Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Western New York Public Broadcasting Association and the University at Buffalo announced Thursday that WBFO-FM 88.7 will become a part of the WNED family of public radio and television stations.
Under the agreement, WNED will pay UB $4 million for the licenses to
operate WBFO and two stations serving the Southern Tier: WUBJ-FM 88.1 in Jamestown and WOLN-FM 91.3 in Olean.
All three stations will retain their call letters and continue to
operate on the same frequencies. The stations reach large portions of Western New York and Southern Ontario, serving approximately 90,000 listeners weekly.
"This is an exciting opportunity for us to create a more efficient
service to the community and offer a more comprehensive program
schedule," said Donald K. Boswell, WNED's president and CEO. "These two big names in public radio are joining forces."
"The University at Buffalo is putting WBFO in the hands of a
community-based organization with an outstanding track record in public broadcasting," said UB's Marsha Henderson. "Radio isn't a new business to WNED. They are already committed to radio and will continue to be so. We are confident that WBFO will thrive in its new home."
The sale is subject to state and federal approval. In the meantime, the two organizations will begin planning the integration of services.
WNED affirmed its commitment to continuing a full schedule of NPR
programs on WBFO, including the popular news programs "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," and more.
WBFO, as the largest provider of NPR news and information in the region with over 90,000 weekly listeners, through this agreement will be able to continue to provide a full lineup of NPR programs, from its new home at WNED, while joining the well-known and established journalistic offerings of WNED AM 970. Together, these services will offer a combined public media newsroom, improved digital and online resources for users, and embody a new, shared public journalism that will enhance civic engagement.
"I am proud to have started my career in public media at WBFO," said
Vincent Curren, executive vice president and chief operating officer at
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and UB alumnus. "I know
first-hand the long tradition of high quality of service that WBFO and
WNED have provided. This joining of forces will ensure that public
media service continues to thrive in Western New York and offer the very best national programs, in-depth news and information, outstanding classical music and even more choice in content."
WBFO-FM was founded in 1959 by a group of students and faculty members at the then-private University of Buffalo. It was also one of the charter founding members of National Public Radio in 1970. UB will use the proceeds of the sale to provide student scholarships and support for faculty research, Henderson said.
Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well TV, Classical 94.5/WNED-FM and WNED-AM 970 The Information Station, the member-supported WNED Buffalo/Toronto provides high quality programming and services to local, regional and national audiences that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED can be found at wned.org.