At noon today, 90.9 WRCJ-FM launched its long awaited classical and jazz music format, marking the return of a locally operated classical music service to Detroit airwaves which has been unavailable since the demise of WQRS-FM in 1997. 90.9 FM will play classical music from 5am-7pm and traditional jazz from 7pm-5am. The announcement was made by Robert Scott, station manager for WRCJ. Scott was formerly vice president of programming and education for WTVS-TV Channel 56, Detroit Public Television, which recently earned a contract to operate the non-profit educational station that remains licensed to Detroit Public Schools.
“Classical music is back in the Detroit market and it has sorely been missed. This new station will serve the community by responding to its needs,” said Scott. Initially, WRCJ programming will originate from three public radio satellite services, Classical 24, JazzWorks and Jazz Satellite Network, as well as from other sources, but eventually, the station will offer locally based programming throughout the day.
Weekend programming will eventually be a mix of classical, jazz, gospel and community affairs.
Once technical facilities are completed, the station will be located in the Detroit School of Arts, the Detroit Public High School located in Detroit’s Cultural Center. Students will gain hands-on radio production experience at the radio station as part of their communications curriculum.
90.9 was the first educational FM radio station in Michigan when it began broadcasting in January, 1948, as WDTR. The call letters were changed in 2004. Detroit Public Television assumed operation of WRCJ on July 1, 2005, as part of its mission to educate, entertain and inspire, in partnership with the community.
Major funding for the operation of WRCJ has been provided by a grant from The Kresge Foundation.