Maine Public Broadcasting to premiere new classical service

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A new classical music service is coming to Maine in May from Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

Maine Public Classical will air on three new stations, online and on HD radio. MPBN also hopes to launch a Portland-area classical station soon, CEO Mark Vogelzang told the Portland Press Herald.

The network is moving the classical programming to the stations so it can air more news and information shows on its existing seven-station network.

Creating a classical network has been part of MPBN’s strategic plan since 2013 because news and information is a “growth area,” Vogelzang told the paper, especially among younger members.

According to the plan, “Our radio and digital platforms will emphasize news and public affairs, while we seek alternate channels for music and other legacy programs that meet our mission as a public broadcaster.”

The new network will provide about 160 hours a week of classical, compared with the 26 hours a week airing on its stations currently. However, the three stations will reach about 250,000 people over the air, compared with the 1 million now served.

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