Adding 2nd service in Houston, KUHF buys Rice U. station

Published in Current, Aug. 23, 2010
By Karen Everhart

The University of Houston is buying KTRU-FM, a 50,000-watt student radio station owned by Rice University, and will convert it to a full-time classical music service under the new call letters KUHC.

KUHF-FM, launched by the University of Houston with student volunteers in 1950, will become an all-news station. It currently airs a split format of classical music and NPR News.

Houston is the latest of several big markets where public radio licensees have added new frequencies to expand the range of their format offerings. Also included are Dallas, Boston, New York, Columbus and Tampa.  

The $9.5 million deal, approved Aug. 17 by UH’s Board of Regents, includes the KRTU broadcast tower and the license for its 91.7 MHz FM frequency. The pubcasting expansion will be financed through additional underwriting sales and major gifts fundraising.

“The acquisition of a second public radio station delivers on our promise to keep the University of Houston at the forefront of creating strong cultural, educational and artistic opportunities that benefit students and the city of Houston,” said Renu Khator, chancellor of the UH System and president of the University of Houston, in a news release.

Rice University students launched a “sincere and civil” campaign to save their outlet for underground and local music. Under the terms of the deal, KRTU.org will continue streaming a student-programmed music service. 

The University of Houston said the acquisition puts it in a “select group of universities” operating two public radio stations: Indiana’s Purdue University, Florida State University in Tallahassee, the University of Arkansas, Ohio State University, Arizona State University, University of South Florida, University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa.

Web page posted Aug. 23, 2010
Copyright 2010 by Current LLC

OTHER CITIES WHERE PUBLIC RADIO IS ADDING FULL-TIME FORMATS TO ITS OFFERINGS

Boston: separate classical and news stations at WGBH.

New York: separate classical and news stations at WNYC.

Los Angeles: radio for younger, more diverse audience, though there's no transmitter yet.

Seattle: full-time classical station switches from (not very) commercial to public.

Dallas: Triple A station added at KERA.

Columbus: separate classical and news stations on FM, where AM didn't pull audience.

Tampa: separate classical and news stations at WUSF.

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