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After Pushback, BYU Will Keep Classical 89

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Last October, Brigham Young University announced it would be cutting off Utah’s last remaining classical station in favor of self-produced shows. But, after some passionate pushback, Classical 89 is here to stay.

Michael Dunn, the manager of BYU broadcasting, said he’s been hearing from a lot of listeners.

“People are very passionate about it, it’s a meaningful part of their daily lives," said Dunn.

Pushback was expected, but Dunn was surprised, and impressed, by the intensity. He was also surprised by another thing.

It's easy to think about a classical music audience as an aging population. But Dunn said that’s not entirely the case based on the people who reached out.

“Everything from kids in junior high to even young families," said Dunn.

Dunn and his team found a way to make it work. BYU acquired another FM channel, 107.9 — which currently plays rock music — and it will use this new frequency for BYU Radio shows. Shows that are already available via satellite but are not currently on the dial in Utah.

And with that, Classical 89 lives on to play another day.

 

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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