KCUR To Bring Classical Back To Kansas City With KWJC Purchase
As we reported in this morning’s Station Sales report, the Curators of the University of Missouri have agreed to purchase Silent 91.9 KWJC Liberty/Kansas City MO from William Jewell College for $2 million.
To be operated by University of Missouri-Kansas City, the purchase will make KWJC co-owned with Public News/Talk 89.3 KCUR-FM Kansas City. KCUR announced this morning that following the acquisition they will relaunch KWJC with a Classical music format.
The move will bring a Classical station to FM in Kansas City for the first time since Entercom flipped 96.5 KXTR to Modern AC in 2000. The Classical format would move first to 1250 and later 1660 until 2012. KCUR states that the new format should launch by Spring 2020 at which time KCUR-FM will drop its three hour evening block of Classical programming.
In KCUR’s story making the announcement, General Manager Nico Leone stated, “Given the strength of the performing arts community and the classical music community in town, we think it’s a huge hole, both for audiences and performing arts organizations. We see in market after market that classical music stations can be a rising tide for performing arts organizations.”
The group has been raising the $5 million it needs to make the acquisition and necessary start-up costs for the new format. The station will be run separately from KCUR-FM, but share studio space and back-office functions. KCUR says it intends to hire eight or nine people for the new venture.
KWJC had been leased by William Jewell College to Educational Media Foundation from 2007 until earlier this year when EMF purchased 107.9 K300CH Lees Summit to become its new home for “Air 1” in the market