UTICA -- Northeast Public Radio, a multi-station network originating from flagship WAMC/Albany, has reportedly traded away WRUN(AM) for an FM translator in Cooperstown. The deal allows the network to reach more listeners closer to its home base, but it won't be completely leaving the Mohawk Valley.
The report from today's "Taylor on Radio-Info" e-newsletter says NEPR is making the swap with engineer-turned-entrepreneur Charles "Bud" Williamson and his company, Digital Radio Broadcasting.
NEPR will take over operations of Cooperstown translator W248AN at 97.5FM, a station that recently obtained permission to slide down the dial to 97.3FM, where it will identify itself as W247BM.
In exchange, Taylor reports Williamson gets WRUN(AM) and its accompanying building in Oriskany (featured as a Picture of the Week last summer). Williamson will also get $20,000 in cash, and he'll pick up the construction permit that allows WRUN to replace the aging 5-tower array with a new 4-tower system -- a project that comes with power level changes which will require WRUN to change its City of License from Utica to New Hartford.
But the news doesn't mean Mohawk Valley listeners will be left without a Northeast Public Radio affiliate; it appears the status of WRUN-FM/Remsen will remain unchanged. NEPR signed on the signal at 90.3 FM last December. We can't help but wonder if NEPR will change the FM's call letters, so WRUN(AM) can keep the heritage call letters it's had since 1948.
Also no word yet on what kind of programming Williamson will bring to WRUN. As of this morning during your editor's commute to his day job, it sounds like WAMC programming is still in place.