Yet one more blogstar (okay, supporting cast?) to join the billions and billions twinkling away in the firmament. But an interesting dose of news to start the day: Bonneville, the major radio-chain owned by the Church of Latter-Day Saints, has announced a “station swap” with Entercom, another media giant, essentially trading their three San Francisco frequencies for EIGHT in Seattle and Cincinnati. Why it’s big news to me is that the “swop” (as longtime Yankees would call it) involves what has long been the “jewel in the crown” of commercial classical-music frequencies – KDFC. With no public-radio competition in classical music in the Bay Area, KDFC has been a long-time ratings champ, even hitting No. 1 *overall* in the market — unheard of for classical stations! And that’s doubtless one of the reasons, perhaps why Bonneville is getting 8 stations while losing only three.
It also could be telegraphing the next punch from Bonneville – that they will indeed dump the SECOND classical “cash cow” in the business — WGMS in Washington, DC — and get out of the classical broadcasting business. WGMS’ sale to Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been rumored and talked-about for six weeks now; but when word appeard in the press that Snyder was so desperate to buy a decent station for his Redskins he was willing to pay 50% above market value, the deal suddenly cooled. Look for it to heat up again – fast.
Here’s the press release about the story: