Jazz broadcaster expands reach to Pittsburgh with new FM signal

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Pittsburgh Public Media has purchased an FM signal, pending FCC approval, to help bring a full-time jazz station to the city, the broadcaster announced last month.

PPM bought the 101.1 FM signal from State University of New York for $50,000. The station will serve the greater Pittsburgh region and reach nearly one million people, according to a press release.

In January, PPM purchased an AM signal for $75,000. PPM also operates WYZR-FM 88.1 in the Ohio Valley region, which it acquired from West Virginia’s Bethany College in 2013, and will increase that signal by 10,000 watts.

“Doing this in [an] efficient financially responsible way, one of the benchmarks we live by, is always the goal, and i believe we have certainly done that here,” said PPM President Charles Leavens, in the release. “We have been talking about this on the Pittsburgh Jazz Channel and WYZR, and the support of the community has made it possible to reach this milestone.”

Pittsburgh Public Media also provides a 24-hour jazz stream on the website pghjazzchannel.org through PubMusic, which delivers music programming through the Public Radio Satellite System to public radio stations.

PPM is made up of former staffers of Pittsburgh’s defunct WDUQ-FM, now operated as a news station by Essential Public Media.