Study Places WUOT Among Top Public Radio Stations

KNOXVILLE — A recent study commissioned by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ranks WUOT 91.9 FM, the University of Tennessee’s public radio station, in the top 10 percent of stations in providing outstanding audience service and maintaining excellent financial health.

“This excellent ranking is a testament to WUOT’s commitment to ensure that resources are spent wisely while providing the best possible service to listeners in the region,” UT Knoxville Chancellor Loren Crabtree said. “This is a significant accomplishment for WUOT, and I congratulate the staff for a job well done.”

The study, “Having It All,” was conducted by Brody Weiser Burns, a consulting firm specializing in high-level assistance to nonprofit organizations. It evaluated annual financial reports and audience data submitted by 314 public radio licensees for a five-year period from 1999 to 2003.

According to the study, just 23 percent of all stations had acceptable financial health and above-average audience service, while only 10 percent of the total “have it all” — excellent financial health and outstanding audience service. CPB named these stations as the best of the best, or “soaring” stations.

In contrast, 27 percent of all licensees have the worst of both worlds — poor financial health and below-average audience service. Exactly 50 percent of all stations fall short on one measure or the other. Either they serve their audiences well but have financial problems (29 percent) or they have strong bottom lines, but lack audience loyalty (21 percent).

“WUOT is planning some significant upgrades to the station that will occur within the next year, including the conversion of our signal from analog to digital,” Regina Dean, WUOT director, said.

“The support we receive from our members and underwriters is the reason we are in such good financial standing,” she said. “They really deserve the credit for WUOT’s success. It’s because of them that we can make these improvements and continue to serve the public.”

Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is a 100,000-watt station broadcasting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Qualified by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WUOT is a member of National Public Radio and a Public Radio International affiliate.

For more information, visit the station-s Web site at www.wuot.org.