From next month, Classic FM listeners may be in for a shock when they tune into the 102.7FM frequency.
The station, which began transmitting in 1997, will undergo a shift in format as it transforms from broadcasting classic music to “Joburg’s Hottest Old Skool and R&B”, according to a statement released by Classic FM.
The station format’s niche appeal, changes in music consumption trends, as well as shifting demographics saw the station continually struggle financially forcing it to relook its offering.
The station then exited business rescue in December 2019 according to reports by News24 with the help of The Professional Consortium, a group of highly skilled media, legal, and business management specialists who have experience in commercial radio.
The organisation successfully bid to take the station out of business rescue and set about stabilising the operations of the station, however the Covid-19 pandemic impacted adversely on advertising revenue across the entire industry, and on the station in particular.
The consortium applied to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) for a change to a more commercially viable music format. On 30 April 2021, Icasa issued a new license to Classic FM South Africa, effectively approving the format change to “Old Skool and R&B”, while retaining a percentage of classical music.
South Africa’s only commercial classical music radio station, Classic FM will offer a more popular music selection, while listeners still being able to enjoy the more traditional classics in the evenings.
Classic music will be played on the 102.7FM frequency from 7pm to 5am; and will be available on a 24-hour-a-day basis online via the website and on DStv Channel 857.
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