in: News & Features

December 24, 2009

Anything We Can Do for Classical Music Radio in Boston?

by

Boston Musical Intelligencer will be presenting a panel discussion at Old South Church, Copley Square, Tuesday, January 5, 6:00 to 7:30 pm. The panel intends to address the overwhelming response of dismay at the diminution of classical music programming in the greater Boston area.

Moderator: William M. Bulger, former Massachusetts Senate President and President, University of Massachusetts, board member of the Boston Public Library and Boston Symphony Orchestra

Panelists: Richard Dyer, former classical music critic, The Boston Globe; Christopher Lydon, Radio Talk Host; Dave MacNeill, for many decades announcer, then general manager at the old WCRB; and John Voci, general manager, WGBH

Respondents from BMInt: Mark DeVoto, John W. Ehrlich, Brian Jones, Peter Van Zandt Lane, Tom Schnauber, David Patterson, Rebecca Marchand.

The event is free and open to the public. Click here for a printable flyer.

32 Comments

  1. I look forward to attending. Please consider for a future panel discussion the demise of folk and blues (WUMB going AAA “music mix”; WGBH dropping folk and blues altogether, and commercial stations dropping programs like Holly Harris’).

    Comment by Jeff Boudreau — December 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm

  2. I will be out of town that evening and can not attend. Please take notes and publish here and on Facebook. Also, please post links to any articles that follow. Thanks!

    Comment by David Ofsevit — December 24, 2009 at 2:01 pm

  3. Can this event be recorded for pod-cast on this site?

    Comment by Phyllis — December 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm

  4. We will be recording the event. Whether we post a sound file or a transcript remains to be determined.
    Thanks for your interest.

    Comment by Lee Eiseman — December 25, 2009 at 6:36 pm

  5. Though I left my hometown more than 50 years ago, I am still a Bostonian at heart—and my heart aches at what I hear has been happening to classical music radio in Boston. WCRB, under the guidance of the late Richard L. Kaye, was one of the prized Boston institutions. Is the management of WGBH even remotely aware of the sacred trust now in its hands?

    I applaud all those who have rallied to this occasion and cause; I only regret that I am not with all of you the evening of January 5.

    Comment by Martin Bookspan — December 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

  6. I’m happy to read that Martin Bookspan is alive and well; I remember his broadcasts on FM radio when classical music abounded therein, and his writings in Stereo Review. I once wrote on a blog dealing with the radio industry that classical-music aficionados are more passionate about the object of their affection than even RED SOX FANS are about theirs (I calculate that Red Sox fans have been pretty passionate for longer than Patriots fans). The recent postings to the Boston Musical Intelligencer seem to corroborate that assertion.

    Comment by Laurence Glavin — December 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm

  7. Bravo, Intelligencer! The event might be not something that would open eyes to the WGBH administration but it might be an event that would give to the WGBH a reason (an excuse) to reverse their position regarding the Friday LIVE broadcasts. I hope the trivialization of the WGBH programs that I am observing lately will be also brought up. I wish you guys create more publicity around the event, let us, the public to know if you need any help.

    Comment by Romy The Cat — December 28, 2009 at 8:36 am

  8. I believe the music programming on WGBH originates mostly if not entirely from WGBH, whereas the news and other “talk” programming is NPR-produced. Most NPR stations carry more news and discussion then WGBH and much less music. Is it possible that NPR is pressuring WGBH to carry more NPR programming in order to justify NPR funding, and to jettison much of the music to make room for more NPR programs?
    I will not be able to attend the meeting in Boston on Jan. 5. Could someone please raise this question, perhaps with WGBH General Manager John Voci?

    Comment by Dorothy L. Read — December 28, 2009 at 11:46 pm

  9. I am a professional musician of forty years’ standing (woodwinds) who performs classical and a variety of other styles (jazz, pop, Latin). For me, and for many of my generation, classical music programming on WGBH was a welcoming harbor of aesthetic quality and civilized pleasure. Nothing could beat, after a long week, those wonderful weekend mornings when the smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the apartment and you were treated to a new recording by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago, Elly Ameling, Julian Bream, or any number of Boston-based early music groups that came to the fore in the 60s, 70s and 80s. There was nothing else like it.

