Catawba Foundation buying second Salisbury radio station, WSTP

  • Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014 1:12 p.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, August 22, 2014 3:49 p.m.

Salisbury radio station WSTP-AM 1490 is being sold to the newly established Catawba College Foundation through 2B Productions LLC. WSTP will continue its broadcasts, offering an expanded platform for Catawba College students majoring in business or communication arts and hoping to pursue related careers, a news release from Catawba College said.

After the Post reported the news on its website today, WSTP co-owner Mike Mangan called to take issue with it.

“It has not gone through yet,” he said. “The sale is in negotiation and has not been finalized.”

Buddy Poole, president and general manager of WSAT, will oversee the transition, according to the college’s news release.

Poole said that very soon a survey of Rowan County residents will be conducted via phone and in-person to determine what format WSTP can offer that will appeal to most listeners in Rowan County and help the station be successful.

“We do plan to add more local news with Catawba students covering everything from city and county government to fire, accidents, schools, and whatever is happening in Rowan County,” Poole added.

Bill Graham of Salisbury, a Catawba College trustee and 1983 alumnus, again has been the driving force behind the Catawba Foundation’s acquisition of WSTP. Profits from the operation of WSAT and WSTP will be donated to Catawba College through the Catawba Foundation.

With the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, Catawba launched a sports communication concentration that it plans to grow into an academic major. This new concentration will be an option to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in communication arts, an academic program at the college chaired by Dr. Tim Moreland. Students pursuing this concentration will be learning to do play by play, interviews and features on student athletes. They will also be able to tap into resources offered by collaborations with the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association (NSSA), now located on Catawba’s campus, WSAT, and now WSTP.

“Obviously, this additional station will add more opportunities for internships for business and communication arts students at Catawba, and because WSTP will offer a different format, it will be a broadening experience for them,” Moreland said. “This also moves us toward our institutional goal of more practical experience for our students before they graduate from college and begin their careers.

“Believe me, Buddy Poole knows how to really run a radio station and we are very fortunate to have him willing and available to assist our students.”

Poole started at WSAT 50 years ago and often shares how helpful to him his own hands-on experience at the station he now manages was.

The Catawba Foundation acquired WSAT in early May. At the time, Catawba College President Brien Lewis praised the innovative arrangement and Graham for shepherding the concept to fruition. Regarding the new station acquisition, Lewis said, “This is another example of how thinking outside of the box can result in arrangements that are beneficial to many — to our students, to the local listeners, and to the success of local radio in a competitive marketplace.

“My hat is off to Bill Graham, a Catawba alumnus and trustee, and to Buddy Poole for dreaming the dream that became a reality.”

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