Is classical radio making a comeback?

Posted on: April 27, 2010

In Sunday’s (4/25) New York Times, Elizabeth Jensen writes, “Just 19 commercial classical stations remain on the air nationwide, by one count, down from about 50 in the early 1990s. But as ad-supported programmers also decide that the classical format is no longer practical, the music has started to find a new savior. And, to the surprise of many, it is public broadcasting. … WNYC bought the commercial classical station WQXR from The New York Times Company last year. Despite moving to the frequency 105.9 FM, a weaker signal on the dial, WQXR, under its new owners, has thrived. In January 2009, under its previous owners, the station was reaching an average weekly audience of 706,700 listeners; by February 2010, that number had jumped to 834,400, according to Arbitron figures supplied by the station. … Similar successes have occurred nationwide. In Boston, public broadcaster WGBH-FM had long offered news, talk and classical music. Last fall, it bought the commercial classical station WCRB-FM from Nassau Broadcasting Partners of New Jersey and moved its classical programming there. On March 18, the station set a WGBH Radio record for a single day of on-air fund-raising, raising $102,001 from 1,190 supporters, Jeanne Hopkins, a spokeswoman, said.”

Posted April 27, 2010