Several Florida counties to get public radio news for first time in WMFE deal

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WMFE in Orlando, Fla., will purchase a second radio station using proceeds from the 2012 sale of WMFE-TV.

Daystar Public Radio will sell jazz station WKSG-FM in Cedar Creek, Fla., to WMFE for $900,000, according to an announcement Tuesday.

Public Media Co. “brought this opportunity to WMFE” and represented the station in the transaction, said Erik Langner, PMC managing director.

The agreement will extend WMFE’s public radio news service to several unserved areas, including Marion and Sumter counties as well as parts of Lake and Volusia counties. “The new station will expand the footprint of this public service,” said WMFE President LaFontaine Oliver in the announcement.

The deal transfers ownership of the license, broadcast tower and 14.45 acres of land to Community Communications Inc., independent licensee of WMFE. It’s financed with proceeds from the sale of WMFE-TV five years ago to University of Central Florida for $3.3 million, along with major donations.

With the sale of its TV station, WMFE made a commitment “to reinvest in radio and broaden our footprint in order to better serve the broadcast needs of the Central Florida community,” said Peter Barr Jr., board chair. “This acquisition achieves this vision.”

Public radio news programming will begin on WKSG early in 2018, according to WMFE. The station is soliciting listener feedback for programming ideas.

Update: This post was revised to reflect PMC’s involvement in the deal.

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