, New Orleans' public radio station, is raising money from supporters for a planned 24-hour, over-the-air classical music station that would air on 104.9 FM. starting in January 2017.
WWNO, which originally was founded as a classical station in the 1970s, switched from a classical format to traditional National Public Radio in 2012. At the time, it sent its classical format to a digital subchannel, WWNO-2
, which is picked up by special HD radio sets and can be streamed over the internet, but is not available in many cars.
According to the station's webpage about the initiative
, the purchase of the new license is currently under review by the FCC; if the sale is approved, the new classical station would launch in January, reaching most WWNO listeners in the New Orleans area. The station currently is fundraising
to match the cost of initial operations:
Our past attempts to launch an all-classical FM station were thwarted by the high cost of a full-service FM license—a likely $3 million or more. But this new opportunity will allow WWNO to return classical music to FM radio with a capital investment of just $225,000 and a projected initial operating cost of about $50,000 per year — for both 104.9FM and HD2!
Of the $225,000 capital cost, $115,000 is in hand or committed from the WWNO Executive Council (advisory board) and other donors. We are working to raise the remaining $110,000 as quickly as possible from individual philanthropists, businesses, and foundations.
A spokesman for WWNO had no comment when reached by Gambit