July 05, 2018

And then there was one

PBS affiliate in Utah, that is. For the last half-century or so, Utah's two biggest universities have hosted two independent PBS stations: KUED 7 (University of Utah) and KBYU 11 (Brigham Young University). For the last half-century or so, KBYU played second-string to KUED, carrying the same programming a month after KUED.

While it was nice to have a "backup" channel if you missed a show the first time around, KBYU couldn't help diluting KUED's audience and ratings, and dividing loyalties especially during membership drives.

KUED's launch of the Create subchannel (7.4) eliminated any problem of catching reruns of the DIY shows. And then last year, both stations arrived at a win-win resolution that was a huge win for KUED. On July 2, KBYU dropped its PBS affiliation and shifted its satellite channel, BYUtv, over to the primary OTA broadcast channel.

BYU Broadcasting announced plans to consolidate its television operations, BYUtv, KBYU Channel Eleven and BYUtv International, into one nationwide television network. Similarly, BYU Broadcasting said it plans to consolidate its radio operations, BYUradio (on SiriusXM Satellite Radio) and KBYU-FM/Classical 89, into a single radio network.

But listeners to Utah's last classical radio station proved to be a scrappy bunch. They weren't going down without a fight. And they won. Earlier this year, BYU Broadcasting purchased KUMT-FM (107.9) to host BYUradio,

preserving [the only] over-the-air classical music station in Utah. Classical 89 will continue to operate on its current frequency at 89.1 and 89.5 (Southern Utah County) on the FM dial.

So make that a win-win-win.

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