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|KQED Public Broadcasting to Purchase Sacramento Radio Station|
Acquisition Will Give Nation's Most-Listened-To Public Radio Station Increased Presence in State Capital
San Francisco, February 6, 2003 -- KQED Public Broadcasting has entered into an agreement to purchase 89.3 FM, serving the Sacramento, California area. The announcement was issued today by KQED president and CEO Jeff Clarke, and KQED board of directors chair James E. Canales, Jr.
KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation, is the leading all news and information public radio service in Northern California with its primary signal at 88.5 FM in San Francisco, supplemented by 88.3 FM in Santa Rosa and 88.1 FM in Martinez. KQED already is heard in and around the Sacramento area, and the addition of 89.3 FM in North Highlands will significantly improve coverage in that area.
The frequency to be acquired is currently owned and operated by Family Stations of Oakland, a religious broadcaster. KQED intends to change the call letters from KEBR FM to a set more compatible with the KQED brand prior to beginning operation of the station, pending FCC approval, in the spring of 2003. KQED management and board have retained Public Radio Capital of Denver, Colorado, a non-profit provider of representation, brokerage and financing services, to represent KQED in the transaction and provide consultation on financing options.
KQED will transmit its existing 24-hour news and information program service over the new frequency, with the addition of customized local programming of particular interest to listeners in Sacramento, including local news, weather and traffic reports. KQED's Sacramento bureau, established in 1998 to cover the capital for KQED's statewide radio program The California Report, will be expanded to become the home for Sacramento's 89.3 FM. KQED's new digital master control facility in San Francisco will transmit programming for all KQED Public Radio frequencies, including 89.3 FM.
"This is a grand opportunity to expand the reach of KQED Public Radio and improve reception for current listeners in the Sacramento area," said Clarke. "We believe that KQED's all news and information service is complementary to the excellent public radio programming currently available in Sacramento."
"Thanks to years of sound financial management and the success of the KQED Campaign for the Future, the organization is in a good position to make this strategic acquisition and extend our mission to inform, educate and entertain the people of Northern California," said Canales.
"We plan to transmit our current KQED Public Radio news and information service over the new frequency to reach listeners in the Sacramento area who currently cannot hear our main signal or for whom reception has been a problem," said John Boland, executive vice president and chief content officer. "In future years, when digital radio transmission offers the potential for multiple content streams, we will consider additional program services, in keeping with our public radio mission and KQED's capabilities, designed to serve the needs of communities around Sacramento."
When KQED begins operating the additional frequency, it will bring the award-winning KQED Public Radio program service to more listeners in the Sacramento area. Programming highlights include The California Report (a daily program hosted by Scott Shafer); KQED Local News (ongoing news segments with Kathryn Baron and Keven Guillory); Forum (a daily two-hour public affairs program hosted by Michael Krasny); and Pacific Time (a weekly program on Pacific Rim news with Nguyen Qui Duc). National programs from National Public Radio and Public Radio International include Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, the BBC World Service, The World, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Car Talk, Talk of the Nation, A Prairie Home Companion, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, This American Life, and coverage of live events, breaking news, presidential news conferences, and congressional hearings.
"This is an exciting moment for public broadcasting," noted Jo Anne Wallace, vice president and general manager of KQED Public Radio. "And with our current conversion to digital technology in our radio services, KQED will be able to seamlessly program a variety of radio signals to serve diverse audiences in different geographic areas."
Historically ranked among the top-rated public radio stations in the nation, KQED currently is the most-listened-to public radio station in the country, with more than 740,700 listeners each week. Reaching listeners as far north as Ukiah and the North Coast, as far south as Monterey Bay and the Central Coast, and as far east as the Sierra Nevada, KQED 88.5 FM broadcasts at 110,000 watts of power with one of the strongest signals for public radio within the state of California. The purchase of 89.3 FM adds an additional 3,100 watts of power. KQED Public Radio also can be heard over the Internet with live streaming at KQED.org.
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television station during prime-time, and Digital Television 9, Northern California's first digital public television signal; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, which harnesses the power of the Internet to bring KQED to communities across the Web; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.
Editor's Note: Press interested in speaking with Family Stations should contact Elliot Evers or Adam Altsuler with Media Venture Partners, broker for Family Stations, at (415) 391-4877.