WVGN 107.3 FM will go off the air Sunday, but it may not be taking National Public Radio with it, as reported Wednesday.
The new owner of the station, Robert Watkins, president and CEO of WHPR TV33 / FM88.1 in Detroit, said Friday that he is in negotiations with NPR, and he intends to keep some NPR programming.
"There are no promises at this point,” Watkins said, but he has reconsidered his previous decision to drop the programming after getting feedback on NPR’s popularity in the territory.
His new station, WVIE, Virgin Islands Entertainment, "is a commercial, for-profit station,” Watkins said, "but we can still carry not-for-profit programming, though not 24 hours. We will carry the programming the public supports. We don’t have the license or know the dollar amount NPR wants yet, but I’m willing to put my neck on the line to be of service to the community with sponsorship, membership or whatever we can come up with, I’m more than willing.”
He said he was still in talks with NPR Friday. "We need to get the satellite hookup,” he said.
Watkins said in the meantime, he will carry jazz and some talk shows when the change takes place after Sunday.