Friday, September 29, 2017


Last Wednesday we reported on KHFM, Albuquerque’s change from being a commercial Classical station to noncommercial status. Part of the story involved a recap of the remaining commercial Classical stations. I said, to the best of my knowledge, there are three: WFMT, Chicago; WRR, Dallas and WFCC, Cape Cod.

I heard from three readers with news of more commercial Classical music stations.

• Robert Conrad from WCLV, Cleveland, said:

 “Ken: Let’s not forget KLEF in Anchorage, which keeps on going since 1988 under Rick Goodfellow.” 

Robert is correct. KLEF [link] is Your Radio Concert Hall.

Rick has built close ties with the Anchorage arts and music communities.  It looks KELF is doing well. Rick posted a nice personal essay on the station website that tells a bit about his history. Here is a portion of what he wrote:

“Yep, it really is me [images on the right], Rick Goodfellow, owner, founder, and general manager of KLEF. 

The shot on the left was taken about 1965 by my uncle Delton who was a dairy farmer in Wisconsin. He was visiting his Alaskan relatives and wanted to see his nephew Rick working at the radio station which happened to be KINY in Juneau, Alaska. I did part time work there during my high school years for the princely sum of $2 an hour and haven’t gotten a significant pay raise since. Radio is like that.

“…the picture encapsulates the spirit of Alaska radio back in the mid 1960’s. You’ll notice I am playing 45 rpm records. I can guarantee it wasn’t Beethoven.

“The photo on the right was taken much more recently by Dr. Roger Duncan who stopped by KLEF… in search of publicity for the Anchorage Civic Orchestra. Why I was wearing a tie that day I can’t recall but I assure you it wasn’t because I expected to have my picture taken.”

• Kurt Anderson, GM of WMNR Fine Arts Radio in Monroe, Connecticut (a noncom, by the way) suggested two additional commercial Classical music stations: WBQK – W-Bach – in West Point, Virginia and WCRI, Block Island, Rhode Island.

W-Bach [link] looks like a great station in a wonderful location. Historic Williamsburg drips with culture and tradition. My mom, a Classical music fan visited often.

I was particularly grateful that Kurt mentioned WCRI, originating from Block Island in Long Island Sound. 

WCRI provides a strong, clean signal to all of southern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. 

This is truly small-market commercial radio.

Ted Jones

WRCI – Classical 95.9 – has an interesting backstory according to station’s website [link].  

Classical 95.9 is owned and operated by the son and grandsons of broadcasting pioneer Ted Jones, founder of Charles River Broadcasting Company, the person behind Boston’s legendary Classical music station, WCRB. 

Jones' family acquired WRCI in 2006, around the time WCRB was sold WGBH.

• Phil Smith, Music Director of WJTL in central Pennsylvania, wrote to let me know St. Louis does have a full-time commercial Classical station.

107.3 projected coverage
It is RAF-STL, made possible by a nifty HD channel-to FM translator arrangement. 

The Radio Arts Foundation of St. Louis originates the programming and it is broadcasts on KNOU’S HD-2 channel.  Then it appears on FM via a translator at 107.3 FM. 

The result is decent coverage (map on the right) of the city of St. Louis and first-ring suburbs.

Smith reports that RAF-STL employs several hosts from the legendary Classic 99.


This weekend I am marking two anniversaries. First, I started this blog three year ago today on September 29, 2014. Now 751 posts later, I am still here. I want to thank you, folks who read this blog, for your feedback and encouragement.

Also, 50 years ago, on October 1, 1967, I began my career in radio. Check out my YouTube video about it:

1 comment:

  1. WCRI was classical further back than 2006. They were a (mostly) simulcast of the old WCRB 102.5 (now WKLB) for years before that; I know W243AI in Newport was rebroadcasting WCRI (instead of WCRB) for years before David Maxson acquired it in 2003.