WRTE/90.5 FM in Chicago, the city’s only noncom Latino radio station, is for sale, and Chicago Public Media is interested. WRTE’s licensee, the National Museum of Mexican Art, is parting with the youth-run station, known locally as Radio Arte, and the building housing it due to budget woes.
Museum President Carlos Tortolero tells WBEZ: “The funding, especially in radio, is going south. We have a building that’s costing us money. We tried to borrow some money to do some things and [banks] are saying, ‘No, no. You can’t.’ The banks are looking at us and saying, ‘Hey, you have to get rid of some of this stuff.’” Former Radio Arte volunteers are also forming a coop to attempt to buy the station.
“For all intents and purposes Radio Arte is the city of Chicago’s only true community radio station that isn’t affiliated with a college or university, and therefore more of a hybrid college/community station,” notes Radio Survivor. “It is all the more unique because of its focus on Chicago’s large Latino population. Any significant change in programming brought on by a station sale would represent a real loss for the city.”