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Mar 9, 2010 6:53 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

WLIU negotiates lease to move to Southampton Village

Mar 9, 2010 6:53 PM

Peconic Public Broadcasting has found a new home for WLIU 88.3 FM—in a Southampton Village office complex.

The nonprofit organization founded last summer by WLIU supporters for the purpose of purchasing the station from Long Island University has negotiated a lease with Southampton Catcove LLC, the owners of a complex at 71 Hill Street.

The only locally based public radio station is expected to move its broadcasting studios sometime this week to the first floor of the Hill Street location from its current headquarters in Chancellors Hall on the Stony Brook Southampton campus pending Long Island University’s review and approval of a one-year lease that is renewable for up to five years.

As of Tuesday afternoon, March 9, the lease was being reviewed by LIU in accordance with Federal Communications Commission regulations, which require the owner of a license to be in control of its programming origination point until the license is transferred to a new owner. The sale of the station to Peconic Public Broadcasting is expected to be complete on June 30, when the $650,000 balance is due. The group made a $158,000 down payment last month toward the total purchase price of $850,000. Of the initial down payment, $150,000 went toward the principal and $8,000 to other expenses. A second installment of $50,000 is due on May 31.

Wally Smith, the president of Peconic Public Broadcasting and the general manager of WLIU, said on Tuesday afternoon that Peconic anticipated LIU to sign the lease that evening, after which the station will begin to move its equipment to its new studios.

Mr. Smith declined to disclose the cost of the lease until it has been signed.

Another potential site for the station’s headquarters—the Parrish Art Museum’s Petrie Center for Education, formerly the Rogers Memorial Library building on Jobs Lane in the village center—was ultimately passed on, mostly because of time constraints, Mr. Smith noted. LIU’s current lease on the station’s oceanview broadcasting studios at Stony Brook Southampton expires at the end of the month, and all broadcasting equipment must be cleared by the end of this week so that the university can prepare the site for its future use as classroom and office space.

“Because of issues that required extra time to resolve and because Peconic was under a strict deadline to vacate our present offices, we were not able to make the move to the Petrie Center,” Mr. Smith explained. “The Parrish Museum could not have been more supportive or cooperative in our negotiations and were willing to work with us to reach agreement, but time ran out on us and we had to make an alternative decision.”

During the move, the station expects to provide 24-7 programming from its network sources, airing syndicated programs such as jazz and BBC News. Local programming would be expected to be restored within three to five days.

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This station is important to our quality of life in Southampton - we should all be supportive - both in attitude and financially.
By sunshine (47), southampton on Mar 8, 10 6:13 PM
Doesn't mention who the owner of the new building is? How about this part:

"Southampton Catcove LLC, the owners of a complex at 71 Hill Streets."
By Undertow (64), Southampton on Mar 9, 10 12:13 AM
On Saturday during your move you did not broadcast the Met Opera production of Attila, wonderfully reviewed. I was told by your managers that you would place that program on the air this week. Can you schedule and let us know when it will be? It is important not to miss it. Fred Smith
By Fred R. Smith (2), Wainscott on Mar 9, 10 3:40 PM