    The station’s actions reflect a general (and sad) trend toward dismissing a surprisingly large and devoted classical music radio fan base. The following may give you an insight into WGBH’s former ‘reach’: I occasionally worked with a blues/rock guitarist whom you wouldn’t have thought would like classical, but who never missed his weekend listening session. “Kirk — tell me about this guy Stravinsky!’ he would say, eager to learn about the music and the composers. You can’t put a price on that. I can’t attend the gathering, but will take all your suggestions to heart and do my bit to save classical music radio in New England.

    Comment by Kirk Feather — December 29, 2009 at 11:16 am

  10. I guess we finally got someone’s attention. Due to the recent changes at WGBH, I am no longer a listener, I can get NPR on WBUR, and I can get enlightening classical music programming albeit for just a few hours per day on WHRB.

    I have always found WCRB to be a dumbed-down, elevator-intended version of a classical music station that one might find somewhere in small-town America. Honestly, I don’t need to hear another Strauss Waltz or another slow movement of some overplayed piece of symphony repetoire.

    Most disturbing is the dismissal of the educated, meticulously-prepared Richard Knisely. I was told by an executive at WGBH, Marita Ribero, by way of one of her minions that his dismissal had nothing to do with the WGBH/ WCRB merger. Did WGBH give any thought to their listening public’s regard for educated commentary? I am aghast and frankly, insulted that Laura Carlo is still on the air with her saccharine, child-like presentation.

    Is it so surprising that Boston is home to a large, educated classical music fan base given the number of superb music schools, the highest concentration of colleges/ universities in the world and a world-class symphony orchestra? What were the WBGH executives thinking? Who made these decisions? I will attend this panel discussion as I want to hear them say it was for some reason other than reducing their operating costs.

    Comment by Reed N. Hill — December 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

  11. I live in Connecticut with a 2nd home in the Berkshires so while I am not directly affected this news along with the recent change at WQXR (lower power transmitter and frequency change resulting in significantly less coverage) in NYC show a disturbing trend in eliminating classical music programming through out the region. There are plenty of overlapping NPR stations featuring the same or similar Shows & formats that they are now reaching the point of redundancy. Perhaps the WGBH management would consider a format similar to WMNR in Monroe Connecticut which while being a “Public Radio” station is not affiliated with NPR and is now the sole supplier of 24 hour Classical/Jazz programming that I am aware of in Southern New England.

    Comment by Jerry Manion — December 30, 2009 at 10:53 am

  12. I live in Connecticut and listen to WGBH (among others) on the internet. The first time I was exposed to WGBH radio was hearing Morning Pro Musica broadcast on WNPR in Connecticut over 30 years ago. I am only 43 so you can see my interest in classical music is deep and long. I am very upset that Richard Knisely was not included in the stations plans. Although we have a family membership to WGBH and will continue to be supportive, Richard’s departure has dented the stellar reputation of WGBH in my household.

    Comment by MEL THOMPSON — December 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm

  13. I am happy to hear that many are disturbed and angry about the musical switch on WCRB. This station’s musical selections are in no way what I have been listening to for many years on WCRB. I am a supporter of public radio and television. Several days ago I received a solicitation call from WGBH asking for an additional $300.00 donation on top of my 180.00 in July. I refused and decided to let them know how i felt about the change in music on WCRB. The caller uttered a nervous laugh and continued on with her requests for additional monies. I refused the additional prodding from the caller and asked her to record my opposition to the musical choices on WCRB. No response!

    Comment by Natalie Daley — December 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

  14. Response to Natalie’s comment: When I phoned in a contribution during the recent WGBH radio pledge-drive, the operator who answered was not aware of various details just broadcast over the air, nor did she have access to member records (which was infuriating, given the amount of email I get from WGBH and our 3-decade “membership” in the station). With her southern accent, I surmise she was part of a hired phone-bank located far out-of-town.

    For those who have not seen it, here is a link to an eye-opening blog about public radio fundraising: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2009/06/22/public-radio-fund-drives/

    Echoing several comments, Boston has been a classical nirvana since I arrived for college 40 years ago. Passionate on-air people, including many performing/composing musicians – Dennis Boyer years ago at WBUR, many on the WGBH staff (Robert J. Lurtsema earned a formal music degree several years into his 7-days-per-week morning show). It would be nice to help avert an apparent slide into banality.

    A general question – is there anything else which interested listeners can do to bring back Richard Knisely? A search of the web shows a union protest of his firing, but not much since. I hope some more enlightened station manager made him a fabulous offer.

