KPBS considered format switch, station purchase, document reveals

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A blogger for the San Diego Reader is reporting on a project last year from local pubcaster KPBS to buy an additional local FM station and switch its existing news frequency to a “lucrative classical music format.” That plan was not executed, says Matt Potter, staff writer and editor at the publication. He obtained the report — labeled Privileged and Confidential — titled, “Funding Our News Future: A Case for Purchasing a New Radio Frequency,” through California’s public records act. That study says that KPBS management was looking to purchase KPRI, a 30,000-watt FM station, for $8 million. Potter quotes the document: “A properly run classical music station can generate significant revenue. In fact, this scenario, with a purchase price of $8m and conservative listener sensitive revenue projections, shows positive cash flow after debt service in year #2. We could potentially reach $1.5m cash flow by year #5. These revenues will go toward funding the KPBS News service, which rarely operates with positive cash flow.” Nancy Worlie, spokeswoman for KPBS, told Current: “We’re no longer interested. After careful consideration we never made an offer. We decided to keep our focus on our current media outlets and toward expanding our local news service.”

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