“Is your public radio license secretly for sale? How can you tell your licensee has fallen out of love with you? Colleges and Universities are selling public radio licenses in increasing numbers.  Why is this happening?  How can you assess if your station is in potential danger? What can you do about it?

In preparation for the upcoming Super Regional session on Sales/Mergers/Acquisitions where Kerry Swanson, COO Position Development, KUOW, Seattle and I will facilitate a discussion of the subtle and not-so-subtle hints your licensee could be giving.

While there won’t be any math, as facilitators Kerry and I urge you to review these key areas and come to the session prepared to discuss your findings and your thoughts regarding:

  • How much cash does the University/licensee provide the station? What % of the annual budget does the university provide?
  • Has this amount increased or decreased over the past five years? By what percentage?
  • How much does the station pay the University/licensee in fees/% of income, etc? Has this payment one up or down in the past 5 years? By what percentage?
  • What is the value of staff retirement/health insurance? How much does the university provide for each employee, or does your budget cover that cost?
  • How much in-kind value does the university provide the station – outline what you get – be detailed. Consider facility, power bill, computers/internet/technology, equipment as well as services. What is the annual value of in-kind contributions? How many hours of each and at what hourly value?
    • HR services
    • Accounting/financial services
    • Facilities
    • Computer hardware, software, technical support
    • Maintenance
    • Legal services
    • Other
  • How many levels from the Presidents office is your direct supervisor?
  • How often do you have direct interaction with senior administrators (President/chancellor and/or his/her direct reports)?
  • Is the relationship between the university and the station equitable in your mind? Do you get good value?

Make a list of pros and cons in being a university licensee – what is good and what is not so good about it?

Send your response by email and U:SA will compile the information which can reveal whether you’re on solid, even or unsound ground with your licensee and help develop a plan of action to deal with various scenarios and chart your stations future.