HARLINGEN, RGV – Mario Muñoz’s ‘Closer to Home’ feature on 88 FM will continue – even after RGV Public Radio 88 FM goes dark.

The local news segment will air online on the Rio Grande Guardian‘s various digital platforms.

Mario Muñoz

“We are delighted to announce that our long-standing collaboration with Mario will continue, even after 88 FM changes hands. We know how popular his ‘Closer to Home’ segment is,” said Steve Taylor, publisher of the Rio Grande Guardian.

The Diocese of Brownsville is selling KHID 88.1 FM and KJJF 88.9 FM to Relevant Radio. As a result, the Rio Grande Valley is going to lose National Public Radio. Muñoz’s ‘Closer to Home’ feature runs during NPR’s Morning Edition. It often features stories from the Rio Grande Guardian.

“We all want NPR to stay on the air in the Rio Grande Valley and we support efforts to start a new station with NPR. It would be a travesty for the Valley to lose its quality programs, especially its national news shows,” Taylor said.

“But, there is no reason we should lose Mario’s local news segment, ‘Closer to Home.’ We plan to run it daily in the Rio Grande Guardian until such time as a new NPR station is created. We would then hope Mario would be back on the air.”

There are currently various efforts to create a new public radio station in the Valley. UT-Rio Grande Valley communications professor W.F. Strong is working on a plan to have UTRGV start such a station. 88 FM enthusiasts have started a non-profit, Save NPR in the RGV to raise money. The funds would go towards ‘renting’ an HD channel on an existing radio station in order to run NPR programing. Also, veteran broadcaster Ron Whitlock is working on a plan to develop a public radio station.

For those who have not heard Mario Muñoz’s ‘Closer to Home’ feature on 88 FM, here are some recent news segments:

Asylum seekers dropped off in Brownsville without ‘notice to appear’ papers

Thousands of asylum seekers dropped off in McAllen

The Port of Brownsville is expanding and diversifying

A state-of-the-art entrepreneur center to be built in Brownsville

McAllen ISD’s breakfast program receives national accolades