After 13 years away, KERA is returning to the music business.
Click the audio player to listen to the KERA radio story:
The North Texas NPR affiliate has bought the station, 91.7 FM, KVTT (“The Truth”) from Covenant Educational Media, Inc. for $18 million. KERA will maintain its popular news-and-public affairs programming, while the new station will broadcast full-time music programming. KERA hasn’t broadcast a music format since the 1996 decision to go to weekday news and public affairs.
The new station, which will have new call letters, will start broadcasting in late summer-early fall 2009. It will be “Triple A” (Adult Album Alternative) – essentially the format that KERA helped pioneer. AAA offers a wide spectrum of adult-oriented playlists, including world music, folk, acoustic, indie and alternative country and rock.
Typical AAA programs (some of which may be considered) are:
- World Café with its eclectic range from Moby to David Bowie to Yo-Yo Ma to Lyle Lovett. It originates from WXPN in Philadelphia.
- Nick Spitzer’s American Routes, produced in New Orleans and featuring just about any kind of “roots” music to come from that area: blues, rockabilly, country, zydeco, soul, jazz and gospel.
- Echoes, John Diliberto’s ambient-electronica-new-age show from Pennsylvania.
The new station is committed to local programming and coverage, such as KERA’s 90.1 at Night, hosted by Paul Slavens. Original programming on the new station will eventually include studio performances, interviews and arts-related news, commentary and a concert calendar.
This will be the only free, full-market non-commercial station in North Texas to broadcast the AAA format. One reason that KERA chose to purchase 91.7 FM at this time is that the Dallas-Fort Worth area has only three, full-market, non-commercial FM licenses. KVTT was one and it was up for sale. This means that the new station will serve the same basic coverage area that KERA does, complementing the services that sister station KERA 90.1 offers to North Texas.