An announcement Wednesday by WQXR, the classical music station of the New York Times, said it is negotiating with ABC Radio for a classical radio network aimed at a national audience and for markets without commercial classical stations. Programming would be produced by WQXR independent of its current programming.
"Many classical listeners have been disenfranchised, and the current economics of local radio ownership make it difficult for the middle and small-market stations to establish the format on their own," said Tom Bartunek, president and general manager of WQXR.
ABC Radio Networks distributes 10 24-hour formats and other programming to 4,500 stations from coast to coast. If the national classical radio network is established, it will begin broadcasting early in 2005, Bartunek said.