Last summer, Bill Legere, president and general manager of KTOO-FM in Juneau, Alaska, learned a disturbing lesson when his small public radio station tried to buy two commercial stations. The purchase price was reasonable enough – $674,000 for both stations – and KTOO had $250,000 of its own money to contribute to the deal. But try as he might, Legere could not find a commercial lender willing to loan KTOO the balance. “What we learned is that public radio acquisition of commercial stations...

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