As of this week, Valley residents can no longer listen to National Public Radio on the air.
A lone car, several satellite dishes with loose wires and grass growing over the parking lot is what stays at RGV Educational Broadcasting.
What’s now gone for good is Public Radio 88 FM.
Chris Maley is the station’s former programming director. He had been with the station for 24 years. He was hired on August 1, 1994.
“Local organizations came into play with ideas on promoting their type of music AND their type of arts,” Maley said.
He says the station used to own the PBS affiliate in the Valley, KMBH-TV until the Brownsville Diocese sold it R Communications four years ago.
Earlier this year, the diocese sold the remaining radio frequencies to Immaculate Heart Media, Inc. a Catholic talk radio network.
Bishop Daniel Flores said in a statement this week, “AS a growing diocese we must be prudent with our resources and make sure they are in line with the mission of the church.”
But there’s an effort growing to try and bring back National Public Radio programming to the valley.
“You’ve got areas or pockets throughout the nation that don’t have any reception whatsoever and this is an avenue that is available to everybody,” said Edgar López from Save NPR in the Río Grande Valley.
He’s hoping to work with lawmakers like Congressman Vicente González and local organizations to find a way to get a radio signal to broadcast NPR.
In a statement, Congressman González said in part, “WHEN I first learned of this station shutting down, I immediately began pooling local resources and gathering community leaders.”
González says he plans on organizing a meeting in August at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley about housing a public radio station at the university.
Maley said the station promoted the artistic expression of the Valley and hopes the entire public can experience public radio in the Valley again.