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WBUR acquisition would bring its radio programming to Martha’s Vineyard and much of Nantucket and Cape Cod

WBUR, a Boston public radio station, said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire the license to broadcast its programming on the 92.7 FM radio signal in Tisbury, a move that should expand WBUR’s geographical reach and bring its programming to listeners on Martha’s Vineyard and most of Cape Cod and Nantucket, as well as Southeastern Massachusetts, by early next year.

The seller is Aritaur Communications, which owns WMVY, a commercial FM radio station whose play list includes the likes of Neil Young, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Norah Jones, and Mumford & Sons. WMVY programming is currently broadcast on the 92.7 FM signal.

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Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. The transaction requires regulatory approval.

Following the closing of the transaction, the plan is for WMVY to try to carry on as an Internet radio station, and switch to a nonprofit, commercial-free business model.

Once the transaction closes, something expected to happen early next year, WBUR said it will broadcast its signal on 92.7 FM, a 3,000-watt station reaching more than 60,000 prospective new listeners. The 92.7 signal will be in addition to WBUR’s current 50,000-watt signal on 90.9 FM.

WBUR produces such programs as “On Point,” “Here & Now,” and “Only A Game.” The station also produces hourly local newscasts and a daily news magazine program, “Radio Boston,” and carries NPR News programs such as “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” and “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”

According to WBUR, its programming reaches close to 500,000 listeners each week.

Chris Reidy can be reached at
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