BYU to sever ties with PBS

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PROVO, Utah — BYU Broadcasting announced Monday its plans to consolidate its operations, morphing BYUtv, KBYU Channel Eleven and BYUtv International together while splitting from its PBS affiliation beginning next summer.

BYUradio and KBYU-FM/Classical 89 will also merge into the same network when the changes take effect on June 30, 2018, BYU Broadcasting added.

Michael Dunn, manager director of BYU Broadcasting, said BYU valued its partnership with PBS but the broadcasting schedule essentially duplicated KUED’s, which is the PBS member station at the University of Utah.

The channel will instead broadcast more of BYUtv’s original programming, such as “Studio C,” “Granite Flats,” “American Ride” and more.

“By consolidating our services, we will be able to focus all our attention on creating and offering new original programming for both Utah and our growing nationwide audiences on BYUtv,” Dunn said in a news release.

BYUtv, which is currently only available in some HD platforms, will be broadcast in HD across all platforms through KBYU’s broadcasting license after the changes take effect. The channel will remain available over the internet and various digital platforms.

BYUtv International will discontinue broadcasting in 2018 after the change date. However, BYU Broadcasting said it planned to expand its Spanish-language broadcasting and the department will place international content on its online streaming services available at BYUtv.com.

Though rebranding from Classical 89 to BYUradio, the station will continue to broadcast classical music, Dunn said. However, the amount of classical music will be reduced with new programming added, including talk shows, as well public affairs and education shows.

The decision to rebrand Classical 89 was met with disappointment by several listeners. Mitchell Atencio, of West Jordan, started one of two petitions on Change.org opposing the decision to alter Classical 89. Atencio’s petition gained more than 500 signatures in the first five hours it was posted, the other garnered more than 1,800 people in about seven hours.

Though the station won’t entirely clear its classical music, Atencio said it still alters the charm brought with the only station in the state that plays classical music 24/7.

“Part of the biggest draw for it is that it’s always there, we can have it whenever we’re at home or driving or anytime we need to, we can always count on that,” he said. “If that were to go away, that kind of takes away from that excellent brand they’ve been working so hard to create.”

About 37 percent of the more than 3,000 readers who voted in a non-scientific KSL poll said they supported all changes, while 29 percent opposed. About 18 percent supported the TV changes only, 11 percent said they were undecided and 6 percent said they supported the radio change only in the first eight hours the poll was available.

This article first appeared on ksl.com. It is used here with permission.

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