VIA Public Media in Pittston, Pa., has acquired the student-run station of Bucknell University and will maintain a studio on the school’s campus, where it will offer internships and train students.
VIA Public Media (formerly WVIA before a recent rebranding) agreed in an April 11 asset purchase agreement filed with the FCC to pay $17,600 for WVBU-FM in Lewisburg, Pa., and to cover legal fees.
Following FCC approval, VIA Public Media will simulcast its format of news, classical, jazz and weekend variety shows on the 255-watt signal. It will also insert local programming that could include news reports from Bucknell students, according to Neil Prisco, VIA Public Media’s creative director of marketing and branding.
The “VIA Studio at Bucknell University” will offer two internships each semester and “give students access to informal and formal professional development and experiential learning opportunities in areas such as newsgathering and broadcasting, digital editing, radio production, regulatory compliance and others,” a VIA Public Media release said.
Meanwhile, WVBU’s current programming will continue online. The station airs Democracy Now! and student-hosted music shows.
“We began exploring this collaboration after our students who are involved with Bucknell’s radio station voiced a strong preference for transitioning from a traditional, over-the-air broadcasting experience toward a contemporary and digitally-focused streaming platform,” said Brent Papson, Bucknell director, campus activities and student media, in the release.
Bucknell approached VIA Public Media about the deal, according to Prisco. The signal overlaps with the area covered by VIA Public Media’s 14 frequencies already operating.
Correction: WVIA’s press release provided the incorrect wattage for WVBU. It is 255 watts, not 255 kilowatts.