Religious broadcaster buys Houston classical station

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Houston Public Media has sold its classical FM station to a religious broadcaster, it announced Wednesday.

KSBJ Educational Foundation, based in suburban Houston, paid $10 million for the 50,000-watt KUHA and will broadcast Christian pop and hip-hop aimed at younger listeners.

HPM announced in August that it would sell KUHA and move the classical service to HD radio and digital streams.

“Our commitment to multi-platform arts and culture coverage is stronger than ever before as we are now incorporating online video and television programming in addition to classical music for the Houston community,” said Lisa Shumate, associate vice president and general manager of Houston Public Media. HPM also operates news/talk station KUHF-FM and KUHT-TV.

“We’re happy that the ownership of KUHA will stay in local hands with an experienced broadcaster,” she added.

In August, the Board of Regents of the University of Houston, KUHA’s licensee, approved the sale and move to all-digital classical distribution “in recognition of the superior broadcast quality and greater efficiency of digital broadcasting,” according to the press release.

HPM purchased KUHA, previously student-programmed KTRU, from Rice University for $9.6 million in 2011.

The transaction with KSBJ is awaiting approval from the FCC.

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