Looks like the anticipated format changes are coming to WDUQ-FM (90.5) on July 1, once the sale becomes official. It’s expected that the majority of jazz programming – except for 6 hours on Saturday evenings – will give way to in-depth NPR programming. While the FCC review of the sale is expected to take at least another 2 months, Essential Public Media is in negotiations with Duquesne University to operate 90.5 under a Local Management Agreement while the university continues to hold the license. WYEP General Manager Lee Ferraro believes full-service news should be sustainable. Markets smaller than Pittsburgh have seen stations with a similar format.
Meanwhile, Marco Cardamone – Essential Public Media board chairman says the jazz programming will continue. Not only will in have a 6-hour per week presence on 90.5, but many hours on the High-Def channel. While many people are able to listen to that signal online, EPM is proposing providing vouchers to people to help purchase small HD radios. They will also continue to record live jazz events produce jazz features. They are also working on creating locally-produced shows focusing on local issues.
In related news, Dennis Hamilton – former Minnesota Public radio exec. and current Director of Consulting for Public Radio Capital – will serve as the station’s interim President and General Manager.