Regents vote to sell KUMD radio

The Board of Regents is backing a plan to sell KUMD-FM to the owner of WDSE-TV. The Board of Regents is backing a plan to sell KUMD-FM to the owner of WDSE-TV. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Jon Ellis, WDIO-TV
Updated: March 14, 2020 10:52 AM

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has voted in support of a plan to sell public radio station KUMD 103.3 FM.


Meeting on the UMD campus Friday, the Regents approved a letter of intent from the Duluth Superior Area Educational Television Corporation to buy the radio station for $175,000. The buyer operates PBS station WDSE-TV.

A university spokesperson said a second Regents vote may be required depending on the wording of the asset purchase agreement and legal advice. Once the asset purchase agreement is approved, a routine application to transfer the station's license will be filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

Before the vote, some Regents briefly discussed the possibility of the university retaining the intellectual rights to the KUMD callsign and whether the agreement should guarantee a role for students under the new ownership. The letter of intent says UMD will retain KUMD's vinyl record collection and some other recordings.

WDSE plans to hire all of KUMD's current five employees and move the radio station into its TV facility, which is located in a building owned by DSAETC on the UMD campus. WDSE has said that it intends to invest $1.6 to $3 million into the radio station.

News of the possible sale first became public last month.  At that time, Chancellor Lendley Black said it has been increasingly difficult for the university to provide financial support for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the station, which is no longer part of the university's curriculum.


Jon Ellis, WDIO-TV

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