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Donald F. and Barbara L. Newman Foundation Gifts $25,000 Toward Increasing WBFO's Audience Reach

By Kelli Bocock-Natale

Release Date: June 25, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- WBFO 88.7 FM, a major public service of the University at Buffalo, has recently received a gift from the Donald F. and Barbara L. Newman Foundation in the amount of $25,000. The donation will be used toward funding of the new tower and antenna that will improve service to WBFO's audience in Western New York, the Southern Tier and Southern Ontario, and will extend service to approximately 50,000 people to the northeast, east and southeast of the station's current broadcast reach.

At 443 feet high, the new tower stands 45 percent higher than WBFO's former tower, and allows the station to deliver a significantly stronger signal to more than 1.15 million people within its broadcast area and to expand its reach by 50,000, according to Carole Smith Petro, associate vice president and WBFO general manager.

"The Newmans have been strong supporters of WBFO's continuing efforts to deliver high quality public radio," Petro said. "We are grateful for their on-going confidence in WBFO. With their support, WBFO will be able to take full advantage of its current digital, satellite and Internet capabilities, placing WBFO in the technical forefront of both commercial and public radio stations across the nation."

"The Newman family is pleased to join forces with other contributors in the region to fund the largest single technical improvement to WBFO in its nearly 50 years of operation," said Don Newman. "We hope others will follow our lead in this important endeavor."

The generous gift will be used toward the total goal of $575,000 that WBFO must secure in private funding to help cover the cost of the new tower.

WBFO 88.7 FM reaches an audience of approximately 100,000 people each week through its main signal in Buffalo and through repeater stations WUBJ 88.1 FM in Jamestown and WOLN 91.3 FM in Olean. WBFO's news department offers comprehensive coverage of regional and worldwide news. The station also offers a depth of programming not available elsewhere in the community, including NPR/PRI news and entertainment programs, public and cultural affairs programming and jazz and blues.

For more information regarding the tower and antenna, contact WBFO Program Director David Benders at 716-829-6000 ext. 502 or dbenders@wbfo.org. To participate in funding the new tower, contact Petro at petro@buffalo.edu.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.