WAMU in Washington, D.C., is looking to sell Bluegrass Country, the music service that it streams online and broadcasts on FM in the Washington area.
The station announced Thursday that it has launched a search for a buyer to take over Bluegrass Country. If it fails to find one by Dec. 31, the service will sign off.
In a post on Bluegrass Country’s website, WAMU said a “media strategic consulting company” advised that its listeners mainly want news and information from the station. That format airs on WAMU’s primary FM signal.
The consultants were Public Media Co. and Atlantic Media Strategies, according to the Washingtonian.
PMC “basically noted the huge demographic changes that have occurred in the Washington market over the past 20 years or so and said, ‘Look, your future is going to be much better on the news and information side than on the country side of operations,’” WAMU General Manager J.J. Yore told Washingtonian. “And they painted a picture that made it clear to us that we had some tough decisions to make.”
WAMU aired bluegrass on weekday afternoons until 2001, when it moved the music to an HD Radio channel and a web stream. It later put the service on an FM station. A WAMU spokesperson told Washingtonian that Bluegrass Country was losing money for years, with an operating fund deficit of $142,000 in fiscal year 2016.