WPPB-FM Acquisition

WNET Expands Its Presence on Long Island with the Acquisition of WPPB-FM

The purchase of the Southampton, New York NPR station makes WLIW the only destination for public television and public radio on Long Island

GM Dr. Wally Smith named General Manager Emeritus

 (New York, NY – Jan. 31, 2020) WNET, America’s flagship PBS station, parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey, announced the acquisition of WPPB-FM, a National Public Radio station based in Southampton, New York that serves the East End of Long Island. The purchase, which was approved by the FCC and the New York State Attorney General’s office, will make WLIW a dual licensee, operating both a PBS television station and NPR radio station. Long-serving WPPB-FM General Manager Dr. Wally Smith will become General Manager Emeritus.

“With the acquisition of WPPB-FM, WNET is bringing together the only NPR station and only PBS station on Long Island,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET. “We see the marriage of these stations as an important step in securing the future of public broadcasting for the Long Island community. We are grateful to WPPB General Manager Wally Smith, who helped build the station into a beacon for the community and whose guidance we’ll continue to count on.”

“We are excited about the potential that adding an NPR radio station to the WLIW family will bring,” said Long Island native and resident Diane Masciale, Vice President & General Manager of WLIW21 and Executive Producer of local productions at WLIW. “Now that public media on Long Island is truly multi-platform, we’ll have a new entry point to create deeper connections in the community through the quality local programming, conversations and community events for which WLIW, WPPB and public media are known. Wally Smith and his staff created a wonderful foundation on which we’ll continue to build.”

“We are proud to have built and maintained WPPB as an important and valuable home for NPR on Eastern Long Island,” said Wally Smith, General Manager of WPPB, “and we could not have done it without the support of our board, staff and supporters who provided guidance all along. The station’s 40-year legacy of excellent programming and community service will live on and thrive with WNET and WLIW21.”

The station call letters will be changed from WPPB-FM to WLIW-FM in the coming months.


About WNET
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.


About WLIW21

WLIW21 is one of America’s most respected and innovative public media providers. A member of the WNET family of companies, WLIW21 is a unique cultural and educational institution that harnesses the power of television and electronic media to inform, enlighten, entertain and inspire. Since the first broadcast in 1969, public media station WLIW21 has been serving residents of Long Island and the greater tri-state community by delivering quality arts, education and public affairs programming on-air and online. In addition to presenting a range of popular PBS programming, including Nature, NOVA, Antiques Road Show and American Masters, WLIW21 also features such British television favorites as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and Doc Martin as part of WLIW21’s High Tea daily program schedule. WLIW21 also produces acclaimed local programs such as MetroFocus, WLIW Arts Beat, Treasures of New York and Long Island Screening Room. With a broad reach across three states, WLIW21 is viewed by approximately 1 million people each week throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  WLIW21 maintains a newly renovated production studio in Plainview, NY.


Press Contact:

Natasha Padilla, WNET

212.560.8824 padilla@wnet.org

Elizabeth Boone, WNET

212.560.8831, booneb@wnet.org

Ava Locks, WPPB

917.371.0069 ava@wppb883.org