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APMG springs for Miami music outlet

Originally published in Current, Oct. 9, 2007
By Steve Behrens

Miami’s fans of classical music will have an analog FM source for the first time in years when American Public Media Group completes ipurchase of WMCU, 89.7, a religious station owned by an affiliate of Trinity International University, a 3,000-student evangelical college near Chicago.

APMG, parent of Minnesota Public Radio, said it paid about $20 million for the 100,000-watter, which covers much of southeast Florida. The purchase was announced Sept. 26, and Trinity said it would cease broadcasts Sept. 30, though that was long before APMG can start.

Gayle Ober, MPR’s director of classical music programming, expects to meet with music groups in November to start shaping plans.

APMG President Bill Kling contends that he’s not on a shopping spree, but the group was considering two $20 million purchases at the same time this fall, both from small religious schools. In the Washington area it was favored to buy WGTS-FM, but trustees of the licensee, Columbia Union College, had a change of heart Sept. 20 [separate story].

Marc Hand, managing director of Public Radio Capital, says WMCU was a rare buy in Miami because the metro area—the country’s 12th largest—has about half as many FM stations as most regions of its size.

The city's main pubradio station, WLRN, specializes in news/talk and airs classical on an HD Radio multicast channel. The programming comes from Classical 24, a packaged web service produced by APMG. Ober told Current that APMG would not withdraw the service from WLRN.

This article contains material not included in the print edition.

Web page posted Oct. 16, 2007
Copyright 2007 by Current Publishing Committee

EARLIER ARTICLES

APMG took charge of a major station outside its home state nearly a decade ago. In 1998, MPR proposed a contract to operate KPCC, a Los Angeles-area station owned by a struggling college. The deal went through almost a year later.

RELATED ARTICLES

APMG President Bill Kling gives pubradio a peptalk at the PRPD Conference.

LINKS

WMCU's old website says "No longer on air."

Public Radio Capital's news release.

 

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