WBUR, a Boston National Public Radio news station, said Wednesday that it plans to begin broadcasting its programming Saturday on its new 92.7-FM signal on Martha’s Vineyard.
The 92.7-FM signal has long been held by a rock station with the call letters of WMVY.
In November, WBUR announced an agreement to buy the 3,000-watt signal from Aritaur Communications for an undisclosed amount. For WBUR, the sales agreement was part of a plan to expand its reach in Southeastern Massachusetts and to add up to as many as 60,000 potential new listeners.
In a Wednesday press release, WBUR said that the sale is expected to close Friday and that it plans to begin broadcasting its programming the next day on a signal that will henceforth be known as 92.7 WBUA-FM. (WBUR will continue to broadcast on its Greater Boston signal of 90.9-FM.)
“The Islands, Cape Cod, and ‘SouthCoast’ are vital to the state we cover and serve,” WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz said in a statement. “But until now, most residents could not get our signal. We have the largest radio newsroom in New England and are thrilled to provide our outstanding local news reporting --- along with our signature programs like ‘On Point,’ ‘Here & Now,’ ‘Radio Boston,’ and ‘Only A Game’ --- to these important Massachusetts communities.”
When the sales agreement was first disclosed, WMVY said it would attempt to continue as a nonprofit station, streaming commercial-free music online and possibly broadcasting on a new FM channel. But to do that, it had to raise $600,000 by the end of January to cover its annual operating costs and avoid a complete shutdown.
A few days ago, WMVY said that it had raised the $600,000 needed to continue Internet-only radio operations for this year.