University of Houston System (UH) and Rice University officials today announced UH’s pending purchase of the broadcast tower, FM frequency and license used by Rice station KTRU for $9.5 million.
The UH System Board of Regents at its Aug. 17 meeting authorized Chancellor Renu Khator to negotiate and execute a purchase agreement and management agreement to acquire KTRU. The purchase will be financed 100 percent by enhanced underwriting and ongoing private gift fundraising by KUHF. The acquisition is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission.
KUHF, the National Public Radio (NPR) station owned and operated by UH, plans to broadcast 24-hour classical music and fine arts programming on 91.7 FM (KUHC Classical) and to convert 88.7 FM to a 24-hour NPR news and information format (KUHF News). KTRU will continue to provide free radio programming online at www.ktru.org.
“The acquisition of a second public radio station delivers on our promise to keep the University of Houston at the forefront of creating strong cultural, educational and artistic opportunities that benefit students and the city of Houston,” said Renu Khator, chancellor of the UH System and president of the University of Houston.
“We now have the cultural assets to deliver NPR news, public affairs and classical programming to Houston 24 hours a day, placing the University of Houston in the company of an elite group of Tier One universities,” Khator said.
The select group of universities that offer two public radio stations includes Purdue University, Florida State University at Tallahassee, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Ohio State University at Columbus, Arizona State University at Tempe, University of South Florida, University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Iowa.
The University of Houston is the first Texas university to propose this configuration, said KUHF General Manager John Proffitt.
“This added capability will benefit the entire Houston community,” Proffitt said. “Houstonians can now enjoy 24-hour classical music and NPR news on the two public radio stations.”
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON SYSTEM
The University of Houston System is the state’s only metropolitan higher education system, encompassing four universities and two multi-institution teaching centers. The universities are the University of Houston, a nationally recognized doctoral degree-granting, comprehensive research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university beginning limited expansion into graduate programs; and the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the University of Houston-Victoria, both upper division and master’s-level institutions. The centers are the UH System at Sugar Land in Fort Bend and the UH System at Cinco Ranch. In addition, the UH System includes KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio and classical radio station, and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station.