AG deems Rhode Island PBS-The Public’s Radio merger application complete

PROVIDENCE – R.I. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha has deemed the 443-page merger application submitted by Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio complete, but the process to get the attorney general’s final blessing will still take time.

Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio announced in November their plan to join together and form a single broadcasting organization. The merged venture they said at the time will combine both television and radio broadcasts, as well as further its digital reporting within Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, and they expect the merger will be complete this spring.

Neronha’s office says the application was first submitted on Nov. 16, 2023, and another application was sent in with additional materials on Jan. 12. Now, Neronha’s office says it has 180 days, or until Aug. 5, to review and determine whether or not to approve the proposed merger.

Also, a public meeting on the merger will take place on Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at Neronha’s Providence office at 150 South Main St. Written public comments on the merger can also be either emailed or traditional mailed to Neronha at his Providence office directed to the Consumer and Economic Justice Unit by Feb. 29.

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Additionally, Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio are searching for a new CEO and president to lead the merged entity, if and when approved. According to the job posting, which does not include an estimated salary for the position, Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio are seeking a person with “significant experience” leading an organization or someone who “has taken an organization in a new positive direction,” such as finding new audiences, developing and implementing strategic plans, and digital transformation.

Fiscal management experience and fundraising of public and private funds are also qualities being sought in the organization’s new top executive, per the job posting.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.