Translator not necessarily included in sale of WAMU bluegrass station

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If WAMU in Washington, D.C., sells its folk-music station Bluegrass Country, there’s no guarantee the deal will include use of the station’s FM translator.

Bluegrass Country’s buyer would receive certain intellectual property and branding rights as well as an extensive music library, use of an HD Radio subchannel, digital assets and more, according to an RFP. But WAMU does not own or control the station’s translator near Bethesda, Md.

“WAMU will introduce the New Owner to the translator owner, but the New Owner will be responsible for negotiating its own rebroadcast agreement if it desires continued distribution on 105.5 MHz,” the RFP says. “WAMU makes quarterly payments to the translator owner, and the New Owner should expect to do the same.”

The translator is owned by Washington, D.C., radio and TV lawyer John Garziglia under the name Reston Translator LLC, according to FCC filings. Ken Mills pointed out the RFP on his blog.

WAMU will discontinue Bluegrass Country if it can’t find a buyer by the end of the year. General Manager J.J. Yore has said that WAMU’s listeners prefer news and information and that the sale is responding to demographic changes.