WMFE-FM hires WEAA’s LaFontaine Oliver as new president

Orlando pubcaster WMFE-FM has hired LaFontaine Oliver as its new president and g.m., replacing José Fajardo who left in December 2012. Oliver comes to the station from WEAA-FM in Baltimore, a jazz and NPR news station licensed to Morgan State University. He joined WEAA in 2007 and, while there, created the nationally syndicated Michael Eric Dyson Show. Oliver has also held management positions with SiriusXM in Washington, D.C., and Radio One, an urban-oriented, multimedia company based in Silver Spring, Md. “We are very excited to bring LaFontaine into this very important role,” said Derek Blakeslee, chair of the Board of Trustees of Community Communications Inc. , WMFE’s license holder.

WMFE rebuffs Independent Public Media bid for Orlando channel

Leaders of Orlando’s WMFE rebuffed a bid from Independent Public Media to purchase its TV station, which had been slated for sale to religious broadcasters until the $3 million deal was withdrawn from the FCC. Ken Devine, IPM’s chief operating officer and former v.p. of media operations of WNET in New York, confirmed to Current that IPM had made an offer, but he declined to share details. WMFE President José Fajardo told Current: “There is no deal between WMFE and Independent Public Media.” Discussions between the parties have ended, he wrote in an email. The sale that Fajardo pursued last year — with Texas-based religious broadcaster Daystar Television — fell apart after the FCC questioned whether the buyer met noncommercial criteria for localism and educational programming (Current, March 26).