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In the meantime, Voices of the Valley is planning a Web site with online streaming featuring a mix of National Public Radio programs and local programming. Price hopes to have the Web site up and running by the first of the year.
The effort by a group called Voices of the Valley to establish a second public radio station in the region has suffered a glitch.
Meanwhile, an audit report on KMBH by the inspector general's office of the Corporation for Public Broacasting, which looked into CPB grants awarded to the station for fiscal years 2007 and 2008, came out Sept. 30. The audit was done to find out whether KMBH complied with CPB's financial reporting guidelines in reporting non federal financial support such as donations from businesses or private individuals in its annual financial reports. The audit also addressed whether the station complied with Certificate of Eligibility requirements, the amended Communications Act of 1934 and CPB grant agreement rules governing the expenditure of CPB grant money.
KMBH president and CEO Msgr. Pedro Briseo could not be reached for comment. However, in a response to the audit report, he wrote to CPB Deputy Inspector General William Richardson III: "We intend to implement changes in our accounting and other procedures as set forth in the report." That said, Briseo goes on to dispute specific findings in detail and cautions against generalizations in the language of the report that could "harm our ability to raise funds from donors in this difficult economic environment."
Betsy Price, a former KMBH board member who began the push for a station after being "resigned," as she puts it, from the KMBH board of directors in 2007, says a Raymondville AM station that her group was attempting to lease was snapped up by cable sports giant ESPN.
"I think they have some very good programming there's no question about it," he says. "But I don't think it's broad enough. Quite frankly, I think there's a tremendous amount of opportunity along our border for cultural, historical, current events types of things going on that need to be developed, that actually impacts not only our area but, in my opinion, nationally."
"We came very close," she says. "We were working with a broker to get a five year lease with one of the stations. It was looking good until (ESPN) bought it out. What we were looking at was to partner with Texas Public Radio. We would have been broadcasting right away. It was very disappointing."
"We will not be asking them for money until we have a lease of a station in hand or the Internet component is getting ready to launch," Price adds. "We know there's money there. We've got these promises. I get phone calls and e mails every single day, which shows to me that we're on the right track."
_ Maintain an operating community advisory board and provide the CPB with copies of the board's bylaws, notices of advisory board and board of directors meetings, and meeting agendas and minutes;
The report notes that KMBH management "generally disagreed with our findings or how they were presented," but at the same time "agreed to take corrective action on the majority of our recommendations."
"The problem with the radio market right now is nobody wants to budge," she says. "Buyers don't want to buy because they think the radio market is going to go cheaper, and sellers don't want to sell because they're hoping the buyers are wrong. It's a complete stalemate."
_ And provide the CPB with copies of revised policies for complying with rules governing the use of donor lists and restrictions on political activity.
Alternative radio group foiled in bid to lease Raymondville station
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The group's broker is still on the lookout for another station that would allow the group to cover as much of the Valley as possible, though it's a tough market, Price says.
According to the audit, KMBH did not fully comply with CPB requirements to establish a community advisory board, keep copies of required financial and EEO reports at the station for public inspection, document policies for complying with donor lists and political activities, or establish separate accounting records for CPB grants to "facilitate an effective audit." The audit also faulted KMBH for including in its non federal financial reporting transactions that don't qualify as contributions.
for the Upper Valley and Lower Valley in December 2008 and January 2009 respectively. The inspector general pronounced its recommendations partially resolved as of the report's Sept. 30 release.
The report recommends that the CPB require KMBH to comply with the Communications Act and provide proof to the CPB of compliance with the following specific requirements over the next fiscal year:
CPB with copies of required financial and EEO information that the station keeps on hand for public inspection;
Pea considers himself a "practicing Catholic" but nevertheless finds KMBH's programming "at times filtered."
by the rules. Sanctions could include a one time reduction of a future grant award from the CPB. The station received $1.7 million in grant funds from the CPB in fiscal year 2007 08.
Although most if Gucci Belt Images not all public radio stations across the country get some funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, they also rely heavily on local fundraising to pay the bills. Asked whether enough public radio supporters exist in the Valley to support two radio stations, Price said yes. More than 300 people have pledged support many of them willing to play a major underwriting role, she says.
Ruben Pea, a Brownsville attorney and supporter of Voices of the Valley, says the market needs "alternative voices" and a more locally oriented perspective than what's currently available from KMBH, which is owned and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville through RGV Educational Broadcasting Inc.
The report also recommends that CPB management consider sanctioning KMBH for operating for years without a community advisory board and not telling the CBP as required Hermes Belt New Design
The audit found that station management and the board of directors tried but failed to form a community advisory board in fiscal year 2006. The CPB requires the stations it helps fund to maintain advisory boards to stay in tune with the needs of the community and decide what kind of programming to feature. KMBH finally formed two advisory boards Hermes Belt Men
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