I thought another station like KUER or KUMT might switch to a classical format once KBYU-FM made the jump to BYU Radio, but I never believed they'd actually respond to all the protests and leave 89.1 alone. I wonder if being deluged with threats to end contributions to BYU Broadcasting had anything to do with Michael Dunn's change of heart?
Post by amanuensis on Apr 26, 2018 14:20:24 GMT -7
After digesting this news for awhile, I think 107.9 should work better for BYU Radio than 89.1 would have. Since 107.9 is in the commercial portion of the FM band, there will not be the restrictions on sponsorship opportunities during BYU sports broadcasts that there would have been at 89.1.
That raises a question for BYU TV on channel 11, I think. I assume that BYU's license for channel 11 is in the non-commercial/educational category. So how far will the FCC let BYU TV go in running advertising? It seems to me that some of the sponsorships they presently run during sports programming might not be kosher given channel 11's present license type. Or is the FCC pretty much "anything goes" these days?
Last Edit: Apr 26, 2018 14:22:14 GMT -7 by amanuensis
Though 107.9 is in the commercial portion of the band, KUMT is officially a non-commercial station. I don’t know how much trouble it would be to convert back to commercial. BYU may or may not be interested.
The unknown in this equation is what will happen to the programming on KUMT once the sale to BYU is finalized. The station's Facebook page simply states that they are evaluating the many options for continuing the programming elsewhere, and that the format will continue to be available online at the very least. Although I'm thrilled that KBYU-FM is staying put, I will really miss the eclectic format of The Mountain and the lack of loud, annoying commercials! I hope Mike Summers and friends find a new station to move 107.9's format to in the near future. KUMT is one of my favorite FM stations along with 103.1 The Wave.
Sorry, my bad on the donations statement. However, the station does have on-air fundraisers three or four times a year to help fund its operations. I'd imagine that dropping classical music in favor of BYU Radio on 89.1 would have had a measurable impact on their fundraising efforts as well as the station's ratings.
I too thought somebody was going to step up and go classical, I just didn't expect it to be BYU itself.
I never thought scrapping Classical 89 made any sense. The ratings are very good and have even been going up lately. Of course ratings make less difference with a non-comm since all they really care about is donations but still. I think this is going to be a win for pretty much everybody. The classical fans keep KBYU-FM as is, those who want to hear BYU Radio can get it, Park City Wireless gets a bunch of cash and gets rid of a station that really never seemed to go anywhere. I don't know for sure if KUMT encoded for PPM or whether they subscribed, but I never saw them listed at all in the ratings. It's interesting that the Radioinsight article said BYU found out that the station was for sale. I wouldn't be surprised if it's been for sale since they got it. The losers are going to be those that actually listened to The Mountain, but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
I very much doubt BYU will convert 107.9 to a commercial license. I'm not a lawyer or accountant but I understand there was benefits to being non-commercial. There would also be the questions about the IBOC subchannel on 89.1 (which I would think will be staying) and their status on SiriusXM where I think it counts toward SXM's educational/public affairs quota, though I'm not sure of the details there. There's also the question of whether a religious station would even want to air full blown commercials. I just don't see that happening. If they want to sell sponsorships they can always still do underwriting just like non-comms have always done. They probably could if they wanted to, but I highly doubt they want to.
107.9 is nothing but white noise at my location in NE Ogden right now. I'm not sure if just the Ogden booster is off, or if KUMT has pulled the plug on its over the air broadcast. I couldn't find anything in the FCC database or the various radio trade sites to indicate the sale to BYU has consummated, and I'm presently waiting on a response to my post on The Mountain's Facebook page. Stay tuned!
KUMT is definitely still on the air, at least as far as the Bountiful booster is concerned.
As for the sale to BYU, that's still a ways off. Before the sale can consummate it has to be approved by the Commission. Before it can be approved by the Commission it has to be applied for. None of that has happened yet. It's possible BYU could take control of KUMT before any sale is approved and consummated through the non-comm version of an LMA (whose name is escaping me at the moment) but that hasn't happened yet.
Got a response to my post on Facebook: 107.9 is definitely having technical difficulties with the Ogden booster. Hmmm . . . first 103.1 had problems with their Ogden booster, and now 107.9 is having the same problem. Sounds like a conspiracy to me--think I'll give Alex Jones or George Noory a call and ask them to look into it! 🤣