Southern Vermont College Invites Proposals for Operation of WBTN 1370-AM

February 26, 2008

(BENNINGTON, Vt.) -- In order to facilitate the transfer of management of the College’s commercial radio station, WBTN 1370-AM, Southern Vermont College is inviting interested parties to submit concrete proposals by March 21.

SVC President Karen Gross noted that the College has already received serious inquiries from individuals and groups about maintaining the commercial station as a viable resource for both the community and the College.

“We are very hopeful of finding an excellent solution, as we have already received a number of proposals and know of others in development,” she said.

“Going dark is not what we want for WBTN,” she added. “SVC believes WBTN should continue, and we are heartened by the many groups and individuals who have come forward to us with ideas and serious interest in acquiring, leasing or partnering with us to keep this community voice vibrant. The public response is really quite gratifying.”

The College announced two weeks ago that, based on a clear decision of the Board of Trustees, it would be seeking new ownership and/or management of the radio station, which in its current configuration loses about $100,000 per year.

“We look forward to reviewing proposals with concrete suggestions for keeping WBTN on the air because SVC can no longer sustain the fiscal losses the station incurs,” she said.

She pointed out that “WBTN is a community asset, and we are encouraged by groups who appreciate the station and its value and can offer ways to keep it not just surviving but thriving,” she said.

She said that proposals could take the form of an outright sale, a lease, co-ownership, or a minority share for the College, among various options.

But she said that proposals should include a statement about the proposed structure and financing, a timetable for completing the transition and an outline of how the new operation would sustain community linkages and community service.

Founded in 1926, Southern Vermont College offers a career-enhancing liberal arts education with 19 academic degree programs for approximately 450 students. Southern Vermont College recognizes the importance of educating students for the workplace of the twenty-first century and for lives as successful leaders in their communities. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.