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RI Public Radio closing in on FM signal

August 16, 2011
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In a move expected to expand the audience for Rhode Island Public Radio, the station is closing in on a deal to lease an FM signal.

My colleague Megan has more details:

Rhode Island Public Radio, the Wheeler School, and Latino Public Radio are nearing a deal that would reshuffle their spots on the AM and FM dials.

The yet-to-be signed 10 year lease allows Rhode Island Public Radio to broadcast on Wheeler’s 88.1FM signal. In turn, Rhode Island Public Radio would lease its 1290AM signal to Latino Public Radio for the next five years.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s General Manager Joe O’Connor says the deal isn’t final yet.

“Just a lot of things have to happen technically and financially for this to come about,” he says. “We’re still not quite there yet, but we hope to have this deal done very very soon.”

O’Connor says he’s aiming to switch from 1290AM onto 88.1FM by October 1st. He expects the new signal to reach tens of thousands of additional listeners.

Rhode Island Public Radio would pay $75,000 dollars a year for 88.1FM as well as three percent of any additional revenues from the switch. Latino Public Radio would lease 1290AM at cost.

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