School trying to sell WDUQ radio

Duquesne started region's 1st public station in 1949

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Duquesne University is exploring options for the sale of WDUQ, the region's first public radio station.

The university, which has owned the 90.5 frequency since 1949, began pursuing a sale several months ago, said spokeswoman Bridget Fare.

"Over the years, DUQ has evolved into a station that is virtually independent of the university," she said. "This could be an opportunity for Duquesne to reallocate assets for the enhancement of our educational enterprise and for the station to thrive on its own. We believe that DUQ will be even stronger under ownership that focuses on radio."

Ms. Fare could not say whether the station would remain a public radio station in the event of a sale, though she noted that the frequency is reserved by the Federal Communications Commission for "non-commercial" use.

Duquesne has hired a consultant to manage the sale, she said.

WDUQ management could not be reached yesterday.

The station currently carries national programming from National Public Radio, American Public Media and Public Radio International, such as "All Things Considered," "Fresh Air" and "This American Life."

The station also hosts numerous local jazz and news programs.

The university has not reached an agreement with any one buyer, said Ms. Fare. If it does, the sale would need to be approved by the university's board of directors and by the FCC.

WDUQ first went on the air on Dec. 15, 1949, broadcasting at 2700 watts as a student laboratory.

After the creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1967, WDUQ became one of the founding public radio stations, said Ms. Fare.

The university does not exercise any editorial control over programming, she said.

According to WDUQ's Web site, the station is funded more than 50 percent by listener contributions, with additional funding coming from program underwriters, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Duquesne University and both local and national foundations.


Anya Sostek can be reached at asostek@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1308.


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