    Comment by Peter from Newton MA — December 31, 2009 at 9:05 am

  15. WGBH has been moving toward a Muzak approach to classical music for the past 10-15 years – focus on instrumental, classical music, single movements instead of whole symphonies/Cantatas/pieces. Now that they have taken over WCRB, it is all “popular” classical. So I have to listen to CDs and not the radio for my classical radio. I’m not happy about this turn of events. And will no longer donate to WGBH Radio.

    Comment by Sue Cornwall — January 1, 2010 at 11:02 pm

  16. One consolation for those of us south of Boston (Milton, Canton, Ashmont Hill, Lower Mills, etc.) who now get a poor or non-existent signal from 99.5, is that we still have the Sirius and XM satellite radio classical lineup. It’s perhaps the best classical programming that’s widely available, and its signal is strong for most American households. No commercials, no fundraising, no news, no weather forecasts, no static, just 24/7/365 hosted classical music on 3 channels–Symphony Hall, Light Classical, and Opera. At about $13/month, it’s a steal.

    The Symphony Hall channel is outstanding. Its programming is identical for Sirius and XM. Hosts include the great Martin Goldsmith (former host of NPR’s “Performance Today”), Robert Aubry Davis, Preston Trombly, and Elena See. It doesn’t get much better than that. I listen on my home stereo system with my XM tuner, and I listen in my car.

    Having a local classical station is very special, but there are alternatives much better than streaming music on your computer with low quality sound. Satellite radio is not CD quality, but it’s better than FM even when FM has a perfect signal.

    For those of you who haven’t tried this approach, I recommend it highly.

    Comment by Rick — January 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm

  17. Virtually since its inception, WGBH has served a critical role in building and sustaining audience for music of all kinds in the Boston area–thus contributing importantly to the cultural life of which this community is so justifiably proud. But now, as a friend put it, ‘GBH has chosen to “ghetto-ize” classical music. How out-of-touch can they be in this era when with increasing frequency both “classical” and “popular” artists and their music are being heard together in both concert halls and clubs? And why is it necessary to dumb down the music programming on WCRB by turning most of the schedule over to announcers (surely they are not “hosts”) who can only manage to tell us the title of the work and who wrote it. Surely WGBH’s management can’t think this is any substitute for the intelligent commentary of a Richard Knisely or a Brian McCreath, whose conversation about the music both before and after they play it bring meaning to the work, position it in the pantheon, and so on, thereby enriching our listening experience beyond just hearing the notes as if they were only worthy of being background music, best heard somewhere like the elevator or the dentist’s chair. Surely Boston deserves and has supported better!

    Comment by Ruth — January 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm

  18. I would like to add my voice to those expressing anger and incomprehension at the loss of Richard Knisely on WGBH. He was the most thoughtful, imaginative, and knowledgeable classical music host left on that station, and his forced departure is an enormous loss. If it is the case that his dismissal had nothing to do with the sale of WCRB, it nonetheless suggests that WGBH really has no interest in maintaining programming standards in classical music. They have marginalized and trivialized its presentation ON WCRB. I am completely dismayed by WGBH’s recent actions (including the dropping of blues and folk mentioned above). I know about this upcoming panel discussion only because I heard it announced on WHRB today while listening to the Metropolitan opera broadcast and its post-opera programming. This is the last station that offers rich and fascinating classical programming, limited as it is. I will definitely be at the panel discussion with my outrage. I did express my anger to the WGBH fund-raiser who recently called me about renewing my membership; I told her there was no chance I would renew, and that WE DO NOT NEED YET MORE TALK RADIO!!!!!!!

    Comment by Susan Heideman — January 2, 2010 at 6:24 pm

  19. As executive director of the Boston Classical Orchestra (BCO), I forwarded to our large email list on December 30 the Boston Musical Intelligencer’s broadside announcing the January 5 panel discussion. Within minutes, unhappy comment began to pour in. Our audience did not listen to WCRB because, whatever one thought of the defunct station’s recent programming, people could not get the signal. And our audience will not be listening to the “new” 99.5, regardless of what it is called. The BCO has been an ardent sponsor of WGBH’s programming. Tuesday’s panel discussion will tell much about the future of that sponsorship. Other sponsors are feeling similarly.

