Florida Kool-Aid

Tom Taylor on Radio, the blog on radio-info.com, posted up on this change in Florida radio:

Tampa pubcaster WUSF acquires a second FM, so the flagship can focus on news/talk. WUSF (89.7) has been leading a schizophrenic life that was more typical of the 1990s than 2010. It’s a melange of talk-based Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace, mixed in with midday and evening blocks of classical — then jazz overnight. All the research shows that public radio stations do better with donations, corporate underwriting and the ratings when they focus on something and stop being all things to all people. [Ed.: And we all know that this is of paramount importance.] That movement continues to gain adherents, and last year news/classical WNYC, New York was able to buy a second FM for its classical programming. Now in Tampa Bay —

University of South Florida pays $1,275,000 for Sarasota non-com WSMR (89.1). WSMR becomes a full-time classical outlet, taking all the classical programming off of WUSF, Tampa (89.7) and also plugging in American Public Media’s Classical 24 service. For those folks north of Tampa and in other areas where they can’t receive Sarasota-based 89.1, the school can at least offer classical on the HD-2 channel of 89.7. WSMR is a Class C2 facility that has been doing contemporary Christian. Yesterday — nice touch — they held a 9am to 5pm “open house” for listeners. Minnesota-based Northwestern announced last week it was selling its Sarasota station for financial reasons, saying it’s never been able to pay its own way. As for WUSF, it can add shows like Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Tell Me More, Diane Rehm and Talk of the Nation. Those shows currently air on its HD-2 signal. The flip to daytime talk/late-night jazz at WUSF and all-classical at WSMR happens September 15. Brokers working on the sale: Greg Guy of Patrick Communications for the seller and Public Radio Capital for buyer USF. The Tampa Board of Radio-Info.com was quick to pick up on the changes.


One Response

  1. […] reported on the changes in Florida radio here back in August. The University of South Florida planned on moving WUSF to talk-talk, with overnight […]

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