Did Steve Schwartz Just Miss His Last WGBH Radio Show?

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.

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12 Responses to Did Steve Schwartz Just Miss His Last WGBH Radio Show?

  1. That’s disgraceful. I’ve met Eric a couple of times @ the studio and am an avid listener. He and the late Dick Buckley in Chicago have always fought the good fight to get jazz–an American art form–the due that it deserves and receives in Europe.

  2. Curmudgeon says:

    GBH’s jazz programming was amongst the best in the country, as was their classical presentations.
    Now they are just like any other NPR station.
    What a brilliant strategy.

    BTW, John, I left off Watching Beat the Press after you left.

  3. Would that the September 1 date were still true. Sadly, Steve has since posted that Friday, July 6, will be his final show for WGBH.

    Pauline Bilsky and the folks at JazzBoston.org are in the process of organizing a community meeting to discuss the situation at WGBH and the state of jazz broadcasting in general. As soon as a time and place are set, I expect that this event will be widely publicized by all of us who are tracking this story closely.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Hey, J.R. Carroll –

      Go figure – someone asked me yesterday if I was you off an Art Fuse post you wrote.

      Thanks for the update. let’s see if it’s true, all due respect.

      John R. Carroll

  4. Well, in my case the “J” is for “James”. We already have a well-known writer here in town by that name, so that’s why I use the initials. (And then there’s the late author of “The Basketball Diaries”…)

  5. Rich Keith says:

    Attention WGBH listeners displaced by the decision to drop their very popular Jazz programming…..Pure Jazz Radio at http://www.purejazzradio.com is a full time, straight ahead, internet jazz radio station. Our overhead is low but our programming is of the highest quality, featuring the immortal artists of the past and some of the great artists on today’s Jazz Scene.

    Weeknights, from 8-11pm ET, you can hear the “New York Tonight” program LIVE from our Pure Jazz Radio Studios in New York.

    We also present some of the finest Jazz Broadcasters in the world, providing programs that can be heard all weekend long. Check out the program schedule on our website.

    Please give us a listen at http://www.purejazzradio.com and feel free to forward your opinion via Facebood, our website or my email address

    Rich Keith, General Manager of Pure Jazz Radio in New York City…the best music in the world, around the world

  6. Pingback: Fuse Update: Herding the Cats » The Arts Fuse

  7. Pingback: Steve Schwartz Did NOT Miss His Last WGBH Radio Show | Campaign Outsider

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