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January 31, 2020


WNET, America’s flagship PBS station, parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey, announced the acquisition of WPPB-FM, a National Public Radio station based in Southampton, New York that serves the East End of Long Island. The purchase, which was approved by the FCC and the New York State Attorney General’s office, will make WLIW a dual licensee, operating both a PBS television station and NPR radio station. Long-serving WPPB-FM General Manager Dr. Wally Smith will become General Manager Emeritus.

“With the acquisition of WPPB-FM, WNET is bringing together the only NPR station and only PBS station on Long Island,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET. “We see the marriage of these stations as an important step in securing the future of public broadcasting for the Long Island community. We are grateful to WPPB General Manager Wally Smith, who helped build the station into a beacon for the community and whose guidance we’ll continue to count on.”

“We are excited about the potential that adding an NPR radio station to the WLIW family will bring,” said Long Island native and resident Diane Masciale, Vice President & General Manager of WLIW21 and Executive Producer of local productions at WLIW. “Now that public media on Long Island is truly multi-platform, we’ll have a new entry point to create deeper connections in the community through the quality local programming, conversations and community events for which WLIW, WPPB and public media are known. Wally Smith and his staff created a wonderful foundation on which we’ll continue to build.”

“We are proud to have built and maintained WPPB as an important and valuable home for NPR on Eastern Long Island,” said Wally Smith, General Manager of WPPB, “and we could not have done it without the support of our board, staff and supporters who provided guidance all along. The station’s 40-year legacy of excellent programming and community service will live on and thrive with WNET and WLIW21.”

The station call letters will be changed from WPPB-FM to WLIW-FM in the coming months.

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