    For me, the zenith of classical music on Boston radio was during the 60s and 70s, but still strong into the mid-90s. “Robert J” was a legend at ‘GBH, along with Ron Della Chiesa and others, and Dave MacNeill and his cohorts at WCRB (then 102.5 FM) offered a stellar playlist (until the station’s sale in 2005 to Greater Media) and constantly supported the endeavors of local ensembles of all sizes and types – an evangelism for which music lovers and performers in Boston owe Dave a huge debt. WBUR offered the daily morning slot of Dave Letterman, who hosted perhaps the best classical music program in town. He was followed in the afternoon by the excellent Dennis Boyer. WBZ-FM was classical until 1971, and WHDH aired the overnight “American Airlines Program” until, I think, 1975. Harvard’s WHRB has remained solid since 1940 with 60+ hours of classical programming each week, plus its famous 24-hour “orgies” during exam time. WERS broadcasted classical music then.

    The issue of an ever-diminishing radio product goes beyond WGBH, but the station is certainly exacerbating that greater problem. WGBH (89.7) knew that WCRB (99.5) had a severe signal limitation. ‘GBH’s official answer is “Buy a different radio”. Not very smart marketing. One wonders why WGBH is not creating its all-talk format on 99.5 and making 89.7 the 24-hour classical music station. The answer seems to be that ‘GBH wants most to compete with WBUR, which abandoned classical music 20 years ago, and it cannot do that with so weak a signal. WGBH would never tell all its listeners to buy a new radio.

    But why does 89.7 want to confront WBUR (90.9) rather than to complement it? The two stations already share some programming, and this format overlap is going to increase, probably substantially. The overnight programming on the new 99.5 is being supplied by Minnesota Public Radio, which seems to be to NPR classical music what WGBH-TV is to PBS. The irony is that, with energy and imagination, WGBH-FM could strive to assume that role, given the enormous musical resources already available in its back yard.

    Making matters worse is that both 89.7 and 99.5 have the same call letters! And there are no plans to change that which I am aware of. The station seems almost self-destructive with this poorly imagined plan. WGBH’s course toward superfluity and identity loss will further imperil classical music in Boston. Ironically, audience size and the number of performing groups in the Boston market have grown significantly over the decades; WGBH has an opportunity here. If the station backs away, the void is bound to be filled with something which could threaten the station still further.

    This episode reminds me too much of when WGBH-TV decided in 1992 (?) to jettison its 10 pm newscast, hosted by the inestimable Chris Lydon. I was present at one of those viewer protests with station head Henry Becton, and … well … Henry performed a fine rendition of “Hey! My hands are tied”. I, for one, have been watching less Channel 2 ever since.

    One piece of good news is that WGBH learned on the very day of its September announcement to buy WCRB that its relegation of classical music to 99.5’s primitive broadcast range made for many unhappy donors. As word has spread, so has the discord.

    Imagine what the response would be from donors had WGBH not bought WCRB, while still going all-talk.

    There, one can imagine, lies the essence of WGBH’s strategy: the station would lose too much financial support if it abandoned classical music altogether, particularly at a time when, going head-to-head with the powerfully established WBUR, and when its identity will become mushier than ever, WGBH needs all the help it can get. If that is the strategy, one must wonder about additional cutbacks by WGBH.

    Yes, there are Satellite radio and Sirius and other imported formats. However, the best radio and TV broadcasters are a part of the community they broadcast to. They interact with their audiences, and they foster a synergy which helps to make the community all the richer and listenerships all the more loyal. If Boston does not deserve a great classical music environment on radio, who does?

    WGBH, in all its guises, is a great Boston institution. Its recent decision to maroon its classical radio programming is going to adversely affect its listenership, and I am as worried about that as I am about the continuing loss of music programming on local radio.

    Please! Pass along the news to as many people as you can and do so now. There cannot be too many people or too much articulate and impassioned support for Boston classical radio at this panel discussion. I hope to see you on the 12th day of Christmas. Bring all your pipers and drummers.

    A hearty thank you to the Intelligencer for this important service, not just to music lovers, but to Boston!

    Comment by Sean Roberts — January 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm

  20. Astute words from NYC. It it by design or omission that WGBH not have a blog for member/listeners to share critique/criticism?

    Source – http://richardmitnick.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/classical-bostons-little-secret/

    richardmitnick 12:57 pm on January 3, 2010
    Tags: Classical Music (31), internet radio (15), Public Radio (24), WCRB, WQXR

    Classical Boston’s Little Secret

    On December 19, 2009, I posted about the differences and similarities of the WQXR takeover by WNYC and the WGBH takeover of WCRB.

    The subject of the events in Boston has been covered in a variety of places: Scanning the Dial, boston.com, and Doc Searle to mention the most salient.

