Sale of Mississippi College’s WHJT 93.5 Broadcast License

WHJT Star 93.5 has served Clinton and the greater Jackson metro-area since its inception in 1974, and format change to Christian Contemporary and full time Christian programming in 1989.  Its Christian-based format has remained consistent and supportive of the mission of Mississippi College.  Through its “live and local” approach, it has offered its listeners inspirational programming, information, and news, and has fulfilled its public service function. It has done so with many dedicated and outstanding staff over the years who have devoted their talents and work toward its success. The station has also served as an educational asset for Mississippi College students.  Please know that no academic work that takes place through the radio station will be impacted by this sale.  We appreciate the many graduates who have gone on to enjoy careers in communications-related areas.

 

In the last decade, the radio industry has experienced many changes. Media groups are now heavily involved in the commercial radio market through the purchase and operation of multiple stations. Other Christian radio options are available and included within multi-station holdings across the nation. At the same time, there is a growing shift away from traditional over-the-air listening towards easily accessible apps and internet streaming. Such changes have impacted the on-going viability of single and independently-owned radio stations.  Due to these factors, and its need to best manage its limited and crucial resources, Mississippi College decided to sell its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) radio broadcast license and end its on-going radio operations at Mississippi College.

We understand that this decision may raise questions among WHJT Star 93.5 listeners and supporters, so some of those anticipated questions are addressed below:

What happens now?

Mississippi College has signed an Asset Purchase Agreement with New South Radio for the sale of the broadcast license for WHJT 93.5. This agreement has initiated the process of transferring ownership.  Mississippi College has also applied to the FCC for the transfer of this license. Approval could take 90 days or longer. Pending FCC approval, New South Radio will gain operational control of the broadcast license and begin broadcasting on 93.5 MHz.

 

When will the license transfer take place?

An application for license transfer has been submitted to the Federal Communications Commission for approval, which could take 90 days or longer.

 

How will programming change on WHJT 93.5?

Once the transfer is finalized, New South Radio will determine and provide the type of commercial programming it chooses over 93.5 MHz.

 

Will I still be able to listen to WHJT Star 93.5?

During the period of sale and transfer of the 93.5 MHz frequency, the same music and programming will continue to be broadcasted over the air on FM 93.5, via its app, and on-line at www.star93fm.com. Once the transfer is finalized, New South Radio will then have control of the frequency, and WHJT Star 93.5 will end all operations.

 

What will happen to local programming such as broadcasts of local church services, Clinton High School football games, and others ​once WHJT Star 93.5 ends its operations?

These will no longer be available on WHJT Star 93.5 since churches, schools, and others who previously offered such broadcasts on Star negotiated​with this station to do so. ​Moving forward, it will be up to ​​individual churches, schools, and others to determine if they wish to continue their broadcasts by seeking other radio stations and/or by using other delivery options such as the internet. ​Obviously, it is up to the entities involved to communicate accordingly.

 

Will the space currently used by WHJT Star 93.5 on the campus of Mississippi College be used by New South Radio, temporarily or in an on-going manner, following this sale and transfer?

No. Once the sale is final, New South Radio will transmit at 93.5 MHz from its own chosen site and tower when it is ready to do so.

What will happen to the 340’ tower, station equipment, and campus office and studio space currently used by WHJT Star 93.5?

The tower is at its “end-of-life” stage and decisions regarding dismantling and removing it will be required. Much of the equipment currently used by WHJT Star 93.5 was included in the negotiated sale between Mississippi College and New South Radio. The station’s office and studio space located in Aven Fine Arts Building on the Clinton campus will be transitioned to address other academic department needs.

How can a listener contact Mississippi College to ask questions or make comments pertaining to this sale of WHJT Star 93.5?

Questions can be asked by using the message box available on the “Stay Connected with Star 93.5” page, which can be accessed using the “Contact Us” tab on the station’s website (www.star93fm.com), by email at studio@star93fm.com, or by calling the station at 601-925-3458.  We welcome questions, and comments regarding this sale.

 

Comment, Recognition and Thanks:  The station’s call letters came from two of Mississippi College’s beloved communication professors, the late Hollis and Julia Todd. The decision to end station operations could not be made without honoring their many contributions. The station has likewise enjoyed many dedicated and outstanding faculty and staff who have devoted both work and talents toward its success. These have included Dr. Billy Lytal, Russ Robinson, Traci Maughon, Doug Amacker, countless on-air personalities, student workers, and behind-the-scenes operators. The Mississippi College Communication Department has likewise impacted the station throughout its operation.

Community support and programming have been station priorities. Highlighting examples, Clinton High School football games have been broadcast over WHJT practically since the station’s inception. Appreciation here is extended to dedicated broadcasters over the years, such as Dr. Lewis Oswalt. The Clinton Public School System is likewise thanked for partnering with their local station for this and many other purposes. Broadcasting church services has also been a station mainstay. Appreciation is extended to First Baptist Church, Clinton, along with other churches and ministries, for using the station to make services available to their home-bound members and listeners.  We also extend thanks to the many station advertisers throughout years.  

Finally, words cannot express the love and appreciation felt towards the many loyal, Star listeners. They have been foremost in mind with station programming, and top-of-mind among the station’s staff over the years.

Many other comments, recognitions and thanks may go unmentioned here, but Mississippi College conveys its appreciation to all who have played a role in the success and impact of WHJT Star 93.5. In concluding, special thanks and appreciation is extended to Doug Amacker who has given much and proven to be an exceptional and able professional during this difficult transition.

God bless!