Salt Lake City To Lose Classical As BYU Consolidates Operations

Classical 89 KBYU Provo Salt Lake City 89.1 BYURadioBrigham Young University is consolidating its local and national broadcast operations which will lead to the end of its Classical music programming on 89.1 KBYU-FM Provo/Salt Lake City on June 30, 2018.

On that date “Classical 89” will begin simulcasting the Talk/Sports programming of “BYU Radio” currently heard on SiriusXM channel 143. BYU Radio carries LDS Church oriented talk shows and programming connected to BYU’s sports teams. The station and its network of translators throughout Utah are the only terrestrial Classical voices in the state, although University of Utah’s 90.1 KUER-HD3 carries the Classical24 network for HD Radio listeners.

At the same time KBYU-TV will drop its PBS affiliation and switch to the national BYUtv programming service, while the university shuts down its Spanish language BYUtv International carried on cable and satellite in Latin American countries.

BYU Broadcasting today 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. The changes will take effect on June 30, 2018, at which time BYU Broadcasting will center all its resources and attention on two closely-correlated, multiplatform products, BYUtv and BYUradio.

In the Utah market, KBYU Eleven is currently available in HD across all platforms, including over-the-air, and on cable and satellite, while BYUtv is only available in HD on some of these platforms. Beginning in June, BYUtv will enjoy full HD availability on all platforms across Utah through KBYU’s broadcasting license. With this change, KBYU Eleven will no longer be a member station of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

“KBYU Eleven has long been a proud member station of PBS. But as such, our schedule has been duplicative of KUED, the PBS member station at the University of Utah,” said Michael Dunn, managing director of BYU Broadcasting. “By consolidating our services, we will be able to focus all our attention on creating and offering new original programming for both Utah and our growing nationwide audiences on BYUtv. We have valued our relationship with KUED and appreciate that PBS fare will continue to be enjoyed across Utah through KUED. We look forward to continued collaboration with KUED and other PBS member stations on original content opportunities in the future.”

In a similar fashion, Classical 89, heard over-the-air in Utah at 89.1 and 89.5 on the FM dial, will become BYUradio, which up to this point has been available on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, on the Internet and through various digital platforms. BYUradio will continue to offer its current mixed format of live locally-hosted talk, public affairs, educational and classical music programming.

Going forward, BYU Broadcasting will also continue to invest in and expand its Spanish-language content for audiences throughout Latin America as well as domestically in the United States. BYUtv International, which had limited distribution across Latin America, will discontinue over-the-air, satellite and cable broadcasts. This will enable BYU Broadcasting to further invest in international content available over its state-of-the-art streaming services offered at BYUtv.com.

These changes will allow BYU Broadcasting to streamline and utilize all employees and internal resource services for two media portals instead of five. This change will not require a reduction in force.

“BYU Broadcasting will continue to emphasize original, values-oriented, family content on BYUtv and BYUradio,” said Dunn. “This consolidation of services will allow our organization to focus, simplify and unify the future of our media portals. At the same time, we will also be able to offer the Utah market comprehensive HD access to these major investments in content, including more than 500 hours annually of live HD collegiate sports programming.”

BYUtv’s original programming, including Studio C, Granite Flats, Random Acts, American Ride and Story Trek as well as original music specials, feature films, docudramas and sports programming, has garnered 77 Emmy Awards over the last six years. At the same time, BYUradio has continued to grow its nationwide audience on satellite radio by offering more than 3,000 hours of original content each year, including unprecedented growth in podcasts. BYUtv is the only national network originating from Utah and creates more original entertainment and live sports content than any other channel in Utah. Likewise, BYUradio is the only Utah-based radio service available nationwide on SiriusXM.

In addition to BYU Broadcasting’s offerings on traditional television and radio platforms, such as over-the-air, cable and satellite delivery, BYU Broadcasting has been a pioneer in digital delivery of its content. BYUtv was the first television network in the United States to stream all of its content live and unencrypted over the Internet. Today, BYUtv content is available live and on-demand on multiple digital platforms, including over the Internet, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Xbox One, Windows Media and digital apps for iOS and Android. BYUradio is also available as a streaming audio channel on the Dish Network as well as www.tunein.com. BYUradio podcasts can be heard on iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein and Google Play.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

3 Comments


  1. Don’t blame NPR for this one, haters. (Meanwhile, KCPW could get a lot of goodwill and even some better ratings by flipping from NPR-less news-talk to classical–and not have to rejoin NPR.)


  2. Per http://upr.org/post/byu-drop-pbs-classical-music-pursue-national-strategy, Logan-based Utah Public Radio (or, at least, its primary station, KUSU) may be carrying WFMT’s satellite format on its HD-2 subchannel.


    • The WFMT Beethoven Network has not been on the NPR satellite or any other satellite for some years now–it’s 24 downloads a day (12 hours new, 12 hours repeats) from the Public Radio Exchange. Since most stations only run it in the overnight hours, it seems to work (and the persnickety classical music hardcore would notice and complain about the repeats).

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