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KDFC Goes Non-Profit: Will its Programming also Venture that Way?

January 19, 2011

kdfc.jpegThe big news in the US classical music radio world today is that the Bay Area's only classical music radio station, KDFC, has gone from being a commercial company to a non-profit entity. The University of Southern California bought the station from Entercom. USC's takeover became effective yesterday, January 18. 

An article in today's San Francisco Chronicle has all the main details.

KDFC was one of the last of the big classical music stations in the US to support itself using the paid advertising model. Now it'll be running pledge drives to earn donations to stay alive.

I am excited about what the change might bring. According to the Chronicle, the shift to the non-profit model will bring the station into a closer relationship withe the brilliant Los Angeles classical music station KUSC. I am hoping that the ties to this inventive broadcaster -- and the non-profit model in general -- will make KDFC run more interesting programming as it will not have to compete quite so openly with non-classical-music-oriented commercial stations as it did in the past.

But I suspect that it'll take more than a business model change for KDFC to really break through its image as a purveyor of non-envelope-pushing, middle-of-the-road music, the place you go on the dial for "Casual Comfortable Classical" music as the station's slogan proclaimed.

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