Two panels have voted unanimously to transfer ownership of Delmarva Public Radio Federal Communication Commission licenses from Salisbury University Foundation to Salisbury University.
Salisbury University’s radio advisory committee voted to recommend the foundation approve transferring licenses it holds for WSCL-FM and WSDL-FM to the university, and the foundation’s board voted to do so. Both panels met March 6 at separate public meetings on the university’s campus.
The next step will be obtaining the FCC’s approval of license transfers, said Jason Curtin, Salisbury University Foundation acting executive director. Curtin said foundation attorneys would file a formal request for transfer with the commission. The process is expected to take up to 90 days to complete, he said.
Changing license ownership is one of several conditions Salisbury University president Janet Dudley-Eshbach included in a November proposal aimed at making long-term operation of the stations possible. The proposal specifically requires Friends of Delmarva Public Radio to raise $250,000 annually to help keep the stations on-air.
Curtin said financial stability of the stations is a major concern and the university is stepping up to do its part. The university proposes paying an estimated $400,000 to $555,000 to relocate buy new broadcast equipment and to relocate the stations. Delmarva Public Radio’s studios are in Caruthers Hall, which is scheduled for demolition this summer.
The university proposes paying up to an estimated $125,000 to erect a temporary tower for WSCL at a new location, while looking for a permanent tower site.
The university, at an estimated cost of $75,000 to $125,000 each, would replace WSCL’s transmitter, in Seaford, and WSDL’s transmitter, in Roxana.
Delmarva Public Radio begins its next on-air fund drive Thursday, April 11, running through Friday, April 19.
“It is vital that fundraising begin in earnest. The results of the drive will start to show if there really is widespread community support for the stations,” Curtin said.