SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Salisbury's long running and popular morning radio show featuring Kent Bernhardt and Howard Platt is set to sign off the air on Friday, according to Bernhardt.
"We're coming down to what, three more days," Bernhardt joked on Wednesday. "It's the end of the world as we know it."
The duo have hosted the show on AM 1490, WSTP, for several years. Bernhardt has been with the station since the mid 1970's and also works for the Performance Racing Network. Platt has been Sports Director at WSTP since 1978.
The change comes after the station was sold to the Catawba College Foundation and 2B Productions, headed by Salisbury attorney Bill Graham.
On Tuesday Bernhardt told his audience about the final show and said that he and Platt don't know will be on the air in its place.
"It's one of those things that happens in radio," Bernhardt said. "New owners and management can come in and clean house, and it happens often."
2B Productions LLC is the newly established Catawba College Foundation through 2B Productions LLC. WSTP will continue its broadcasts, offering an expanded platform for Catawba College students majoring in business or communication arts and hoping to pursue related careers, a news release from Catawba College said.
Buddy Poole, president and general manager of WSAT, will oversee the transition, according to the college's news release.
Poole said that very soon a survey of Rowan County residents will be conducted via phone and in-person to determine what format WSTP can offer that will appeal to most listeners in Rowan County and help the station be successful.
"We do plan to add more local news with Catawba students covering everything from city and county government to fire, accidents, schools, and whatever is happening in Rowan County," Poole added.
Bill Graham of Salisbury, a Catawba College trustee and 1983 alumnus, again has been the driving force behind the Catawba Foundation's acquisition of WSTP. Profits from the operation of WSAT and WSTP will be donated to Catawba College through the Catawba Foundation.
With the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, Catawba launched a sports communication concentration that it plans to grow into an academic major. This new concentration will be an option to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in communication arts, an academic program at the college chaired by Dr. Tim Moreland.
Students pursuing this concentration will be learning to do play by play, interviews and features on student athletes. They will also be able to tap into resources offered by collaborations with the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association (NSSA), now located on Catawba's campus, WSAT, and now WSTP.
WSTP signed on in 1939 and is now the home to live sports broadcasts of UNC and Duke athletics, Rowan County American Legion baseball, and high school sports.