When Essential Public Media announced Monday that it had signed an asset purchase agreement with Duquesne University to buy the licenses currently being used by WDUQ, it set a goal of taking over operations by July 1st. (See story posted May 2, 2011) With the sale pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission, it seemed to some like a near impossibility, however, at least one group working on the deal says it may not wait for the approval.
Susan Harmon is the Managing Director of Public Radio Capital and a Board Member of Public Media Company. She says a lack of FCC paperwork will not slow the process, “I think that we won’t have FCC approval by [June 30th] but if we can work on an operating arrangement with [Duquesne] University then that will be possible.” Public Radio Capital created Public Media Company to purchase and manage public radio stations across the country with the help of local partners. In the case of 90.5 FM, PMC partnered with WYEP to form Essential Public Media to purchase the WDUQ license.
Harmon says it typically takes the FCC 60 to 90 days to sign off on a license transfer so she does not expect the operating agreement to be in place for long. She says all the groups involved are working to quickly build the agreement.
At the same time, EPM is interviewing candidates to fill the post of general manager and has posted other job openings. Harmon says more job listings are expected in the coming weeks.