Cameron Baird Foundation Gives $50,000 to UB for Digitization of WBFO Studios

Release Date: February 6, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Cameron Baird Foundation has given a $50,000 grant to WBFO 88.7 FM, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by the University at Buffalo, to be used for the digitization of all station studios.

The project will involve replacement of all obsolete broadcast equipment, as well as improvement of the station's delivery systems, according to Carole Petro, associate vice president and WBFO general manager.

"Ultimately this technology upgrade will allow us to reach new audiences," Petro said. "WBFO's studios will be the most technologically sophisticated radio facility in the region once this project is complete. We are tremendously grateful to the Cameron Baird Foundation for its significant contribution to this major undertaking."

The funds from the Cameron Baird Foundation, which has supported the station through prior grants, satisfy the required match of the $50,000 competitive grant that WBFO received from the federal Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) to implement the digitization work. The project, which will cost a total of $250,000, is scheduled for completion during 2003.

The Cameron Baird Foundation in Buffalo provides financial assistance to not-for-profit organizations. Foundation representative Barbara Baird said the board of directors was impressed with WBFO's organization of the digitization project.

"We are pleased to be a part of the future of WBFO, which serves its community so well in news, public affairs and music programming, and which now will reach out to an even wider audience through digitization," Baird said.

WBFO reaches an audience of approximately 100,000 people per 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 offers a depth of programming not available elsewhere in Western New York, including NPR/PRI news and entertainment programs, local and regional news, public and cultural affairs programming, and jazz and blues.

The grant from the Cameron Baird Foundation is part of "The Campaign for UB: Generation to Generation," now entering its final phase. The drive has raised nearly $210 million of its $250 million goal.

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