Make us your home page

The Feed

What you're talking about today

All classical FM station WSMR debuts at full power, more than five months late



wsmr-logoclassical_music.jpgFive months after its planned debut -- after delays caused by technical issues, bureaucracy and logistics -- the all-classical music station WSMR-FM (89.1) is finally broadcasting at full power.

wsmr-ad.jpgWSMR began full power broadcasts Tuesday evening, after a crew installed filters designed to keep the station's signal from interfering with the Coast Guard's Rescue 21 emergency broadcast system.

Though the interference issues surfaced in September, it took months for a solution to emerge, leaving area classic music fans outside the Sarasota area stuck trying to hear WSMR online while the station broadcast at low power.

Some experts have questioned whether WSMR will still reach many classical music fans in Hillsborough County, given that WSMR is broadcasting from a tower near Venice. But the station's signal was clear at the St. Petersburg Times building in downtown St. Petersburg, opening up the potential audience.

WSMR was originally scheduled to debut Sept. 15, as part of an ambitious plan by Tampa public radio station WUSF-FM (89.7) to devote it's daytime hours to NPR's news and public affairs shows, shunting classic music to the Sarasota-based station. But attempts to place an antenna for WSMR on the current tower ran into trouble and then the interference issues with the Coast Guard surfaced.

WUSF spent $150,000 --subtracted from the $1.2-million purchase price for WSMR -- to build a new antenna for the site, but the interference issues continued until the recent filters were installed. Early reports indicated WUSF may have to pay for the new filters, a cost originally estimated at more than $17,000.

click below to see the press release from WUSF Public Media


WUSF Public Media’s Classical Music Station Now Broadcasting at Full Power

WSMR 89.1 reach now includes 100 percent of the broadcast footprint

TAMPA, Fla. (February 23, 2011) – WUSF Public Media announces today its classical music station, WSMR 89.1, is now broadcasting at full power.

“We are so pleased to finally be able to broadcast WSMR 89.1 at full power,” said JoAnn Urofsky, general manager of WUSF Public Media.  “Although the process of being able broadcast to our entire listening audience took longer than we anticipated, our staff and engineers have been dedicated to seeing this project through.”

The broadcast area of WSMR will cover all of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Desoto and Hardee counties, as well as parts of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk and Lee counties. The classical music footprint of WSMR will potentially reach an additional 500,000 listeners in the southern portion of WUSF 89.7’s broadcast area.

“We are so appreciate of the support and patience of our audience over the past few months,” said Urofsky. “It is through their dedication that we are able to continue providing the programming that many in our community have come to rely on.”

WUSF Public Media is also continuing to work on projects that will extend the reach of the existing WSMR 89.1 signal to include the audience in northern Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. The classical music on WSMR 89.1 is also available to a worldwide listening audience online at, on the HD radio signal WUSF 89.72, and through WUSF’s mobile phone application.

WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services. Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media serves the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships. For more information, visit

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:40pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours