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Atlanta NPR station slams Public Broadcasting deal

Metro ATL

Atlanta NPR station slams Public Broadcasting deal

Source: WABE.org
Source: WABE.org

Source: WABE.org

WABE, Atlanta’s NPR station, has said very little publicly about Georgia Public Broadcasting’s deal with Georgia State University to take over WRAS, the formerly student-run radio station

That changed on July 2 when Public Broadcasting Atlanta Board Chairman Louis Sullivan published an open letter saying that GPB is using the deal to undermine WABE.

“GPB has announced its plans to broadcast on WRAS two widely listened to National Public Radio (NPR) shows, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, at exactly the same time that WABE airs these programs,” Sullivan’s letter says. “This is an unwarranted duplication of service. It is a waste of Georgia’s tax dollars that could be better allocated elsewhere.”

Sullivan says that GPB and PBA should be collaborators, not competitors.

“The transaction begs the question of why GPB has pursued this arrangement,” the letter says. “The apparent reason is that, notwithstanding its very high amount of Georgia taxpayer funding, GPB desires to cut into PBA’s Atlanta community fundraising base. GPB’s management characterizes its actions as “competition.” Unfortunately, with this characterization, GPB is missing the mark badly.”

To read the whole letter, click here.

The move by GPB to broadcast over the university’s airwaves hasn’t gone over well since it was announced on May 6. The announcement was news to the students working at WRAS, who said they weren’t consulted beforehand. Alumni have attempted to convince GSU to reconsider the deal.

In response GSU announced, “Georgia State has hired engineers and other media consultants to pursue an alternate translator frequency for Album 88. Georgia State has remained committed to the partnership and GPB will begin broadcasting on 88.5 on the morning of June 29. The university will continue to pursue opportunities to restore Album 88 to its FM analog presence in Atlanta.”