New Hampshire Public Radio acquiring small classical station WCNH-FM

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New Hampshire Public Radio is purchasing WCNH-FM, a 250-watt classical station that has been broadcasting from the state network’s Concord studios for two years.

WCNH’s owner, Highland Community Broadcasting, was formed in 2000 to apply for a low-power FM license to air classical programming when NHPR transitioned from that format to news and talk, according to Scott McPherson, NHPR’s operations and finance v.p. Highland later applied for and received a full-power license in a 2007 FCC filing window.

In 2012, WCNH asked to use NHPR’s studio and automation equipment to produce and air content. In exchange, NHPR aired WCNH’s classical content on its Classical New Hampshire HD2 channel.

Within the last year, WCNH offered to sell that license to NHPR. “Running a full-power FM station was too demanding,” McPherson said. “They asked us if we were interested in taking over. And we recognized an opportunity to continue to operate Classical New Hampshire on a frequency in the Concord market.”

NHPR expects a decision from the FCC by this fall on the $75,000 transaction. The network operates eight full-power stations and eight translators serving an audience of about 1.2 million listeners throughout the state.

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