SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In an effort to assure the long-term availability of high quality classical music in the Bay Area, the University of Southern California (USC) today announced it has entered into an agreement with Entercom Communications to convert KDFC into a non-commercial classical music station based in San Francisco. In keeping with Entercom Communications’ commitment to classical radio, the company has entrusted the stewardship of the new, noncommercial KDFC Radio to a new nonprofit company based in San Francisco, commencing on January 18.
The new station will use the call letters KDFC, the area’s former commercial classical outlet since 1947, the result of a series of transactions involving several radio owners in the region. The new KDFC will broadcast over the two non-commercial signals, 90.3 and 89.9. KDFC will cover the City of San Francisco, reach north to Napa and Sonoma Counties, and extend to the Northern East Bay. KDFC programming will also be available via internet via its website and i-Tunes. USC has purchased the rights to 90.3 KUSF, from the University of San Francisco and 89.9 KNDL from Howell Mountain Broadcasting Company. KUSF will continue online as a webcast station.
“These changes follow a long trend of classical stations moving from the commercial to the non-commercial model, which has proved more sustainable for classical music because of the passion of its listeners,” said Brenda Barnes, President of Classical KUSC, the Los Angeles-based classical station that has been run by USC for over 60 years. “Because classical music has been transitioning, we contacted Entercom to ask if they were willing to work with us on a managed transition.”
KDFC has been a leading classical station in the country for many years, having received the National Award for America’s best Classical station twice. It’s the last of the major market classical stations in the country to go non-profit. As the sole radio station devoted to classical music in the Bay Area, the move to the new signal is intended to preserve the long term availability of KDFC classical programming for the Bay Area.
In addition to its call letters, the new station will also retain KDFC’s award-winning staff and facilities, leaving in place the personalities familiar and beloved by Bay Area classical listeners. As ‘The Voice’ of the Bay Area Arts Community for over 60 years, KDFC reflects the Bay Area’s strong identity and world class reputation for the cultural arts.
“USC recognizes classical radio’s value to the community and is committed to its preservation in the Bay Area, where many of our students and alumni live,” said C.L. Max Nikias, President of the University of Southern California. “California, with two great symphony orchestras, is at the forefront of classical music today, and we are happy to play a role in the stewardship of an important resource for 700,000 classical music lovers in the Bay Area.”
"As one of the country's most dynamic musical cities, San Francisco deserves a classical music station that continues to provide excellent arts and cultural programming," said San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. "KUSC has a long and distinguished history and I have had the opportunity to work with them on many projects over the years. I am delighted that KUSC will be preserving KDFC as the home of the San Francisco Symphony."
“KDFC is not just a radio station, it's an integral part of the Bay Area music ecology,” said David Gockley, SF Opera General Director. “The shift to a public radio station will help prevent a precious civic legacy from going away altogether, which would be a tragedy. The Opera looks forward to working with the new KDFC to build a powerful and vibrant classical music experience for our friends on the radio.”
Entercom Communications’ recent purchase of heritage Classic Rock 98.5 KFOX, San Jose will now be simulcast on the 102.1 signal in San Francisco, making it the first classic rock superstation in the Bay Area. Bay Area listeners can hear Classic Rock KFOX on its new dual signal starting Monday, January 24, 2011. KFOX has a stellar lineup of air personalities, including Greg Kihn on the Morning Show, Tim Jeffreys in Middays, and Big Rick Stuart joins the lineup in Afternoons.
“Entercom is both pleased and honored to entrust the outstanding listeners, employees and iconic heritage of KDFC to the esteemed organization of KUSC,” said Dwight Walker, Vice President/Market Manager at Entercom San Francisco. “At the same time, we are excited about creating the Bay Area’s first full-metro mainstream Classic Rock station by building on the 20-year heritage and success of KFOX from San Jose. Bay Area listeners will now be able to Rock (and listen to the San Jose Sharks) from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz on 98.5 and 102.1.”
Classical KUSC is one of the largest and most listened to public radio stations in the country. The station seeks to make classical music and the arts a more important part of more people’s lives by presenting high quality classical music programming, and by producing and presenting programming featuring the arts and culture of its broadcast communities. The University of Southern California has operated Classical KUSC since 1947.
Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE: ETM) is one of the five largest radio broadcasting companies in the United States, with a nationwide portfolio of 110 stations in 23 markets, including San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Portland, Sacramento and Kansas City.
Known for developing unique and highly successful, locally-programmed stations, Entercom is home to some of radio’s most distinguished brands and compelling personalities. The company is also the radio broadcast partner of the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Kansas City Royals, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Sabres and the San Jose Sharks.
Entercom focuses on creating effective integrated marketing solutions for its customers that incorporate the company’s audio, digital and experiential assets. Additionally, the company has a long-standing commitment to responsible corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship. Entercom stations play a vital, hands-on role in improving their communities, providing over $100 million in annual support for local charitable organizations.
The company’s radio stations have received numerous awards, including multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Awards for excellence in radio broadcasting. In 2007, Forbes magazine named Entercom one of America’s “Most Trustworthy Companies”.
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