Ely's longtime radio station — its future hanging in the balance for months — will operate through the end of November while its owner continues to search for a buyer.

WELY End of the Road Radio was set to close June 1 after its owner, the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, said it was losing money on the endeavor. But community interest in a sale led to a closure postponement while the band explored options.

"While the initial three months afforded us some time to begin the sales process, it just wasn't enough," Mayan Beltran, CEO of the band, said in a news release. "We are hopeful this new window will give us time to sell it now that all the details are finalized."

The entire operation is for sale: the downtown Ely Chapman Street station building and its FCC license, plus the radio tower and the property it sits on. The band declined to disclose the sale price because of "numerous parties" still expressing interest.

Bois Forte tribal council member Shane Drift said no other extensions would be given.

"If we don't sell it, we just have to close it down," Drift said in the release.

WELY first began broadcasting in 1954. Financial problems forced a closure in 1987, when CBS journalist Charles Kuralt, known for his "On the Road" program, bought the station in 1995. He operated it until his death in 1997. Bois Forte bought WELY in 2005.

Aside from music and emergency messages, WELY is the local source of Minnesota Twins baseball and Vikings football coverage, regional news and area high school sports. Its reach extends across the upper Arrowhead.