Maryland Public Radio Corp., a community-based non-profit group, has today signed a letter of intent to purchase WJHU-FM from The Johns Hopkins 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 a sale agreement, which 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.
"The university's goals in this process have been to ensure that Baltimore is served by a quality public radio station featuring NPR 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," said James T. McGill, the university's senior vice president for finance and administration.
"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 that really serves the community."
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. It said radio is not part of its core mission and that there are competing needs within the university for the capital investment that WJHU needs to remain a first-class radio service.
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