Radio station gets another extension

Long Island University has once again given Peconic Public Broadcasting Inc., the group which runs Long Island’s only NPR affiliate, more time to make the final $637,000 payment to purchase the station’s license and equipment.

LIU and Peconic Public Broadcasting issued a joint release Saturday stating the university, which has owned 88.3 FM for more than 20 years, has given the group until Sept. 28 to make the payment. The previous deadline was June 30, which was then extended until Aug. 31 and again until Sept. 3.

The radio station, now headed by staffers and operating under the call letters WPPB, is continuing efforts to raise the money needed.

“While PPB has not raised all of the funds required to complete the purchase, it has indicated that significant progress is being made and Long Island University has agreed to the extension based upon their assurances that it will soon have the funding needed to purchase the station,” the release states.

Earlier this week, Peconic Public Broadcasting issued a statement indicating that a local bank, which it did not name, has agreed to issue a loan funding the difference if the fundraising goal is not met. It also said the George Soros’ Open Society Institute has made a $50,000 challenge grant in support of the campaign. The grant must be matched by other contributions.

LIU had run the radio station from its Southampton campus, which it sold to SUNY Stony Brook in 2006, for more than two decades. The school announced its intention to sell the station last year, citing $1 million in annual losses, including rent the school has been paying to Stony Brook. The group has already made more than $150,000 in down payments to LIU, funded by donations, which would be forfeited if it fails to close on the deal.

Peconic Public Broadcasting, which was formed last year, beat out two other suitors and signed a $2.4 million deal in October to purchase the station from LIU. At that time, the group signed a letter of intent with the university to purchase the station for about $850,000 cash, with the rest coming in services.

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