KDB Classical to Become a Public Radio Station

Santa Barbara Foundation is selling KDB 93.7 FM to KCRW, a leading National Public Radio affiliate. KCRW will then swap KDB for KUSC’s 88.7 signal. KUSC will continue the great tradition of classical music on 93.7, while KCRW will be able to offer its hybrid format of music genres, news and cultural programming to the Santa Barbara community. Through a local strategic partnership with Santa Barbara’s Antioch University, KCRW will receive studio space in exchange for providing students with career experience in broadcasting and storytelling. Public Radio Capital represented the Santa Barbara Foundation in discussions and negotiations with KCRW, KUSC and other groups interested in KDB.  In a recent Current article, PRC’s Managing Director Marc Hand commented, “This is really a perfect outcome. If there hadn’t been a suitable option from a noncommercial broadcaster, then it would have opened up for commercial buyers.”

Read Current article: KCRW, KUSC pair up to secure Santa Barbara’s KDB for pubradio >

Read Santa Barbara Foundation press release: Foundation Announces the “New KDB” >

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PRC Assists Santa Barbara Foundation in Search for New KDB Operator

When the Santa Barbara Foundation decided to find a new operator for their classical station KDB 93.7 FM, they turned to Public Radio Capital (PRC) for guidance. PRC is currently assisting the Foundation in selecting an operator who will preserve the classical music format and has the financial capability and business experience to run the station. In “Four competitors in the running to take over KDB,” by Kyle Harding of the Santa Barbara News-Press, PRC’s Managing Director Marc Hand comments that the Foundation wants to ensure that whoever takes over KDB has the ability to sustain it long-term. Read News-Press article

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Fund Borrower WDDE Celebrates First Year On-Air

When Delaware First Media, an online news service, decided to launch their first radio station they turned to the Public Radio Fund for start-up assistance in funding equipment and staffing needs. With a $105,000 acquisition loan from the Fund, Delaware First Media launched WDDE, broadcasting NPR and local news service to a coverage area of 100,000 people in Delaware. Focusing on high-quality journalism for the public interest, WDDE is a collaborative venture between Delaware State University and the University of Delaware. WDDE just celebrated their one year anniversary and based upon the station’s initial success, programming expansion is already in the works.  www.wdde.org

DelawareToday: Media Culture in Delaware Shifting, Thanks to NPR-Member Radio (March 2014) >


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A Future in Collaboration for Public Media

In a recent Current commentary, “Redefining Public Media for the Future,” Public Radio Capital’s Erik Langner and Dennis Hamilton discuss the financial challenges facing public media and the benefits of stations working together to strengthen services and increase engagement. Highlighting PRC’s client work with Austin’s KUTX and the Kentucky Public Radio Network, this article explores the growing importance of collaboration for public media’s changing business model. Read full article>

The staff at KUTX celebrate as the new FM stations goes on the air for the first time. Photo courtesy of KUTX 98.9.

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Kentucky’s Public Radio System Turns to PRC for Guidance on Collaboration and Consolidation

A recent article in Current, “Kentucky Public Radio Stations Evaluate Advantages of Working Together,” August 12, 2013, details how six of Kentucky’s seven public radio stations are working with Public Radio Capital to explore the advantages of collaboration over competition in strengthening local programming and services. Read Current article>

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PRC’s Financial Analyst Russ Otten leaves for Shanghai

Boulder, Colo. – Public Radio Capital (PRC) today announces that it is bidding farewell to financial analyst Russ Otten. Additionally, PRC is excited to welcome new staff member Louis Caputo.

“While we are sorry to see Russ leave, we are pleased that his work with nonprofit broadcasting media made him stand out as a candidate for Hult International Business School’s top ranked MBA program in Shanghai,” comments Erin Moran, PRC’s CFO and COO. During his three and half years with PRC, Otten developed approximately 50 custom business models to help clients assess the financial viability for business options to strengthen and expand their services. Recently, he contributed to the financial analyses that led to Austin’s new triple AAA station, KUTX, and the 22 months of planning that went into the expansion of Kansas City’s community radio station, KCPT. Read full press release.

