Community Wireless completes sale of Salt Lake station
KCPW, the Salt Lake City public radio station created and run by the same board that oversees Park City’s station KPCW, is now officially on its own.
Last week, Wasatch Public Media successfully purchased the broadcasting rights and station assets from Community Wireless of Park City, ending a 15-year relationship as KPCW’s sister station. As a result KCPW will continue to be heard on 88.3 and 105.3 FM and according to Wasatch Public Media President Ed Sweeney, the station is "committed to maintain KCPW’s existing format of local and national news."
Wastach Public Media closed the deal for $2.4 million, much of which was raised from KCPW listeners in Salt Lake City who supported the station’s NPR and locally generated programming.
"We are excited to close this chapter in KCPW’s transformation to a Salt Lake-owned and operated public radio station," Sweeney added.
Those on the KPCW side of the transaction were also pleased to see the deal sealed.
In a press release detailing the successful completion of the sale, Community Wireless board chairman Bill Mullen said, "the board is thrilled that Ed Sweeney has been able to raise the funds to keep KCPW in the hands of Salt Lake City locals and that it will continue to be a member of the NPR family."
According to Community Wireless board member Joe Wrona, "It’s awesome."
The sale substantially reduces the debt burden that Community Wireless has been carrying since the purchase of an unsuccessful AM frequency, 1010 AM. Wrona said proceeds from last week’s sale will help to retire that debt and put $20,000 per month back into running KPCW.
When Community Wireless first announced its intention to sell off the 1010AM and the KCPW frequencies they said their goal was to put more resources into serving the growing communities in Summit and Wasatch counties.
Wrona added the board is still negotiating with IHR Educational Broadcasting, a Christian broadcasting network, over the purchase of the AM frequency. He hopes that sale, for approximately $1.3 million, will close in April.
Community Wireless board members previously stated that, while other entities were interested in purchasing the KCPW bandwidths, they hoped to keep the station in local hands. In a letter to the editor in this edition of The Record, Sweeney thanks Community Wireless board members saying "they believed in Salt Lake’s mission and purpose when others did not."
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