KMBH warns of “scam or fantasy” as its critics seek support for a new station

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KMBH-FM, in Harlingen, Texas, is warning listeners that anyone else soliciting donations for public radio in the Rio Grande Valley “may be a scam or a fantasy.” The Brownsville Herald reports that the on-air spots trouble organizers of Voices of the Valley, which is asking for pledges of support to establish an independent public radio service for the region. KMBH, which also operates a public TV station, is controlled by the Catholic Church. Msgr. Pedro Briseño, the president of KMBH and pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Harlingen, denies that the spots are intended to discredit Voices from the Valley. “We are not in the business of attacking anybody or campaigning against anything. We have no interest on useless debates of opinions,” Briseño tells the Herald. “Any negative reaction to our warning is perhaps a confirmation that such a warning was needed to protect the public of the Rio Grande Valley from scams.” Voices from the Valley could be ready to launch the new station as early as September, organizer Betsy Price tells Current. “We have collected over 200 pledges of support, secured major donors, and are talking partnership with Texas Public Radio,” she wrote.