Reports of WGBH radio’s jazz pogrom indicated that some of the station’s sweeping program changes would take effect next week.
To the consternation of loyal listeners, WGBH-FM (89.7) is dropping jazz programming on weeknights, moving longtime host Eric Jackson to weekend duties only, and eliminating Steve Schwartz’s Friday show.
The changes, some of which take effect July 2, come amid an expansion of National Public Radio programming on WGBH, including additional broadcasts of “Marketplace” and extending “Morning Edition” to four hours per weekday.
But what the station is calling “a new focus on jazz” amounts to a serious downscaling of jazz programming on Boston radio, where Jackson and Schwartz have been mainstays for three decades, exposing listeners to artists old and new while promoting concerts and other events vital to the local jazz scene.
“Jazz on WGBH With Eric Jackson” will no longer run from 8 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, airing instead from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday. Schwartz’s Friday evening jazz show is disappearing altogether, and he will no longer produce live performances for Jackson’s show.
On his Facebook page, Schwartz told listeners he has a two-month reprieve:
Then again, Andy Rosenfeld filled in last night on Jazz from Studio Four.
Is it possible Schwartz will lose that two-month cushion?
(Full disclosure: In 2008 the hardworking staff exited WGBH-TV after 11 years with nary a mention of it on-air. We’ve had classier sendoffs from street-paving crews in Cincinnati.)
We could be wrong about this (we’ll know in seven days), but we could also be right.