Monday, September 21, 2009

Breaking News : WGBH buys WCRB to Keep Classical Alive in Boston

WGBH Boston, the nation's largest public media operation today acquired all-classical WCRB 99.5FM from Nassau Broadcasting Partners . As part of the transaction, WGBH will pay Nassau's creditor Goldman Sachs $14 million to purchase the FCC broadcast license for 99.5 FM, all related transmitting equipment, and WCRB's call letters and Web site. Through the acquisition, WGBH will preserve WCRB's 60-year classical music format.

According to a press release, as a part of the WGBH family, WCRB will be transformed into a 24/7 classical radio station operating on a public broadcasting's business model. In contrast to the current WCRB commercial model, with its reliance on advertising, the public radio model provides for a mix of funding through contributions from members and other individual donors, private foundations, city, state and federal entities and grants, and corporate underwriting.

In a release, WGBH said they will finance the purchase by beginning a special capital campaign donation drive called "Keep Classical Alive" which is now underway on its website.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

good.

John said...

Yet another government takeover of a private business. Scratch one more taxpayer and add one more tax sucker. Not good.

Anonymous said...

John,

It might be a good idea to check the facts before you post things.
GBH is an educational foundation not a government entity. Only about2% of the radio budget comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which receives tax funds. This is less money than the government gives to organizations like the United Way and the Salvation Army but I guess in your world the government shouldn't fund any cultural or artistic activties. We should just all sit around and listen to Michael Savage and Glenn Beck.

spsolomon said...

If this is going to mean listening to Laura Carlo and Mark Hooper pitching for pledges every other month, I'd just as soon keep the advertising model. I'd much rather listen to a live read of the Bose Wave Radio ad every morning than endless "phone lines are open" shilling.

spsolomon said...

Sorry, should read "Scott Hooper."

Anonymous said...

I swear to you on all that is holy I heard a commercial for pro wrestling on WCRB over the summer. " Nassau Broadcasting - We just don't get it" - that's the slogan they should run with.

Brian said...

WGBH plays a lot of classical music during the day. If they move all their music to WCRB, that will leave only WCRB as the classical chice in Boston during the day. And WCRB is a northern signal, and reception south of Boston is generally not too good.Leaves a void in classical music choices for New Endgland...

raccoonradio said...

WFCC has classical music on the Cape--oh, and WFCC, WKPE, WQRC, and WOCN's parent company just declared Ch 11 bankruptcy. Could you see WGBH paying a bargain basement price to get WCRB simulcast on, say, WQRC 99.9? Or WFCC 107.5

Anonymous said...

>> We should just all sit around and listen to Michael Savage and Glenn Beck. <<

We should, at least Glenn Beck! He rocks!

Classicalphotog said...

It seems the overall effect of this is to have less classical music on Boston radio. That is bad. WCRB plays the same thing over and over but when they changed their format to no commercials for a part of the day & CRB was a nice choice if I didn't like what was on GBH.

I JUST installed an HD radio and I liked going to GBH 2. I winder if that will stay all classical? Does anybody know what the detailed plan is for both stations?

If CRB had been sold to another format then that would have been tragic for Boston classical music. I don't know if that would have happened but if it had, then this is a very good development. I just heard about it today 10/20/09. WHY isn't this being mentioned on the radio?

I hope they boost the signal of 99.5 it's weak in Boston. I also hope they ad a second HD channel to CRB. That would be a great development.

More Classical Music Angst!!!!!

rummy said...

Good riddance to Nassau and Greater Media. They took one of the country's finest classical radio stations (remember the Classical Radio Network?) and turned into one of the worst Muzak stations.

I commend the WCRB personnel who tried their best to keep the station in the Ted Jones/Richard L. Kaye tradition and condemn the idiots that Nassau/Greater Media hired who turned the station into the lowest common denominator mealy mouth pablum that it is today.

I hope that WGBH will return the station to it's former glory and expand it's broadcasting range to again include southern New England and Cape Cod.