Chicago Public Media reportedly eyeing purchase of WKCC

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Chicago Public Media is reportedly exploring the purchase of a radio station in Kankakee, Ill., that is set to go dark this month, according to media reporter Robert Feder.

Feder reported Tuesday that the Chicago broadcaster, which operates the city’s WBEZ, is in the due diligence phase as it considers acquiring WKCC, now owned by Kankakee Community College. The college announced in June that it would sell the station to offset a decline in revenue. Previous efforts to sell the station had failed because potential buyers were unwilling to cover the costs of upgrading WKCC’s outdated equipment.

“Chicago Public Media is indeed exploring the potential acquisition of the WKCC station license as an opportunity to expand our regional coverage and preserve 24-hour public radio in Kankakee and the surrounding areas,” wrote Chicago Public Media President and CEO Goli Sheikholeslami in an email Monday, according to Feder. “We have responded to an official request for proposals and are currently in the due diligence phase, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.”

A coverage map shows that Kankakee sits on the outskirts of CPM’s primary WBEZ signal.