WAMU 88.5, Washington’s NPR news station, will sell WRAU 88.3 to Delaware Public Media in 2020. This sale is a strategic move on the part of both parties to benefit the WRAU listening audience.

Currently, the WRAU audience makes up just over 2% of WAMU’s weekly broadcast audience, but the support of WRAU consumes WAMU resources that could be better allocated to achieve a greater return on investment.

This sale gives WAMU an opportunity to focus its resources on the Washington, D.C., region by cultivating audiences in the high-density metropolitan region through digital platforms and new broadcast formats.

“This decision is about serving local audiences with the best possible public service,” said JJ Yore, general manager of WAMU. “We at WAMU are deeply committed to strengthening our coverage of the Washington region, not only on 88.5 but also through WAMU.org, DCist, our podcasts and social media. Meanwhile this sale helps our friends at Delaware Public Media serve their audiences better. We both win.”

Additionally, the public radio ecosystem of the Eastern Shore has evolved and does not benefit from having multiple independent stations. Delaware Public Media is an NPR affiliate offering news and talk programming. The national program offerings of WAMU and Delaware Public Media are similar.

Jane Vincent, president of Delaware Public Media, shared “As the only NPR affiliate licensed in Delaware, the opportunity to extend our terrestrial signal to a much wider portion of Delaware is consistent with our mission to serve all three counties of the state with independent high quality news and programming for and about Delaware. Ensuring Sussex County residents will continue to have access to great NPR programming and keeping the signal within the NPR family are added bonuses.”

The sale is currently undergoing the FCC’s approval process and will be completed in June 2020. Listeners of WRAU 88.3 can expect program changes to occur in early June. All current listeners in Maryland and Delaware will continue to receive the 88.3 signal once the transition to Delaware Public Media takes place.

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