WCNU has been off the air for three months now due to unpaid licensing fees.
Since WCNU is free for students to listen to, there are licensing fees that the radio station itself has to pay.
On the last day of the Fall 2016 semester Henri Huber, President of WCNU’s eboard, received an email from administration saying that they had not been paying the licensing fees associated with running a radio station for the past three years.
The day after that email was sent the campus offices closed for winter break and the WCNU eboard was unable to reach the offices until the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester.
Huber and the eboard met with Katie Reichner, Associate Director of Student Activities, to discuss the reasons behind the notice to suspend online streaming capabilities and how they can return to broadcasting.
According to Huber administration never gave a clear reason as to why they were made unaware of these fees until it was time to shut WCNU down. According to Tom Aberman, Promotions manager for WCNU, there are four licenses that need to be paid in order to broadcast.
Two of these are paid by the school and cover outdoor performances, SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers) and BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated).
The other two have to be paid by WCNU, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and SoundExchange. Those two licenses will cost WCNU around $1000 a year.