    The debate about the events in Boston have been characterized by some of the negativity which we have experienced in New York. But one place where there has been no discussion is on the web site of WGBH. At WQXR’s web site, we have the advantage of “blogs” in which we can vent our spleens and insult each other. Instead, the Boston thing is being thrashed out at the sites listed above, and on some forums like The Good Sound Club and Hub Arts.

    In both Boston and New York, there have been many complaints about the diminished range of the transmitters. This is a serious problem. Listeners, and probably members, are being lost. Suggestions about listening on the computer have been dismissed by many.

    But, here is the topic that is most important to me and no one seems to be even aware of it.

    Of the ten on air hosts that one finds on the weekly schedule, fully seven of the hosts are actually Minnesota Public Radio people. You can find them listed at Classical24’s web site, just click on Host biographies.

    So, what this means is that the Classical music listenership and membership in Boston, one of the great cultural meccas of the world, is being fed the pabulum of Classical 24, a subscription service (read “rental”) offered by Minnesota Public Radio. One noted Classical music critic described services such as Classical 24 as “musical wallpaper” designed not to intrude.

    At Scanning the Dial, Marty Ronish posted about a meeting to discuss the whole situation. Checkout Marty’s post. I really like the line about “a Minneapolis syndicate”. Sounds sort of like The Mob.

    I am very thankful that things have not come to this in New York at WQXR. I hope that we can stay afloat without recourse to such happenings. I think that the listeners and members in Boston deserve better.

    Comment by Jeff Boudreau — January 3, 2010 at 4:24 pm

  21. I suggest that donors not give them another penny. It is infuriating that they claim to have “saved classical music.” Have they no shame?

    Comment from Beverly in Waltham

    Comment by Beverly — January 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

  22. although I cannot attend this meeting…In case these posts find there way to WGBH, i would also like to go on record as distaining the changes.
    1. it dilutes ALL of the music; not just classical; no more folk….either….ALL music of ALL kinds is what WGBH should continue to be known for.
    2. Blabbing all day long,no matter how interesting bypasses, the creative mind and creates background noise…not information. There are already too many words expressed in this world. Having music interspersed enables the listeners to digest the other news shows….Quality NOT quantity is the standard that WGBH used to stand for!
    3. It is not a financially wise decision. I am now supporting more local, quality music stations that also are listener supported : WERS; WUMB….lucky for them.
    Thanks for listening and for organizing this forum and sending along the distress calls!
    Janet Yassen; Newton, MA

    Comment by janet yassen — January 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm

  23. I am not sure I can make the meeting. However, I would like to use this opportunity to comment on at least one thing that is disturbing me quite a bit: The new WCRB has mini segments presenting some accomplished and well known Boston area musicians explaining what classical music means to them or what music is in their opinion. All make interesting comments, but none of them are women! Do we really want to offer this biased representation of musicians and musicianship to the lay public? As a professional musician and an interdisciplinary writer, I know that there are just as many wonderful female musicians out there with just as much profound wisdom and passion to share about music, life, and a lot more.

    Comment by T.B. — January 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm

  24. Some of the things I liked about WGBH classical radio’s programming as opposed to WCRB’s:
    -more vocal music
    -more non-“pops” works
    -more 20th/21st-century programming
    -more programming of local musicians and composers (especially from the Frasier Performance Studio)

    I hope that WGBH can bring these priorities to whatever classical music radio it operates.

    Comment by Christie — January 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm

  25. WGBH can’t even run a radio station any more. On Saturday evening, January 2, at 8:00 they began broadcasting their own show “Says You”. At about 8:35 there was dead air for about 5 minutes, then transmission resumed with a completely different program.

    Comment by Mark Lutton — January 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

  26. A huge thank you to those who have planned this event. WGBH had been a huge influence on me for the past 39 years and 11 months (do the math – SINCE BIRTH!) Now that I cannot listen on the radio at work and at home due to the pathetic signal, and can’t listen online due to server issues on the WGBH end, I am terribly angry and distraught. What happened to the station I was brought up on? How can this be rectified?

    I have not renewed my membership because of these issues. I honestly hope those who also have issues with the programming and signal will be listened to, and action will be taken for us.

