WNED Purchase of WBFO-FM Finalized

March 2, 2012 Updated Mar 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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WNED Purchase of WBFO-FM Finalized

March 2, 2012 Updated Mar 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Western New York Public Broadcasting Association is pleased to announce that WBFO-FM 88.7 is officially a part of the WNED family of public radio and television stations.

“We’re thrilled that WBFO is now officially part of our WNED family,” Donald K. Boswell, WNED president and CEO said in a news release issued Friday. “We now have an incredible opportunity to take member-supported public radio to new highs which will advance the underlying mission of our organization and, most importantly, provide top-quality radio services to our listeners.”

According to the news release:

The purchase will strengthen public radio in the region, allowing a more vibrant programming mix and enhanced local news reporting. WBFO will also continue to be 100% locally-owned and operated by a trusted community public broadcasting entity, with the goal of being an even more integral part of the community and an essential part of the soundscape of Western New York and Southern Ontario as a growing region. In addition, the acquisition will also help make more efficient use of the resources provided by our members and taxpayers.

“Our Board of Trustees is delighted with WNED's acquisition of WBFO,” said William G. Gisel, Jr., president and CEO of Rich Products Corporation and WNED board chairman. “We are confident that bringing together these two exceptional organizations will lead to an even stronger public broadcast capability with unparalleled journalism in our region.”

Under the purchase agreement, originally signed on July 28, 2011, 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.

WBFO-FM and AM 970 have begun simulcasting their broadcast services. The combined program lineup will offer many of the same NPR programs, such as “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “On Point.” WBFO will also be retaining blues and jazz music. Listeners can tune-in to Blues on Saturdays from 7 – 11 p.m. and Sundays from 7 p.m. – midnight. WBFO will also be introducing an exciting new web streaming, smartphone app and HD radio jazz music service, available 24/7. JazzWorks offers classic recordings by many of the legends of American music, new music by emerging artists from all over the world and is presented by hosts who know the music and the artists. This service is one-of-a-kind in the WNY and Southern Ontario areas and will feature localized information.

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