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WYPR Acquisition of WTMD Finalized on Public Radio Music Day

WYPR WTMD.png
WYPR & WTMD
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Local ownership and management to support growth and expansion of both stations under “Your Public Radio” umbrella.

Coinciding with Public Radio Music Day, today, public service broadcaster Your Public Radio WYPR 88.1FM announced that its acquisition of WTMD 89.7 FM from Towson University is official. Bringing both stations under the Your Public Radio umbrella, a new corporate website also soft-launched today at www.yourpublic.org.

“It’s fitting that we celebrate Public Radio Music Day by officially welcoming WTMD – its listeners and team – into the Your Public Radio family,” said LaFontaine E. Oliver, President and General Manager. “As we prepare for our 20th anniversary in 2022, we are as committed as ever to the community, providing local news and expanded music, arts and cultural programming. Preserving WTMD’s license, music discovery format and service is central our community commitment.”

In May 2021, WYPR, an NPR member station serving Baltimore, Central Maryland and beyond, announced plans of the acquisition of WTMD, which has been operated by Towson University Public Media, Inc., a non-profit organization, in affiliation with Towson University since 2014. WYPR is an independent community licensee and a top-ranking news/talk station in the market airing local, national and international radio content. WYPR excels in local programming and journalism through outstanding shows like Midday, On the Record and Out of the Blocks as well as its award-winning newsroom. With signals in Baltimore (WYPR 88.1 FM), Frederick (WYPF 88.1 FM) and Ocean City (WYPO 106.9 FM), the station also produces and distributes award winning local podcasts with Podcast Central including favorites like The Daily Dose, The Maryland Curiosity Bureau and Essential Tremors.

“We’re grateful to have found a partner in WYPR to continue the community-first, public radio station in its existing format that listeners have come to appreciate from WTMD,” said Ben Lowenthal, CFO and Vice President for Administration and Finance at Towson University, back in May when the initial acquisition announcement was made. “Maintaining WTMD’s format was of the utmost importance for TU as we sought a new home for this award-winning station.”

WTMD began at then-Towson State University in 1972 as WCVT, adopted its current call letters in 1991 and changed to its current AAA format in 2002. Over the past 10 years, WTMD has developed into one of the leading AAA (Album Adult Alternative) music stations in the country. Nationally recognized as a “taste maker” station within the radio and music industries, WTMD’s unique “Total Music Discovery” format consistently breaks new music and cutting-edge artists long before other stations. WTMD has received numerous awards for Best Radio Station from both Baltimore magazine and the former City Paper. WTMD also produces the First Thursday Music Festivals, the largest free music event in the region.

WYPR was established when Johns Hopkins University sought a new home for WJHU in 2002. A group led by community members formed Your Public Radio with the sole purpose of maintaining local control of the non-commercial license.

Bringing both stations under the Your Public Radio umbrella, www.yourpublic.org, soft-launched today displaying the two iconic Baltimore public radio brands side-by-side for the first time. Yourpublic.org also hints at upcoming plans for the organization as it embraces its future of expanded audience and community service beyond radio.

“Yes, we are Your Public Radio, but our footprint has and will continue to grow on-air, online, on mobile and in the community. Striving to be more reflective and essential in more aspects of the lives of Baltimoreans, we are truly Your Public,” remarked Oliver.

Both wypr.org and wtmd.org will continue to operate while also being accessible from the corporate site that will grow to feature information about the organization’s combined efforts and impact. Financial support from the community will also be sought, inviting both major donors and grassroots supporters to participate and become members of this expanded public service opportunity while still being able to support the specific stations they love.

In honor of Public Radio Music Day and Your Public Radio’s acquisition of WTMD 89.7 FM from Towson University, the station will host a special on-air performance on Wednesday, November 10 at noon with musician Marc Broussard. It will be broadcast live on 89.7 FM and will include a special interview with WTMD Morning Show host Alex Cortright. The stations' social media feeds will also feature content throughout the day.

Public Radio Music Day is a nationwide celebration uniting public radio music stations, fans, artists and other members of the music industry to recognize and spread the word about the special role noncommercial stations play in the music world both locally and nationally. To learn more about Public Radio Music Day, presented by the noncomMusic Alliance, visit publicradiomusicday.org.

Your Public Radio was aided by Public Media Company, while Towson University was represented by Patrick Communications.

About WYPR

Your Public Radio (WYPR) is an NPR station serving Baltimore, Central Maryland and beyond. WYPR was founded in 2002 by local community members. It is an independent licensee with a diverse Board of Directors consisting of Maryland residents. In addition to airing national and international radio features, WYPR excels in local programming including its news, public affairs and cultural programs. WYPR is located at 88.1 FM on the radio dial and at 2216 N. Charles Street in Baltimore. As a listener-supported radio station, all contributions to the station are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. For more information, visit www.wypr.org or call 410-235-1660.

About WTMD

WTMD 89.7 FM is the most trusted source for music and cultural programming in the region and Baltimore’s home for Total Music Discovery. We believe a rich, vibrant, thriving and diverse music and arts scene can elevate a city and enrich the lives of its residents. With listener support, WTMD strengthens communities and provides unmatched opportunities for Baltimore musicians and artists. WTMD connects artists with audiences through significant and meaningful airplay, live concerts, art openings, film screenings and more. For more information, visit www.wtmd.org or call 410-704-8938.