provided to the FCC.

Similarly, Middle Tennessee State University has filed a Form 315 as it is has a new board with all new members. MTSU owns Nashville’s bluegrass music station, WMOT-FM in Murfreesboro, Tenn; college eclectic WMTS-FM in Murfreesboro; and five translators.