WDUQ sale draws nearer

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The WDUQ-FM (90.5) ownership change moved a step closer Monday, when Essential Public Media and Duquesne University signed the asset purchase agreement that paves the way for the station sale.

The next step will be to file for an ownership change with the Federal Communications Commission. The filing will begin with a 30-day public comment period. Essential Public Media plans to file the FCC documents shortly, said WYEP board President Marco Cardamone.

"The university is pleased to be moving on with the next step in the process and appreciates the community and listener support" through the lengthy sale process, said Bridget Fare, Duquesne University assistant vice president for public affairs.

The university announced plans to sell the station early in 2010. In January, Duquesne accepted a bid of $6 million from EPM, which is a partnership between another local public radio station -- WYEP-FM -- and Public Media Co., a nonprofit based in Boulder, Colo.

The deal is being funded by a combination of grants from local foundations and loans, Mr. Cardamone said.

The group missed a target date of April 15 -- 90 days after the sale agreement was announced -- to sign and complete the asset purchase agreement. Mr. Cardamone said technical and legal details have slowed finalization.

He said that the July 1 target date of taking over operations at WDUQ remains the same.

EPM is in the process of interviewing a management team for the new station, and Mr. Cardamone said the group will announce details about programming on the new station later this month.

He said they're also planning to meet with Pittsburgh Jazz Lives in Pittsburgh, a group recently formed by local jazz fans, performers, educators and community leaders who want to preserve the jazz portion of WDUQ's current news and jazz format on the public airwaves.

Adrian McCoy: amccoy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1865.


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