Dead Blogging the ‘GBH Classical Radio Rumpus, Part 2

Grace notes from Tuesday night’s future-of-classical-music-in-Boston hoedown (all statistics via WGBH general manager John Voci):

• Classical audience for WGBH: 120,000; for WCRB: 340,000

• WGBH classical audience: 71% are 55 or older; WGBH news audience: 1o-15 years younger

• While public radio audiences overall are up 30% over the past decade, WGBH’s numbers have been flat

• WGBH has cut its operating budget by $10 million and cut 50 employees loose

• It would cost $20,000-$30,000 to reinstate the Friday afternoon Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcasts

• FCC regulations prohibit WGBH from increasing the broadcast power of WCRB

• “Repeater stations” would be prohibitively costly and are not in WGBH’s plans

(P.S. to splendid reader Michael P: It was neither confirmed nor denied that “much of the music on WCRB is programmed by a Minneapolis syndicate.” Your educated guess goes here.)

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3 Responses to Dead Blogging the ‘GBH Classical Radio Rumpus, Part 2

  1. Richard Buell says:

    Yes, agreed, much of the classical music on WGBH and WCRB has been good to hear, but at what a cost, by which I mean the ruinously vulgar and inept presentation.

    Did we really need to hear gushmeister Ron Della Chiesa tell us that we were hearing, had just heard, or were about to hear an ovation, standing or otherwise?

    It has been no pleasure, either to hear Richard Knisely routinely stumbling over the basic data about a performance that was being broadcast — that is, assuming that he had troubled to obtain them.

    And isn’t it rude to begin playing a piece of music without first having announced what it is? This was common practice at “Classical Performances.”

    With few exceptions, classical music radio around here has been bad radio. Where but in a smug, provincial little burg like this …

    What is to be done? There was talk off and on at Tuesday’s kvetchfest about streaming audio.

    And what a boon it is. Instead of having to be grateful for small favors, the aggrieved citizen can now take his business elsewhere.

    A good idea of what’s out there can be had from this website — http://theairthisweek.blogspot.com/ — which is an outgrowth of a service feature that ran in the Globe ‘s Living/Arts section until all of a sudden, without warning to its compiler, it didn’t.

    Possibly it didn’t have much appeal tothe coveted 18-to-35-year-old male thug demographic. Well, that’s their problem.

    rb

  2. "Gushmeister" says:

    Hi Richard,
    Got a big kick reading your comments!
    Nice to know you’re alive and well enjoying our BSO broadcasts.
    On behalf of our broadcast crew Brian Bell, producer, Jim Donahue, engineer, and “Gushmeister” Ron Della Chiesa please know that you are always welcome to join us for a pre-concert dinner and Saturday night concert at Symphony Hall and another standing ovation.
    Al best wishes for the new year.

  3. "Gushmeister" says:

    Dear Richard,
    Enjoyed your comments about our BSO Broadcasts.
    Nice to know you’re alive and well.
    On behalf of our broadcast crew Brain Bell, producer, Jim Donahue, engineer, please know that you are always welcome to join us for a pre-concert dinner at Symphony Hall.
    We’ll even pick up the tab!
    All best wishes for the New Year.
    Ron “Gushmeister” Della Chiesa

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