    Comment by Mikhaela Houston — January 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

  27. Prior commitments have kept me from attending tonight. But I am with you in spirit. What a travestry and what another ploy to keep greedy capitalists at work. Who hired this manager, by the way???? To get rid of witty Richard and before that Doug– to make a pansy of “classical music” ( now “light” as CRB was?? to not even receive it by most radios??? Just amazing it could happen in Boston. SUsan

    Comment by Susan Swan — January 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

  28. I just DID type a comment…. basically I wish I could be at the forum but prior engagement keeps me from attending. How could this new “manager” deprive us of Richard, and Doug and real, non-pablum classical music that most of us can’t even hear???? Susan

    Comment by Susan Swan — January 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

  29. I couldn’t make the meeting last night but I fear it will be for naught; just an opportunity to vent. These days, people get together to express outrage but then it peters out without a focused follow-up. I wonder if we could begin and circulate a petition to be presented to WGBH?

    ‘GBH knows many of the loyal listening audience (classical, blues, folk, and jazz) are very unhappy with how this how really rolled out. I gave money to help “keep classical alive” but despite the catchy phrase, GBH killed one of the two streams (it’s own!) that actually kept classical on the air. *Everyone* is annoyed that you can’t get the station on a regular radio anymore because ‘CRB was sent to the hinterland when they went to 99.5, a fatal flaw which GBH couldn’t correct. The technical side is poor also, they can’t seem to compress the sound; instead it comes out too quiet then suddenly quite loudly, all in one song (frustrating for listeners who don’t want to be adjusting the volume in each piece). They aren’t fooling most of the listeners with their “happy talk” about how great the new programming is on WGBH radio. Many people no longer support of ‘GBH, myself included, which is a real shame that GBH has come to this situation. I predict WGBH will go the way of the Boston Globe: a once great, respected insitution in Boston that degenerated into mediocrity because it couldn’t figure out how to change with the times.

    Comment by Cynthia Iris — January 6, 2010 at 9:40 am

  30. Here I am, commenting on the merger, the morning after the meeting which I was unable to attend! I have communicated with WGBH “management” concerning the loss of the early Sunday morning AGO program, the 8:00 AM or so weekly Bach Cantata and even the Cathedral of St. Paul program which was an over 30 year tradition on WCRB. RE the latter, I received the expected comment about promoting a particular religious demonination, even though the program has never been one attempting to “sell” Christianity.
    But, to the programming on WGBH! I have found that the selections are far richer and varied than the old format (the Top 40). Now there is more vocal (individual and chorus) offerings, newer music (composers I had never experienced) interspersed with the Haydn and Beethoven, etc. There seem to be glitches: a work is started, interrupted by an announcement, rqther annoying. Laura Carlo is a bit lightweight in her descriptions of works to be played; the other announcers are fairly good; Richard Knisely is sorely missed. The Christmas season was a particularly rich exampole (to me) of diversity…it wasn’t all “Christmas music,” and I heard Christmas literature that I had never heard or nor sung before, perhaps because I sang with Boston Cecilia?

    Comment by Robert Kluter — January 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

  31. Here I am, commenting on the merger, the morning after the meeting which I was unable to attend! I have communicated with WGBH “management” concerning the loss of the early Sunday morning AGO program, the 8:00 AM or so weekly Bach Cantata and even the Cathedral of St. Paul program which was an over 30 year tradition on WCRB. RE the latter, I received the expected comment about promoting a particular religious demonination, even though the program has never been one attempting to “sell” Christianity.
    But, to the programming on WGBH! I have found that the selections are far richer and varied than the old format (the Top 40). Now there is more vocal (individual and chorus) offerings, newer music (composers I had never experienced) interspersed with the Haydn and Beethoven, etc. There seem to be glitches: a work is started, interrupted by an announcement, rqther annoying. Laura Carlo is a bit lightweight in her descriptions of works to be played; the other announcers are fairly good; Richard Knisely is sorely missed. The Christmas season was a particularly rich exampole (to me) of diversity…it wasn’t all “Christmas music,” and I heard Christmas literature that I had never heard or nor sung before, perhaps because I sang with Boston Cecilia?

    Comment by Robert Kluter — January 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

  32. I hope that when Mr. Voci came to work on Wednesday morning, he apprised the higher-ups at the (so-called) WGBH Educational Foundation of the fact that HUNDRED of people came out on a cold winter night to express themselves on these issues. A rock station in town (WFNX-FM 101.7)just canned its morning team, and changed its, um, “musical” mix. I wonder how many people would showe up at a meeting to express their displeasure with WFNX?

    Comment by Laurence Glavin — January 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm

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