Two West Coast radio stations rebrand as “Classical California,” with new streaming channels, revamped YouTube

Posted on: April 28, 2022

“Judy McAlpine politely demurs when asked to predict how people will be listening to music in 20 years,” writes Tom Jacobs in Monday’s (4/25) San Francisco Classical Voice. “But the president of the USC Radio Group—parent company of classical stations KDFC in San Francisco and KUSC in Los Angeles [says] announcers who establish a connection with their listeners, and tell stories about the music they play, fulfill ‘a timeless need, whether it’s via wifi or a radio transmitter on a mountaintop.’ Preparing for that uncertain future is the impulse behind the stations’ recent rebranding. Both now operate under the alliterative umbrella ‘Classical California.’ The new name also reflects a revised ‘content strategy,’ which involves [initially] two new streaming channels, along with revamping its YouTube channel….. The new streaming channels—which complement existing ones … are focused on relaxing classical music (The Great Escape) and American classical music (Classical Americana, hosted by pianist Lara Downes)…. More streams are coming…. ‘We’re also launching a video series next week called This Is Classical, about people and organizations…. We’re making our own four- to five-minute videos,’ ” said Mark Steinmetz, vice president of content. “The bulk of their listenership remains on the radio.”