|City of license||Murfreesboro, Tennessee|
|Broadcast area||Nashville, Tennessee|
|Branding||Middle Tennessee Public Radio|
|First air date||April 9, 1969|
|Format||classical; jazz; news; talk|
|Callsign meaning||Middle Of Tennessee|
|Owner||Middle Tennessee State University|
WMOT is a radio station featuring classical music, jazz music and news and talk programming, serving the metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee market. It is licensed to Middle Tennessee State University, located in nearby Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Its signal can be heard most clearly in the counties surrounding Nashville. It uses the branding Middle Tennessee Public Radio.
Originally started in April 1969 employing various forms of pop and rock music that was aimed at a student listenership, WMOT ran a full-time jazz music format between 1982 and 2009, aimed at a somewhat larger, more adult audience. By the late 2000s, WMOT was one of only a handful of U.S. public radio stations employing a jazz format full-time, without filling much of the broadcast day with news and other genres. At various times in the station's history, it has broadcast MTSU football and basketball games as well; WMOT presently broadcasts those athletic contests, partly because of the lack of interest from commercial stations in doing so.
In 1995, the MTSU student government body started another college radio station, WMTS-FM, to serve the campus audience once served by WMOT. The Tennessee Board of Regents is the body licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to operate WMOT Radio; general administrative responsibility is vested with the President of MTSU.
In 2008, due to tougher standards, WMOT no longer qualified for an annual grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), primarily due to its small audience. This loss of revenue, along with appropriations cuts by the state of Tennessee, prompted MTSU officials to consider discontinuing the station in early 2009. However, in late 2009, the university decided to instead merge WMOT's operations into a consortium with the other MTSU media (such as WMTS and the student newspaper) titled the Media Convergence Center, with consequent reductions in the station's subsidy, in order to avoid closing it down.
Along with the reorganization, WMOT decided to make radical scheduling changes, notably discontinuing its exclusively jazz format in order to appeal to a wider audience in the Nashville market, which, like most metropolitan areas, only has a small number of fans of that genre. In October 2009, WMOT added news and talk programming to the morning and afternoon "drive time" slots between 5 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. from the BBC and Public Radio International. However, after Nashville public radio outlet WPLN-FM discontinued classical music programming during the daytime on weekdays in 2009, WMOT decided in February 2011 to fill the void by replacing jazz with classical between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., formerly the hours when WPLN broadcast that format, in order to gain listenership from disaffected classical fanciers. WMOT also brought back, after many years' absence, National Public Radio's flagship program, All Things Considered, despite the fact that it duplicates the program's carriage by WPLN (as does the NPR hourly news updates).
The situation has become even more complicated with the fact that WPLN's parent organization, Nashville Public Radio, acquired the Vanderbilt University student-run station WRVU in June 2011, converting it into an all-classical format under the WFCL callsign, while the main WPLN signal became a full-time news-and-talk outlet.
As of 2012, however, it appears that WMOT will employ a divided format for the foreseeable future, despite competition from WFCL and WPLN.
See also 
- WMOT-FM official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WMOT
- Radio-Locator information on WMOT
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WMOT