PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s two public media outlets announced on Thursday that they plan to join forces.
Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio, formerly known as Rhode Island Public Radio, said in a news release that their boards have voted to seek approval for a merger from both the Federal Communications Commission and R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha.
“As a unified public media organization, we anticipate building new relationships and fostering deep partnerships while opening our audience’s eyes and ears to new experiences in the arts, sciences, humanities, and politics,” said Elizabeth Delude-Dix, chair of The Public’s Radio board of directors.
“By working together, we will create an opportunity to bring a more powerful and necessary public media voice to serve our community,” added Dave Laverty, chair of the Rhode Island PBS Foundation Board.
According to the press release, Torey Malatia of The Public’s Radio and David Piccerelli of Rhode Island PBS will continue to serve as CEOs of the combined public media organization.
Under a 2005 state law called the Public Radio Conversions Act, the attorney general is required to sign off on any ownership change involving a public radio station in Rhode Island.
Neronha’s office said his office will have six months to either approve or reject the proposed merger once the two parties have filed a complete application.
“The public’s participation is welcome and an important part of the process,” said Neronha spokesperson Brian Hodge. “During the review process, our office will be accepting written comment and will also hold a public meeting where we will accept oral testimony and comment.”