Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And in the news...

Yes, you probably already know by now that the WGBH Educational Foundation is acquiring WCRB, the 60 year old 24 hour classical music station at 99.5FM in Boston. Since the announcement of this move yesterday, stories have been published in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, and commentary is available from, among others, Dan Kennedy, Radio-Info, and WBUR.

Many astute readers (not to mention some listeners who have contacted me personally) have commented that moving our classical programming to 99.5 will, because it is a lower power signal than 89.7, cut off a large segment of Boston's classical music audience. There is no doubt that 99.5 is a problem for most of the southern part of our listening region, but there are solutions that even a year ago weren't as viable as they are now.

The first is HD radio, a technology that, while slower to catch on than some predicted, has already allowed WGBH to get a head start on offering a 24/7 classical service. We've been running round the clock classical music on 89.7-HD2 for around three years. And when we begin broadcasting on WCRB, the plan is to carry that signal on 89.7-HD2. So yes, there's a bit of an investment involved in getting an HD radio, but if you're south of the Pike and you love classical music, I hope you'll consider it. I've had an HD radio in my car for a while now, and it couldn't be simpler to use. It's not too hard to track down an outlet to get an HD radio, but one place you might start is the NPR Shop.

Another way to access that same signal is via internet radio. See the previous post to get a few ideas for getting started, and, as promised, I'll take this up in a separate, upcoming post.

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