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Announcing the Release of Public Radio Capital 2012 Annual Report

Following is an excerpt of the newly released Public Radio Capital 2012 Annual Report:  Since 2001, Public Radio Capital has provided consulting services to more than 275 public media organizations. The result: more than 66 million people have access to public radio and TV stations that are more robust, sustainable, and attuned to community interests. In 2012, PRC helped clients in 9 acquisition and financing transactions (including loans from the Public Radio Fund) valued at $31.965 million. PRC consulted with 22 other clients providing a range of services including license valuations, operational assessments and expansion opportunity modeling. In addition, an end of year grant in 2011 of $150,000 from the Open Society Institute enabled PRC in 2012 to assist 2 minority ownership organizations in business planning and service strategies, and a grant from FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds has established a $100,000 fund at PRC to spur growth and innovation in public broadcasting.  Read PRC’s 2012 Annual Report>

Public Radio Capital Stayed Busy in 2012,” according to Tom Taylor NOW, a Daily Radio Management Newsletter, 05/13/13, vol. 2, issue 92.   Read  article>

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Triple A Music Station for Kansas City Public Television

PRC brokered the transfer of the KTBG-FM station license from the University of Central Missouri to community-based licensee Kansas City Public Television (KCPT). For more than 18 months, PRC worked with both parties in efforts to preserve the station as an outlet for public broadcasting. To prepare KCPT for integrating its first radio service, PRC provided financial forecasting and business modeling to factor in new audience and revenues, new personnel and a signal expansion project that increases the station’s reach from 400,000 to 1.4 million potential listeners. PRC also worked with KCPT to secure a loan from FJC, a New York-based philanthropy that is supportive of public broadcasting’s role in strengthening communities. Read details of this exciting signal expansion in Current>

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Trends in Noncommercial Radio Sales: 2012

Public Radio Capital is announcing the release of its analysis of the noncommercial radio sales trends. PRC has prepared this analysis since 2005 for internal distribution and to share with appraisal clients; it will now be available to the greater public media community.

Following are highlights from this year’s report:

  • The number of noncommercial radio sales continues to grow; there were 116 licensed noncommercial sales in 2012, which set the record for the past 13 years analyzed.
  • Despite the upward trend in the number of licensed noncommercial radio sales, total sales volume ($), excluding commercial band FM sales, has been down for the past three years.
  • After a significant increase in 2010 and 2011, the number of construction permit (CP) sales was down.
  • In line with the historical trends, the majority of noncommercial radio stations, including CPs, were acquired by “non-public” radio entities, representing 78% of all sales in 2012.
  • In recent years there has been an increase in the number of educational institutions (colleges and universities) selling their broadcast asset.

The full report can be viewed here.

If you would like more information about PRC’s appraisal services or the sales trend report, please contact Evran Kavlak at ekavlak@publicradiocapital.org.


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New Stations Increase Public Radio’s Audience Share

A review of radio transactions in the top 30 markets indicate that existing operators in eight markets  expanded services by acquiring new stations. PRC provided brokerage and consulting services for six* of these eight station acquisitions. In Seattle, KING FM switched from a commercial to a noncommercial classical format as well. The chart takes a snapshot of public radio’s audience share across the top 30 markets and highlights the audience growth for the following new 24/7 public radio services:

•    Seattle-Tacoma, WA: In 2011 KING 98.1 FM transitioned from a commercial to a noncommercial classical service.

•    Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: In 2004 Minnesota Public Radio purchased KCMP 89.3 FM (prev. calls: WCAL) to provide a 24/7 Triple A service appealing to a younger audience.

•    Boston, MA: In 2009 WGBH purchased WCRB 99.5 FM* to provide a 24/7 classical music service.

•    San Francisco: In 2012 the University of Southern California purchased KDFC 89.9 FM, KOSC 90.3 FM, and KXSC 104.9 FM* to provide a 24/7 classical music service.

•    Denver-Boulder, CO: In 2012 Colorado Public Radio (CPR) purchased KVOD 88.1 FM (prev. calls: KFDN)* to provide full-time news and full-time classical service on two separate FM stations.

•    New York, NY: In 2009 New York Public Media purchased WQXR 105.9 FM to provide a 24/7 classical service.

•    Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX: In 2009 North Texas Public Broadcasting purchased KKXT 91.7 FM (prev. calls: KVTT)* to provide a 24/7 Triple A music service.

•    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, FL: In 2008 American Public Media Group purchased WKCP 89.7 FM (prev. calls: WMCU)* to provide a 24/7 classical music service.

•    Houston-Galveston, TX: In 2011 the University of Houston purchased KUHA 91.7 FM (prev. calls: KTRU)* to provide a 24/7 classical music service.

*PRC provided brokerage /consulting services.

Markets are ordered by their rankings, defined by Arbitron based upon population size. Chart includes Arbitron PPM subscribers only.
Several factors such as demographics, station inventory and competition contribute to differences in audience share between the markets.


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