In Des Moines, IPR listeners get new all-classical service, more changes to come

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Iowa Public Radio has completed launch of its new all-classical service in Des Moines. IPR Classical now airs on two commercial FM frequencies — KICP 105.9 and KICL 96.3 — that were purchased last summer for $1.75 million.

The signal expansion gives IPR Classical a broadcast footprint of more than 400,000 potential listeners and improves the outlook for membership and underwriting income.

WOI 90.1 FM, IPR’s flagship channel in Des Moines, continues to split its broadcast day between NPR News and classical music, but that could change soon. IPR looks to expand the reach of its Studio One format, which combines news and alternative music programming, and is evaluating format switches for its other Des Moines area stations. Decisions on programming changes are still pending, according to Al Schares, music director.

In a signal expansion project that will realign public radio services for listeners in western New York State and across the Canadian border, Buffalo’s WNED will complete its $4 million purchase of WBFO-FM on March 1. Station officials announced the sale closure date last week, but are not ready to talk about their programming plans.