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From Readers: Radio

In response to the discussion about classical radio, I’ve gotten a couple of comments on Facebook and privately that I thought were worth throwing into the mix.

From a member of the Board of Directors at KING-FM in Seattle (who tried unsuccessfully to post it to the comments section):

KING-FM does not have a classical talk show on air, but we do use one of our HD channels for commentary by any local arts organizations. As to the future of classical radio, we are having a series of strategy sessions on that right now. The biggest worry I would have about the NY move [i.e. WQXR’s move to a lower frequency] is degradation of the signal for ongoing classical frequency.

One far-out thing we have mulled is… giving each listener an HD radio! I don't know how else HD will ever have the installed base to support advertising.
(read more after the jump)

From a former radio announcer:
I'm not sure there is a successful formula here. I was an announcer and programmer at a public radio station in Massachusetts for years (WFCR) and we had a very broad range of music. I had the Daybreak slot and it was a great challenge to put together coherent programs. John Montanari, the afternoon guy, who is still there, was a great programmer and a phenomenal announcer… We had a night man, John MacDonald, who would inevitably play entire series of contemporary organ music at some point….

I think dealing with classical music nowadays means being brave and counterintuitive and, above all, fun.

There are stories to tell there and if that is done properly, you'll get an interested audience. By the same token, classical is not background shlock. I can't listen and work, it distracts me far too much (though I find contemporary very inspiring). But it is also the job of the critic, announcer, programmer and reviewer to highlight the more recondite manifestations of [classical music] rather than keep protocolling the same old, same old, which my friend used to call the "Muti, Mehta, Mata crowd" (said very fast) and their repertoire.

From a composer:
Way back when (in the late 40s or early 50s), I was a programmer on a privately owned FM radio station here in Manhattan. And I programmed Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" about 6 p.m. An irate listener called the station and asked me how I expected him to enjoy his dinner with that noise going on in the background! I told him to stop eating and listen to the music.

By Anne Midgette  |  July 17, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  from readers , random musings  
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