WNAZ, Trevecca Nazarene University’s FM station, has been influential in many lives, both spiritually and educationally. A staple in the Nashville Christian music industry for more than four decades, it has given the radio industry outstanding leaders. WNAZ’s program and music have been lights in the darkness for many friends along the way. It is no surprise that the news of the potential sale of the station has brought a sense of sadness to many.
1. Is Trevecca selling WNAZ?
Trevecca is negotiating with a prospective buyer for the station and anticipates those negotiations to be final in a few weeks. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, with full knowledge of all terms, unanimously endorsed the decision to sell the station. The full Board of Trustees has been informed of the proceedings, and several board members have lent their expertise to the decision.
2. Why is Trevecca selling WNAZ?
First and foremost, the mission of WNAZ and the University’s other stations is to support the education of Trevecca students studying the broadcast field. That field is rapidly changing to digital broadcasts and Web-based focus. The current station equipment is fully depreciated and in need of significant improvement and repairs. To invest in equipment, personnel, and presence would require a $500,000 to $1,000,000 investment during the next three years. In tuition terms every undergraduate student at Trevecca would pay $500 to $1,000 more to support a radio station whose net worth is declining and whose annual cost of operations is increasing. In a field and city which can offer excellent internships at stations using the latest techniques and equipment, Trevecca’s broadcast majors can be well prepared for their chosen field without burdening other students with the cost.
WNAZ’s other goal is to provide a Christian radio outreach to youths and others in the Nashville area. Although WNAZ was once the leading voice of Christian contemporary music in Nashville, it is now a distant third to two other stations whose nationally syndicated presence and level of watt power enables them to operate with greater cost effectiveness than does WNAZ. Nashville will not be without contemporary Christian music.
3. Would it be possible to bring the station to profitability?
In the year just ending, the University netted a loss of $112,000 for the operation of its radio stations.
While it has been suggested that adding employees to the sales staff for advertising would bring more revenue to the station, the reality is that a station with extremely low Arbitron ratings will always find it difficult to the sell advertising. Moreover, the current economy has tightened the advertising budgets of many potential supporters, and advertising dollars once invested in radio are now spread across the Internet.
4. Who is interested in purchasing WNAZ?
The University believes it bears a responsibility to steward the future ownership of the frequency 89.1 for the cause of Christ and has taken care to do so. The University is dealing in good faith with a potential buyer and is keeping its word to maintain confidentiality regarding the identity of the buyer and the terms of the sale. These details will be made public when negotiations have reached the appropriate point.
5. Does the sale of WNAZ mean the University is in financial trouble?
6. What are the benefits to selling WNAZ?
The sale will enable the University to strengthen its broadcasting major by engaging in significant internships with major radio stations that have a national presence, while still maintaining the capacity for students to learn from on-air experience. The University retains the right to use the WNAZ call letters for its T-FM station and has the capacity to create online audio programs through this station for a fraction of the current cost. Online listenership is a growing trend in broadcasting and is rapidly increasing.
7. How will this affect the broadcast of church services and Trevecca athletic events?
The listening audience of WNAZ consists of three diverse groups—a contemporary Christian music fan base, athletic fans of the Trevecca Trojans, and listeners of the church broadcasts of area-Nazarene congregations. During the past year these congregations have begun to live-stream their worship services, enabling people to see the services via the Internet. The Trevecca Trojans are now streamed live via www.trevecca.edu. Broadcasting majors are already gaining broadband experience in these ventures.
8. What is the next step?
A task force is being appointed for the creation of the next wave of Trevecca presence for Nashville and the world, using rapidly advancing technology and taking full advantage of its presence in Music City, USA. Announcements will be forthcoming in the near future regarding the next wave of WNAZ.