A little more than two weeks after the April 15th deadline, Duquesne University and Essential Public Media have taken the next step in the process of transferring ownership of the license to broadcast at 90.5 FM in Pittsburgh.
In a brief statement, Duquesne University spokesperson Bridget Fare said, “Duquesne University and Essential Public Media have signed the asset purchase agreement for the sale of the station and the next step will be to file with the FCC which will happen shortly, and at that point in time the FCC will begin their 30-day comment period and both the University and E.P.M. are very pleased with this next step in the process and looking forward to moving along in that process.”
Essential Public Media is a nonprofit entity formed by local radio station WYEP and Colorado-based Public Media Company to purchase the license. Public Media Company was formed by Public Radio Capital with the goal of purchasing and operating public radio stations across the country in partnership with local entities. The WDUQ license would be the group’s first purchase.
EPM and WYEP Board Chair Marco Cardamone said, ”It is a very important milestone that we passed today and one of many that are yet to come, so a lot of work is still ahead.” The group is in the process of hiring an executive staff.
“Our intent is to still be operational by July 1,” said Cardamone, “that’s our goal, that’s our target date.”
The university has held the license for WDUQ for more than 60 years but decided in 2009 to sell the asset. A sale price of $6 million was arrived upon in January with Essential Public Media. That deal came with a 90-day deadline to gather funding.
“It is a very complicated transaction, as you might expect, and there were simply a few complications that needed to be worked out,” said Cardamone, “The attorneys did not feel comfortable unless we sort of satisfied every one of the items.”
Details of the finances are still to be made public but Cardamone says much of it is in cash with some seller financing.
UPDATE: Public Radio Capital's Susan Harmon says taking control of operations by July 1st may involve a operating agreement.