WEKU's classical music station set to start July 1

WEKU sets July 1 switch for Lawrenceburg station

ssloan@herald-leader.comJune 1, 2011 

  • To donate

    Donations are being sought for the new classical music station. To donate, go to WEKU.fm and click on "Support this station." In the comments section, you must specify that you're donating money for the classical station. Otherwise, it will go to WEKU's other operations.

  • Getting your classical fix

    If you can't pick up signals from the classical music stations in Louisville (90.5 FM) and Cincinnati (90.9 FM) or are out of range of the proposed station in Lawrenceburg (102.1 FM), here are some other resources:

    WEKU at night: The station at 88.9 FM broadcasts classical music from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekends. It will continue to do so even after the new station is operational, leaders said.

    Satellite radio: SiriusXM Pops is channel 77, Symphony Hall is 78 and Metropolitan Opera Radio is 79. For information, go to Siriusxm.com.

    Online streams: The Internet is by far the easiest way to listen if you don't have radio reception.

    WEKU.fm: Click on "Listen live" and then the "WEKU Music."

    WUOL.org: Louisville's classical station streams on your computer and mobile device. Click on "Listen."

    WGUC.org: Cincinnati's station is available on your computer and mobile device, including a free WGUC app on iTunes.

    Classicalmusicamerica.com: A site devoted to streaming classical music.

    Pandora.com and Last.fm: The online radio sites are pop-oriented but offer classical selections.

    iTunes radio: An array of classical stations from across the country are available.

    HD Radio: WGUC and WUOL broadcast on HD Radio technology, which requires a special device. For information, visit HDradio.com.

    NPR Music app: iPhone and iPod Touch users can stream classical music to their device.

Public radio station WEKU-88.9 FM has signed a three-year deal to launch its long-discussed classical music station in Central Kentucky.

Beginning July 1, WKYL-102.1 FM in Lawrenceburg will be home to the genre that defined WEKU before the Richmond-based station's switch last year to news and talk, which irked some longtime listeners.

"It's been a long wait, but we're looking forward to getting on the air and finding out how we can be the voice of the arts in Central Kentucky," said WEKU station manager Roger Duvall. "That's kind of a secondary focus we're going to have.

"It's a music station, but we want to be able to talk about arts of all kinds on that station, as well as 88.9."

WEKU has received more than $45,000 of the $50,000 that Duvall estimates it will need annually to run the classical station. The station is seeking donations from supporters, and Duvall said it plans to solicit corporate support.

"Even though we have that base of support, there are other things that come due," he said.

The new station is likely to do one fund-raising drive a year, and the staff is considering November, he said.

WEKU is leasing the new station from Frankfort-area office developer C. Michael Davenport, who bought the frequency about 1996. The station now airs smooth jazz, and Duvall said fans shouldn't be worried that jazz will disappear from the airwaves.

"Jazz will probably be weekend nights, and the rest will be classical," he said. "We're also talking with folks in the area about specialty jazz programs."

WEKU had hoped to launch the station last year, when it switched its formats to news and talk, a move leaders said the station made to combat declining contributions and audiences. But talks with a different frequency operator fell through.

Since then, WEKU has continued to air classical music in the evening and overnight. It will continue to do so because the reach of the new station is limited.

WEKU reaches a large part of Central, south-central and Eastern Kentucky, but WKYL reaches parts of only 25 counties around Lawrenceburg, and many of those are on the fringe of its signal. In fact, parts of Lexington are considered distant or fringe listening areas, according to WEKU's calculations.

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service