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Operator of Sonoma County public radio KRCB plans to buy K-Hits 104.9 from Amaturo Sonoma Media Group

Northern California Public Media, operator of KRCB-FM in Sonoma County, has filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission to purchase K-Hits 104.9 (KDHT-FM) from Amaturo Sonoma Media Group.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

The acquisition is expected to be approved by the commission in 10 to 12 weeks. The public broadcaster said the newly added station will significantly boost the company’s listener reach. The station to be acquired reaches virtually all of Sonoma County plus northern Novato and western portions of Napa County.

“We’re pleased to be able to serve all of Sonoma County,” said Darren LaShelle, the nonprofit organization’s president and CEO. “This has been a goal of ours for a very long time. The stronger signal on 104.9 FM will feature more local news, NPR news, and locally hosted music shows.”

KRCB-FM, at 91.1 FM, has a signal that is “difficult to hear in much of the county and could not be improved,” the company stated. It has operated that station since 1993.

“While we're saddened to part with such a fine station, placing it in hands of our public broadcasting peers at such a crucial time softens the blow,” said Michael O'Shea, ASMG president. The company also owns four other local radio stations: KSRO, Froggy 92.9 (KFGY-FM), 97.7 The River (KVRV-FM), and Hot 101.7 (KHTH-FM), as well as NorthBay Biz magazine.

Along with the pending deal to acquire KDHT-FM, Northern California Public Media said it has made additional hires. They include former San Francisco news director and longtime Sonoma County resident Chris Lee as the station’s executive producer, Greta Mart from KCBX in San Luis Obispo as news director, and reporters Marc Albert from North State Public Radio and Tessa Paoli from Capitol Public Radio (KALW).

The company also owns KRCB-TV and KPJK-TV, both noncommercial channels.

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