The sale of non-commercial Classical station KFUO-FM in St. Louis was expected to bring an end to the availability of that format – but according to the contract, the paraphernalia associated with running the format is staying with the seller, with an option to build out an HD2 station.
Here’s the clause that keeps all of the music and other necessities with seller Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod: “In connection with the Seller continuing to broadcast Classical Programming after the Closing, Seller shall retain the Station’s broadcast studio, furniture and fixtures, the right to the name ‘Classic 99,’ the website ‘www.classic99.com,’ the music library of the Station, and such other assets of Seller that are not part of the Purchased Assets that are mutually agreed to facilitate the continuation of Classical Programming…”
Even though the Lutheran Church still owns and operates KFUO-AM, the rights to the calls are going to the buyer.
Buyer Gateway Creative Broadcasting runs a Contemporary Christian fomat over a pair of signals, neither of which covers the entire market. It has 97.7 KHZR-FM Potosi MO and 94.1 KPVR-FM Bowling Green MO. It’s expected to use KFUO-FM to get full market coverage for the format.
The contract stipulates that the Lutheran Church will be able to set up an HD2 station, bearing all costs of that undertaking.
RBR-TVBR observation: Once it gets the HD channel up and running, all the Church will have to do is flood the market with HD receivers. Under current market conditions this is not an ideal solution, but if the Church is able to convert Classical fans into early HD adopters, maybe the winner will be St. Louis radio management in general.