Ohio State’s Doobie Deal An FM Steal

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DAYTON, OHIO — Chalk up another university-owned noncommercial FM that’s given up its over-the-air broadcast facility.


Some 40 minutes to the east of Columbus, Ohio, Denison University‘s 100-watt facility has been silenced, with programming moving online.

Now, the school is parting ways with the station by selling it to the collegiate giant of the Buckeye State.

Serving Granville, Ohio is WDUB-FM 91.1. It’s a student-run radio station known as “The Doobie” that until the start of the 2019-2020 academic year had been led by Station Manager Rachel Weaver, who has graduated.

On October 3, an STA request was filed with the FCC by Denison requesting that WDUB remain silent after signing off the air Sept. 1.

Why? “Financial reasons” were cited for WDUB’s shutdown by the university.

STA was needed “until such time as it can resolve the situation.”

That time came in November, when a transaction agreement was struck that hands the license of WDUB to The Ohio State University for $5,000 cash and $47,040 in in-kind value.

As part of the deal’s terms, Denison will benefit by way of four years of no-cost underwriting announcements across the WOSU Public Media network, comprised of WOSA in Grove City, WOSV in Mansfield, WOSU-FM & WOSU-TV in Columbus, WOSP in Portsmouth, WOSE and W202CE in Coshocton, WOSB in Marion, and W18ES-D in Mansfield.

Assisting Denison in the sign-off of the deal, as legal counsel, is John Burgett of Wiley Rein LLP.

OSU has until March 31, 2020 to bring WDUB back to life. What programming will it take? It’s a safe bet WOSA’s “Classical 101” programming could wind up on WDUB, as WOSA’s signal contour does not reach Granville or nearby Newark. NPR News/Talk giant WOSU-FM can easily be heard across Granville and on campus at Denison.

As of today, “The Doobie” lives on via an online stream with continuous Rock hits primarily from the 1970s.

It’s a striking turn from 2014, when it made headlines for having its on-air audio stream added to TuneIn. And, the station sale negates an effort in February 2019 to give WDUB’s offices and studios a visual makeover, with special edition T-Shirts sold to help fund the effort.

Now, they are collector’s items tied to another relic of radio, one that includes an April 1972 report in to Billboard on airplay of the Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina album Sittin’ In, a student air talent named Steve Carrell, and from June-September 2009 was the featured audio in American Eagle Outfitters stores.

 

— RBR+TVBR, with reporting from Adam Jacobson in Miami