Purdue University approves WFYI owner to operate WBAA

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Purdue University’s board of trustees approved an agreement Wednesday for the university’s WBAA to be operated by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media, licensee of pubcaster WFYI. 

The university “has been looking for a public radio partner to lead WBAA toward its next 100 years in Greater Lafayette,” said R. Ethan Braden, Purdue’s senior VP for marketing and communications, in a press release. “WFYI is a strong public broadcasting entity, well-known and respected throughout Indiana, and we believe this agreement represents enhanced opportunities for our students, it preserves the experience that listeners enjoy today, and it extends WBAA’s reach and public service offerings.”

A spokesperson for WFYI said that Purdue and WFYI “are working with existing WBAA staff to discuss opportunities. WFYI intends to maintain several staff positions that directly support WBAA operations.”

The agreement includes a license transfer, which is pending FCC approval, according to an FAQ on Purdue’s website. The university estimates that MIPM will begin operating WBAA around Oct. 1. 

The WFYI spokesperson said the Indianapolis station and Purdue are “currently discussing details regarding the intent to transfer WBAA’s licenses as part of a new operating agreement. Final decisions around the details of that intention will be shared when they are confirmed.”

Under the agreement, WBAA will retain its call letters and continue airing NPR programs and classical music, according to the FAQ. The transition will also allow WBAA members who donate $60 to the station to receive free access to PBS’ Passport. 

“Through this agreement, we will strengthen and build on WBAA’s commitment to listeners and the communities served by WFYI and WBAA,” said Greg Petrowich, CEO of Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media, in the release.

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