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Nov 11, 2019 11:13 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

WPPB Will Continue Operation Until Sale To WNET Clears Regulatory Hurdles

Nov 11, 2019 12:32 PM

Although an agreement on file with the Federal Communications Commission states that WNET in New York would begin operating the Southampton-based public radio station WPPB on November 1, WPPB continues to remain the operator, pending an approval of the sale.

Kellie Castruita Specter, chief marketing and engagement officer for WNET New York Public Media, said both the FCC and state attorney general’s office are reviewing the pending sale of WPPB concurrently. Regulatory approval is expected to take two to three months, and WNET will not assume operations until then.

WPPB, at 88.3 FM, a National Public Radio affiliate and the only NPR station based on Long Island, was sold to the owner of New York’s PBS television stations in a $944,834 deal that includes all of its equipment, in addition to the public broadcasting license.

The paperwork filed with the FCC includes an “operating agreement” option that allows the buyer, WNET, to contribute programming content to the station prior to the sale being finalized, but expressly prohibits the buyer from operating the station.

Peconic Public Broadcasting was created in 2009 when WLIU moved from the Southampton College campus, where it was based, when the school was sold by Long Island University to Stony Brook University, which declined to operate the station. A group was formed by a collection of WLIU employees, including Dr. Wallace Smith, who was the station manager at the time, and now is president, operations manager and program director.

WNET owns two PBS television stations, Thirteen based in Newark, New Jersey, and WLIW 21 based in Garden City. WPPB would be the company’s first radio station.

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