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News Roundup: Classical radio thriving in England, threatened in St. Louis; AMPPR audio, PRPD plans

Welcome to the Monday morning roundup on Scanning the Dial, where we’ve got news from bad to good and ghosts of conferences past and yet to come.

  • KFUO-FM St. Louis closer to sale, format change

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported yesterday that the sale of KFUO-FM in St. Louis is closer to fruition, with contemporary Christian station Joy FM as the leading candidate. The station is currently owned by the Lutheran Church&#ndash;Missouri Synod, and the sale is before their board of directors in a meeting this week. We posted about the possible sale when the news first broke.

The Radio Arts Board and Circle of Friends, a group that wants to purchase the station to keep it broadcasting classical music, have raised $8 million, while Joy FM has offered $18 million for the station.  One possibility mentioned is a three-way deal for Joy FM to purchase KFUO’s signal and sell its own two weaker frequencies to the classical consortium (sound familiar?)

In a blog post, Sarah Bryan Miller, the article’s author, also notes that Joy FM doesn’t have the $18 million dollars up front to purchase the station.

“Joy FM doesn’t actually have the cash; they’d make a down payment, and, says Omaha lawyer Kermit A. Brashear, the LCMS would hold a “security position” – with, presumably, the purchase itself as collateral – while Joy FM made its payments over an undisclosed period of time.”

The St. Louis Today site also has a forum where people are weighing in on the potential sale.

  • AMPPR conference audio now available

The Associated Music Personnel in Public Radio (AMPPR) met earlier this year in Ft. Worth, Texas.  Weren’t able to make the trip?  Now you can listen to all of the conference sessions online.  The topics include fundraising, announcing, digital rights (with a SoundExchange representative), blogging, online marketing and outreach, new types of music distribution, and commercial classical stations.  You can download and listen to all the files here.  Previously, I wrote about what I learned at the 2009 AMPPR conference: parts one, two, and three.

  • Public Radio Programming Directors to meet next month

Next month, another public radio group convenes – the Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) conference will take place September 15-18th in Cleveland.  They’ll be talking about producing radio, fundraising, online collaboration, social media, and more.  A tentative full schedule is now available. Check it out.

A few specific sessions for those interested in classical radio to note:

  • “Classical Music Scheduling,” a discussion of results of the application of the PRPD National Classical Testing project with Frank Dominguez (Program Director, WDAV, David Roden (Music Director, WKSU), and Arthur Cohen (President, PRPD)
  • “Mixed Format: Still Crazy after all these Years?” will include Helen Barrington, Program Director of classical/news station WFCR.
  • Gayle Ober, Director of Classical Programming at Minnesota Public Radio, represents classical music in a session called “Music in the New Media Ecosystem.”

And finally:

  • Classical radio listening on the rise in England

In England, more people are listening to classical radio.  The Independent reports that both the commercial Classic FM and BBC’s Radio 3 have seen their audiences grow significantly over the past quarter.  Article author Ian Burrell credits the increase in audience to people seeking the soothing sounds of classical music as a respite from economic worries, but doesn’t offer proof for this connection.  Here’s the article: “Stressed-out listeners turn to classical.”

One Response to News Roundup: Classical radio thriving in England, threatened in St. Louis; AMPPR audio, PRPD plans

  1. Richard Mitnick August 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    There is a guy, Richard Buell, at the Boston Globe, who puts up listing of stations playing Classical music. Many are PubRadio. His URL is

    and, one can get him by RSS feed.

    Mona, it was your survey concept that motivated me to put up this response. Richard is a good guy and I think does this for the pure joy.


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