Maryland Public Radio Corp., a community-based nonprofit group, on July 13 signed a letter of intent to purchase WJHU-FM from the university.
The signing of the letter begins a 30-day period during which MPR will seek to finalize its financing and both parties will work to complete negotiations. By the end of that time, Maryland Public Radio and the university expect to sign an agreement to sell the assets and license to MPR. The transaction would be subject to approval by the university's board of trustees and by the Federal Communications Commission. Terms of the proposed sale have not been disclosed.
James T. McGill, the university's senior vice president for finance and administration, said, "The university's goals in this process have been to ensure that Baltimore is served by a quality radio station featuring public-radio news and information programs, that there is significant community input into directions the station will take and that station management is committed to improving an already fine radio service.
"Maryland Public Radio fits the bill on every count," McGill said. "The group has the right experience and the right commitment to a public radio service for the Baltimore-area community."
The MPR group is led by WJHU talk show host Marc Steiner; Martha Rudzki, the station's current marketing director; and Gary Levine, a Baltimore retailer and longtime station supporter and volunteer.
The possibility of a sale arose in March, when Johns Hopkins disclosed that groups had expressed interest in either acquiring WJHU or partnering in the operation of the station. The university said then that it would consider whether to sell.