New Tampa Bay area classical music radio station WSMR will not debut on Wednesday
Area classical music fans may go days without a local radio station catering to their tastes, following news that organizers have delayed Wednesday's planned start of the new, 24-hour classical music station WSMR-FM (89.1) due to problems with the transmission tower.
Tampa public radio station WUSF-FM (89.7) bought WSMR with plans to shift its daytime classical music shows to that station, leaving space for an all-news format featuring National Public Radio programming. WUSF's part of the transition will still happen Wednesday, bringing NPR shows such as Fresh Air, The Diane Rehm Show and Talk of the Nation to Tampa Bay area airwaves.
But classical music fans may have to wait until week's end or early next week to hear their station debut, unless they use the Internet to hear the station's streaming audio feed online or through a mobile device. WUSF's secondary HD Radio channel will also broadcast classical music.
Already there were some questions about whether fans in the northern parts of the Tampa Bay market would hear the signal; now there will be no signal to hear at 89.1 for at least a few more days (coverage map at right courtesy of WUSF/WSMR).
"We're going to get it up and running as soon as we possibly can," said JoAnn Urofsky, general manager of WUSF Public Media, noting they will have 11 people answering phones Wednesday to handle the expected deluge of calls from confused listeners. "We're disappointed as anyone that this happened."
Click here to read a FAQ from WUSF answering questions about the change and some additional information on the delay.
Here's a statement from WUSF Public Media:
Good afternoon -
As you probably know, WUSF Public Media was planning to make some significant changes to its programming on WUSF 89.7 and to its new station, WSMR 89.1 on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.
The public media organization just learned this afternoon that due to technical issues at the tower site for WSMR 89.1, the station will NOT be able to broadcast live tomorrow at 6 a.m. as planned. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, we are now targeting the launch of WSMR 89.1 for sometime next week.
The format changes to WUSF 89.7 will begin tomorrow as planned. Bob Seymour’s listeners at midnight will hear the station go dark as the technical changes are made to the HD radio signals. The next difference listeners will notice following the NPR newscast at 9 a.m. is the new live newscast with Carson Cooper.
WUSF Public Media WILL continue programming classical music as scheduled on WUSF 89.7². Listeners will also be able to hear the music through web streaming at wsmr.org. Instructions for Internet listening are below.
Internet listening URLs:
Main channel: http://mp3.wusf.usf.edu:8000/listen.pls
Second channel: http://wusfhd2.wusf.usf.edu:8064/listen.pls
For Windows Media Player:
Main channel: http://wusf.usf.edu/wusf_radio.asx
Second channel: http://www.wusf.usf.edu/WUSF_Radio_HD2.asx
Listener inquiries should go to firstname.lastname@example.org or to 877-897-9873. We want to respond to all listeners.