Office of Arts and Culture statement on WRR Classical Music Radio Station

City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture

The City of Dallas and Office of Arts and Culture greatly values the classical music broadcasts and arts organizations support that Classical WRR 101.1 FM radio provides.  Unfortunately, due to reduced advertising revenue during the global pandemic and legal restrictions on the government employees of WRR to comply with ethics regulations, WRR 101.1 FM has operated at a deficit for eight years in a row, with a declining fund balance in operating reserves of $5.1M since 2012.  The station’s operating results have ranged from nearly breakeven to losses of over $1.2 Million, not including capital obligations. As a responsible steward, the City of Dallas is exploring new management for WRR 101.1 FM to ensure it remains a City-owned classical music format radio station. All RFP respondents must operate as a nonprofit. If the station’s operating and capital reserves were exhausted, the City would not be able to require it remain a classical station. 

In the current RFP for management adhering to all City protocols, the City will retain ownership of the station and WRR will be a classical music station continuing services to arts organizations. This is similar to Dallas’ other City-owned, privately managed cultural assets such as the Moorland YMCA Building managed by Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Sammons Center for the Arts. Following the close of the procurement, the City will begin negotiations with bidders to recommend one for Council action to ensure continued classical music radio on City of Dallas-owned WRR 101.1 FM.