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62-year tradition ends at Classic 99

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Tuesday was the last day of broadcasting for Classic 99 in St. Louis, one of the few remaining commercial classical radio stations in the country.

The station was owned and operated by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod for 62 years. The station's new owners, Gateway Creative Broadcasting, are switching the signal to a Christian contemporary pop format called "Joy FM".

Fred Bronstein is the president of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He said classical music still has a big audience, but these days fans have options besides regular terrestrial radio.

"I don't think less people are listening. I mean, you look at our own numbers here, we have a growing base of audience," said Bronstein. "So, I think there is a very healthy appetite for this here and we're not the only place, I think in other cities as well. But I think people access it in different ways."

The sale of the beloved station was highly contentious, including pleas to the FCC on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Classical music is still on the air in St. Louis on 90.7 KWMU-3. It's a free, over-the-air service available with an HD radio. It's on the internet too. Details are at http://stlpublicradio.org

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