BYU Broadcasting recently announced that starting next year it will be merging its four TV channels and two radio stations into a single TV station and a single radio station.
“It takes a tremendous amount of manpower to generate all of our original programming. Managing six separate broadcasts was just spreading us too thin,” said Don Shelline, BYU Radio Station Manager.
Shelline said the merger would allow the stations to fall more in line with the broadcasting center’s primary mission: to broadcast content that will help listeners see, do and be the good in the world.
BYU Broadcasting is very different from most other broadcasting companies, Shelline said. An average commercial company is primarily concerned with making money and keeping investors happy, but BYU has far different goals in mind.
“We have a mission to reach out to both LDS people and non-LDS people who care about the values that the church upholds,” Shelline said. “That means broadcasting a wide variety of material other than simply LDS programs.”
This consolidation is upsetting news for some. The loss of the station Classical 89 in particular has caused upset among listeners. Two petitions to save Classical 89 have started on change.org since the announcement of the loss of the station. The petitions, titled “Save Classical 89!” and “Stop the Elimination of Classical 89” have over 12,700 and 4,500 signatures, respectively.
“The new radio station will contain some classical music, but it won’t have classical music playing all day for people to put on in the background of their day like it does now,” Shelline said.
Some students expressed dismay over the pending loss of the station.
“I first heard about the loss when our band conductor made an announcement during class,” said BYU sophomore Hannah Schoendorfer. “I promptly found the petition with the most signatures, signed it and posted it to Facebook. In my opinion, it’s the only station that provides a break of solace from the other radio stations.”
Other students don’t see the change as much of a problem.
“With all the music formats available nowadays like Spotify and Pandora I just don’t think the loss of one station is a big deal,” said BYU sophomore Asling Wright.
Some employees are excited for the merger within the Broadcasting Building. Josh Menden has been working at BYU broadcasting as a student producer for almost a year writing material for various talk shows. Much of what he has worked on has only been broadcast over Sirius XM radio, which he feels not as many people have access to.
“It’s great for me. The stuff I produce will be played locally now and I think a lot more people will be able to hear it,” Menden said. “Aside from that I still think it was a great move for the company to consolidate like this.”
Those seeking more information on the changes can check out the story on BYUtv’s webpage.