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NPR, WGBH to Buy National Public Broadcasting

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NEW YORK National Public Radio and WGBH in Boston said Tuesday the two companies have offered to acquire National Public Broadcasting, the leading sponsorship representation firm for public TV and radio stations.

The deal creates the largest national and local sponsorship representative for national and local public radio, TV and multimedia.

Williams Communications, the majority owner of NPB, has accepted the offer in principle.

Robert Williams, the founder of NPB, will retain his position as chief executive officer with the new, independent nonprofit company. Ken Stern, chief executive officer of NPR, will become chairman of the board of the new company. Jonathan Abbott, chief operating officer and president-elect of WGBH, will also serve on the new board.

"This new organization will enable us to better communicate the value, and values, of public broadcasting to the corporate community," said Stern. "With the rapid growth of audience throughout public broadcasting and the expansion of media platforms we serve, this new organization will provide greater resources to fully, actively represent our shared assets."

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of October.