Classical Boston’s Little Secret

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.

Advertisements