Merger of Rhode Island stations gains approval from state’s attorney general

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The Rhode Island state flag.

Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio will move forward with a planned merger following regulatory approval from Rhode Island’s attorney general. 

“For many Rhode Islanders, PBS and The Public’s Radio have been important local sources of media and as a new combined entity, they will be able to sustain the value they contribute to our state,” Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha said in a statement Tuesday about the approval.

The broadcasters announced the planned merger in November and gained FCC approval in January. 

“The Public’s Radio and Rhode Island PBS have long provided honest journalism, robust educational programming, and engaging and entertaining content to Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts,” said Elizabeth Delude-Dix, board chair of The Public’s Radio, in a press release issued by both stations. “Our impact will be increased and our audience expanded as we take these next exciting steps forward.” 

The organizations will now file documents with the Secretary of State’s office to incorporate the new organization. 

“Now, we turn to the important work of bringing our talented teams together and engaging the community to help imagine and co-create a unified public media organization for the future,” said Dave Laverty, chair of the Rhode Island PBS Foundation Board, in the release. 

CEOs of the two organizations are now serving as co-CEOs, according to a spokesperson. Their boards will merge in the coming weeks. 

The new organization will begin an “inclusive community engagement process” in late 2024, according to the release.

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