90.7 WMFE IS GETTING A SISTER STATION
90.7 WMFE IS GETTING A SISTER STATION
PURCHASE OF NEW SIGNAL FILLS IN GAP IN PUBLIC RADIO SERVICE IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
September 26, 2017 – Orlando-based public radio station 90.7 WMFE announced today that it will expand its public service in Central Florida with the acquisition of a new signal.
Community Communications Inc. (DBA 90.7 WMFE) has reached an agreement with Daystar Public Radio Inc. to purchase the radio station license for WKSG-FM 89.5 (The Boulevard) in Cedar Creek, 20 miles east of Ocala. Public Media Company represented 90.7 WMFE throughout the analysis and negotiation process.
The FCC accepted the application for transfer of license on Sept. 25.
90.7 WMFE has been serving Central Florida with public service journalism for 37 years.
“The new station will expand the footprint of this public service,” said 90.7 WMFE President and General Manager LaFontaine E. Oliver. “Forming this network will also make us stronger and more sustainable, as we are able to spread our existing costs over two systems.”
The acquisition of the new signal will expand public radio news and programming to communities that have not had access to a dedicated public radio news and information service. That includes much of Marion and Sumter counties as well as parts of Lake and Volusia counties. WMFE’s existing signal area includes Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Volusia counties.
Within this new coverage area is The Villages, a master-planned age-restricted community in Sumter County stretching into Lake and Marion counties. It has been the nation’s fastest growing metro area for the last three years, according to U.S. Census data. As of April 2016, the total population was 157,000 people.
The purchase agreement between WMFE and Daystar Public Radio Inc. includes the license as well as the station’s broadcast tower and the 14.45 acres of land upon which it sits. The sales price is $900,000. Funding for the purchase will come from proceeds from the 2012 sale of the WMFE-TV PBS station to the University of Central Florida as well as dedicated major gifts for the purchase from the station’s supporters and organizations.
“90.7 WMFE made a commitment five years ago to reinvest in radio and broaden our footprint in order to better serve the broadcast needs of the Central Florida community,” said Peter C. Barr, Jr., chair of the WMFE Board of Trustees. “This acquisition achieves this vision.”
Contingent upon FCC approval, The Boulevard’s current programming will be replaced by new programming by early 2018.
WMFE is considering a variety of new programs to bring to the 89.5-FM audience. Listeners may submit feedback and suggestions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The schedule will also include syndicated public radio programming broadcast on WMFE, such as NPR’s newsmagazines, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Marketplace, BBC World Service, 1A, This American Life, Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me, Ask Me Another, Latino USA, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Takeaway, Here and Now, On Point, Echoes and Science Friday.
A specific schedule of programming will be announced in the near future. WMFE’s current program lineup is available at www.wmfe.org/programs.
About 90.7 WMFE:
90.7 WMFE is a non-profit, member-supported, community-based public broadcasting company that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; and 90.7-2 Classical. Part of the community since 1980, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. Visit wmfe.org for more information.
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MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Communications & Marketing Specialist Jenny Babcock at email@example.com or 407-273-2300 ext. 112.
What does this mean for listeners?
The Boulevard’s programming will no longer be available on 89.5-FM. It will be replaced by a mix of public radio news and information. Listeners to 90.7-FM will not experience any programming changes. Listeners who live on the limits of 90.7-FM’s coverage map may receive a stronger signal from 89.5-FM.
Why did WMFE acquire WKSG?
WMFE acquired WKSG to better serve the Central Florida community. It expands its public radio news and information service to communities that have not previously had access to a dedicated service like this. It will also make both stations more sustainable, as operating costs are able to be spread over the system.
When will the transition occur?
Pending FCC approval, the switch over is expected by early 2018.
Will 89.5-FM’s call letters, WKSG, remain the same?
WMFE intends to change the call letters of the broadcast signal.
What will the new program schedule be for 89.5-FM?
We are considering a variety of news and programming to bring to the 89.5 audience. You can provide your feedback and suggestions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A specific schedule of programming will be announced in the near future.
Where will I be able to hear the 89.5-FM signal?
The coverage map of the 89.5-FM signal includes much of Marion and Sumter counties as well as parts of Lake and Volusia counties. Listeners who live on the limits of 90.7-FM’s coverage map may receive a stronger signal from 89.5-FM.
Will there be a way to hear the new station other than by listening to 89.5 FM?
Yes, you will be able to stream the station online.
How will this station be funded?
The new station will be a community licensed nonprofit public radio station just like 90.7 WMFE. Listener support and community underwriting will make up the majority of the support for the stations.
How will this transfer affect current WMFE corporate sponsors?
Corporate sponsors will now have the ability to reach a new audience throughout the Villages and Ocala area.
How do I weigh in on the change?
We welcome comments from our listeners. Send email to email@example.com or call 407-273-2300 ext. 175.
Will the new station interfere with WUCF 89.9-FM?
They are close in frequency, 89.5 vs 89.9, and if a listener is in an area outside of the WUCF coverage area, and closer to the WKSG coverage area, the stronger WKSG signal may interfere with WUCF reception. In general, we are not planning any changes to the WKSG power output or location; if a listener does not receive interference now, they shouldn’t receive any in the future. If they do receive interference now, that is not likely to change either, but these listeners will be outside of the (rather small) WUCF-FM coverage area anyway.