WCAL sale upheld

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld St. Olaf College’s sale of Northfield’s WCAL radio to Minnesota Public Radio. The station became The Current. MPR was not a party to the suit.

In its decision, the court upheld a district court ruling that the group SaveWCAL waited too long to file its complaint. “Despite its notice that the attorney general would not intervene to prevent the sale, SaveWCAL did not initiate legal action to pursue its breach-of-charitable-trust theory prior to finalization of the sale. In fact, SaveWCAL did not participate in any legal proceeding related to the sale until 2007 and did not file the petition that is the subject of this lawsuit until four years after the sale closed,” the Appeals Court said in its ruling (available here).

But the court gave a nod to the disappointment that a classical radio station was replaced by one playing alternative rock:


We acknowledge and respect the loyalty and devotion that SaveWCAL has shown to this radio station. We also recognize that our decision may be unpopular. Nevertheless, we are obligated to follow the law.

  • Tyler

    As a student at St. Olaf at the time, I had high hopes for the sale – that 99.5 would increase in quality (aka take on on-air talent from WCAL and change their playlist), and that the new 89.3 would provide an interesting alternative to 97.1. While I really enjoy listening to the hosts on The Current, I feel let down with the sale, overall. Programming on 99.5 is still boring, with too much talking and “what we’re playing next,” and 89.3 is far too alternative for my tastes.

    Your mileage may vary.

  • Jim!!!

    I guess you can unpack now.