Educational Media Foundation has begun operating the three Classical programmed stations owned by Classical South Florida with their Christian AC “K-Love” programming.
New call letters accompany the change at all three stations. 89.7 WKCP Miami is now WMLV, 90.7 WPBI West Palm Beach is WFLV, and 88.7 WNPS Fort Myers becomes WDLV. 93.5 in Butler, AL had previously held the WMLV call letters but switches to WMLG. The move gives Fort Myers two stations airing the “K-Love” programming for now as 98.5 WLVO San Carlos Park previously in existence, but one will likely switch over to the “Air 1” Christian CHR network in time.
That same move will not be taking place in West Palm Beach for the time being. EMF will continue to run the Public News/Talk “WPBI News” 101.9 W270AD West Palm Beach/WFLV-HD2 for the time being, while EMF will consider its options and take proposals to maintain the public radio programming for the West Palm Beach market.
American Public Media Group (APMG) and Classical South Florida (CSF) have agreed to sell CSF’s stations – including WPBI – to Educational Media Foundation (EMF). American Public Media Group (APMG), Classical South Florida (CSF) and Educational Media Foundation (EMF) are working together to temporarily continue to provide public radio news programming over-the-air on WPBI News (now WFLV HD2) and 101.9 FM, West Palm Beach, and www.wpbinews.org. APMG supports EMF’s consideration of options and proposals to maintain public radio programming in West Palm Beach going forward.
The decision to sell our stations in South Florida is painful and deeply disappointing for everyone involved. With your help, we’ve been working to build Classical South Florida for nearly eight years. Despite our best efforts and significant investments, and your Membership gifts, we’ve not succeeded in providing the distinctive value that will earn the support needed to sustain this service.
Update 7/13: The Miami Herald reports that Educational Media Foundation will begin operating the Classical South Florida properties via LMA on Friday, July 17.
The move will bring EMF’s “K-Love” programming to Miami and West Palm Beach for the first time on 89.7 WKCP Miami and 90.7 WPBI West Palm Beach respectively. With the primary network already heard on 98.5 WLVO Fort Myers, we’d expect 88.7 WNPS Fort Myers and 101.9 W270AD West Palm Beach to launch the Christian CHR “Air 1” network to those markets.
Update 7/8: Current.org reports that Educational Media Foundation will pay $21.7 million for Classical South Florida’s three stations and one translator once the deal is filed with the FCC.
Current states that EMF made the offer to American Public Media on May 27 with a one-day deadline to accept and a confidentiality clause disallowing any attempts to seek other bids during the 45 day due-diligence period. The board of the stations voted confidentially on the sale on June 25, however half of the board has since resigned due to displeasure with the deal.
Classical South Florida owns Classical 89.7 WKCP Miami, 90.7 WPBI West Palm Beach, 88.7 WNPS Fort Myers and Public News/Talk “WPBI News” 101.9 W270AD West Palm Beach/WPBI-HD2. The Current report states that the network has lost between $1 million and $3 million every year since its inception in 2008. American Public Media’s Minnesota Public Radio and Southern California Public Radio were profitable in 2014.
Original Report 6/24: Educational Media Foundation’s “K-Love” brand is poised to enter the Miami and West Palm Beach Markets.
The Palm Beach Post reports that Classical South Florida will hold a board meeting on Thursday, June 25th to vote on a deal to sell their stations to EMF for an undisclosed amount. A subsidiary of American Public Media, the group owns Classical 89.7 WKCP Miami, 90.7 WPBI West Palm Beach, 88.7 WNPS Fort Myers and Public News/Talk “WPBI News” 101.9 W270AD West Palm Beach/WPBI-HD2.
The Post reports that some members are trying to find additional suitors for the stations including Miami’s WLRN Public Media in order to retain their current formats. W270AD is the only Public News/Talk and NPR affiliate in the West Palm Beach market and is a major point of contention for the board members.
EMF entered the Fort Myers market last fall with the acquisition of 98.5 WDEO-FM (Now WLVO) from Ave Maria University.