Towson University finds a new partner for WTMD that maintains radio station’s format
and influence in Baltimore region.
Public service broadcaster Your Public Radio (WYPR) 88.1FM today announced plans to acquire WTMD 89.7 FM from Towson University. WTMD has been operated by Towson University Public
Media, Inc., a non-profit organization, in affiliation with Towson University since
WYPR is an NPR member station serving Baltimore, Central Maryland and beyond. It is
an independent community licensee and a top-ranking news/talk station in the market
airing local, national and international radio content. WYPR excels in local programming
and journalism through outstanding shows like Midday, On the Record and Out of the Blocks as well as its award-winning newsroom. With signals in Baltimore (WYPR 88.1 FM), Frederick
(WYPF 88.1 FM) and Ocean City (WYPO 106.9 FM), the station also leads the local podcast
scene with popular podcasts like The Daily Dose and Essential Tremors.
Towson University received a great deal of interest in the purchase of WTMD but was
most excited about working with WYPR since it is a local community licensee with a
proven track record and commitment to growing the beloved format of the station.
“We’re grateful to have found a partner in WYPR to continue the community-first, public
radio station in its existing format that listeners have come to appreciate from WTMD,”
said Ben Lowenthal, CFO and Vice President for Administration and Finance at Towson
University. “Maintaining WTMD’s format was of the utmost importance for TU as we sought
a new home for this award-winning station.”
WTMD began at then-Towson State University in 1972 as WCVT, adopted its current call
letters in 1991 and changed to its current AAA format in 2002. Over the past 10 years,
WTMD has developed into one of the leading AAA (Album Adult Alternative) music stations
in the country. Nationally recognized as a “taste maker” station within the radio
and music industries, WTMD’s unique “Total Music Discovery” format consistently breaks
new music and cutting-edge artists long before other stations. WTMD has received numerous
awards for Best Radio Station from both Baltimore magazine and the former City Paper.
WTMD also produces the First Thursday Music Festivals, the largest free music event
in the region. In recent years the event has grown to include two stages, six bands
and numerous vendors in Canton Waterfront Park, where thousands turn out each month,
May through June, for the free events.
“WTMD has put a lot of effort into growing our First Thursday Festivals into a nationally
recognized event that is a direct reflection of our adventurous music discovery format,”
said Scott Mullins, general manager/ program director for WTMD and music director
for its First Thursday Festivals. “We certainly look forward to continuing to bring
live music events to the Baltimore area with WYPR as our new partner.”
WYPR will continue to find ways to partner with Towson University, which continues
to grow its role as an anchor institution serving greater Baltimore and Maryland.
WYPR was established when Johns Hopkins University sought a new home for WJHU in 2002.
A group led by community members formed Your Public Radio with the sole purpose of
maintaining local control of the non-commercial license.
“WYPR is proud to preserve another university radio station, to serve the Baltimore
community, on the heels of our 20th anniversary year,” said President and General
Manager LaFontaine E. Oliver. “We plan to build on the investments made by Towson
University and the success of WTMD, which provides a rich and unmatched music discovery
platform with opportunities for Baltimore’s musicians and artists at its core. What
Scott and his team have been able to accomplish over the years has been tremendous.”
WYPR will seek financial support from the community, inviting both major donors and
grassroots supporters to participate and become members of this expanded public service
opportunity. With the help of our community, it is WYPR’s intention to preserve and
strengthen this public resource for music discovery.
WYPR is uniquely positioned to continue the expansion of WTMD as both stations have
success in providing music exploration on new platforms including streaming, smart
speakers, multiple HD channels and mobile applications as well as large-scale live
events. Uniting the two stations will enhance these efforts to serve new audiences
on a broad array of distribution platforms.
Your Public Radio was aided by Public Media Company, while Towson University was represented
by Patrick Communications. The license transfer is subject to approval by the FCC.
View more information: https://www.towson.edu/news/2021/wtmd-to-be-acquired-by-wypr.html