Salt Lake’s KCPW has a shot at keeping its license

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The financially pinched owner of Salt Lake City news station KCPW-AM/FM has signed a letter of intent to sell its two FM licenses to a new nonprofit started by the station’s g.m., Ed Sweeney, the station reported today. If Wasatch Public Media, the new nonprofit, can’t fulfill its bargain, however, the station will be sold to a big religious broadcaster, EMF Broadcasting. Wasatch agreed to pay $2.4 million. The AM channel will go to another religious broadcaster, IHR Educational Broadcasting, for $1.3 million. The seller, based at KPCW in nearby Park City, is taking a loss on the AM station; it spent $2.5 million to buy and build it. Selling the Salt Lake frequencies marks a major retreat for Park City’s Community Wireless, which was flying so high four years ago that it paid $1.1 million to its g.m. and his wife.