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WSTP to sign off tonight

SALISBURY — Local radio station WSTP-AM 1490 will sign off the air tonight, Aug. 30, at midnight.

The station was sold to the Catawba College Foundation through 2B Productions LLC in August of 2014.

According to station general manager Buddy Poole, 2B Productions has tried to improve the signal but after “much expense and engineering consultation has learned it can’t increase the station’s coverage area.” Poole said the station was designed to cover Salisbury with a 2 millivolt signal and does not have good coverage outside of the Salisbury city limits.

“We are just tired of pouring money into a dark hole,” Poole said. He noted that only six AM stations have been sold since 2006 in the Charlotte area. WSAT, WSTP and WTIX in Concord were three of those six AM stations, and all are owned by 2B Productions.

WSAT, WSTP and WTIX were all originally purchased with the intent of offering an expanded platform for Catawba College students majoring in business or communication arts and hoping to pursue media-related careers.

Along with Poole, Bill Graham of Salisbury, a Catawba College trustee and 1983 alumnus, has been the driving force behind the Catawba Foundation’s acquisition of the stations. The intent was for profits from the operation of the stations WSAT and WSTP to be donated to Catawba College through the Catawba Foundation.

The Catawba Foundation acquired WSAT in early May of 2014, WSTP in August of 2014 and WTIX in December of 2015.

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