Rio Grande NPR hopefuls suffer setback

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Voices of the Valley, a grassroots group working to create a second pubradio station in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, has encountered a setback, reports The Brownsville Herald. Betsy Price, who had been dismissed from local NPR affiliate KMBH’s board (Current, March 16, 2009), says ESPN nabbed an AM station in Raymondville the group wanted to lease. “We came very close,” she told the paper. “We were working with a broker to get a five-year lease with one of the stations. It was looking good until (ESPN) bought it out. What we were looking at was to partner with Texas Public Radio. We would have been broadcasting right away. It was very disappointing.” The group also is planning a Web site by January 2010 with online streaming of NPR and local programming. KMBH has struggled financially for several years, and this month a CPB Inspector General’s office review cited problems from accounting to lack of a community advisory board.

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