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PBS Utah and KUER, with support from their license holder, the University of Utah, will acquire the 88.3 FM frequency license from KCPW’s owner, Wasatch Public Media. Closing of the sale is subject to the final transfer of the license by the Federal Communications Commission, no later than April 30, 2024.
“We are uniquely positioned to keep this spot on the dial locally owned and in public service,” said PBS Utah and KUER Executive Director Maria O’Mara. “And our intention is to grow that service for a more diverse and younger audience.”
Supported by decades of broadcasting and fundraising experience, PBS Utah and KUER will bring a bilingual format of music and news to the 88.3 signal, which broadcasts from a transmitter located in the Oquirrh Mountains southwest of West Valley City and is heard throughout Salt Lake County.
After FCC approval of transfer of the license, programming for 88.3 will first come from Radio Bilingüe, a Fresno-based non-profit network and national distributor of public radio programming in Spanish. It has aired on an HD subchannel of KUER since May.
“As our local population continues to grow and diversify, it is important to us to offer an inclusive, bilingual platform for the voices and stories that make up our rich heritage and that propel Utah forward as a stronger, more connected state,” said Jennifer Tarazon, a member of PBS Utah’s advisory board.
KUER advisory board member Rossina Lake added that this “vibrant bicultural community” is looking for resources and new opportunities. “This presents an exciting moment for public radio to serve as a communication platform for locally and culturally pertinent content, delivered by trusted voices,” Lake said.
“I look forward to our comunidades, our communities, coming together to inform new programming,” said Edgar Zúñiga, PBS Utah Advisory Board member and former KUER host. “This is an exciting time for public media in Utah, and as a Colombian-American who grew up in this state, I could not be more thrilled.”
Longtime volunteer and Wasatch Public Media board member Paul Bruno thanked KCPW listeners and underwriters for the support they have shown for independent community radio for the past 30 years.
Local programs from KCPW — “Beyond the Headlines,” “Both Sides of the Aisle” and “Jazz Time with Steve Williams” — will continue to be produced and broadcast by Logan-based Utah Public Radio.
About PBS Utah
PBS Utah airs PBS programming plus award-winning, locally produced documentaries and series. Recognized as one of the leading public television stations in the country, PBS Utah is committed to serving and engaging with the Utah community through its diverse productions and its educational and outreach programs. PBS Utah is always evolving to provide Utahns with relevant programming and services while maintaining its core values of integrity, fairness, independence, education and innovation. PBS Utah also provides three other broadcast channels: WORLD, PBS KIDS 24/7 and Create. PBS Utah broadcasts from The University of Utah.
A charter member of NPR, KUER 90.1 broadcasts from the Eccles Broadcast Center at the University of Utah, providing a commercial-free mix of local and national news and storytelling to more than 150,000 weekly listeners across the state. It is KUER’s fundamental belief that information and public engagement enrich a community. To that end, KUER 90.1 is intensely committed to building a community of world citizens through story and art, discussion and debate, sound and creativity. KUER and its HD channels can be heard at 90.1 FM or streamed online at kuer.org and with KUER's mobile app.