Touch that dial, please….

From the Well-Tempered Blog–    
 

Saturday, September 09, 2006 

Performance Today Gets A New Home This really sad in way. I’m glad Minn. Public Radio will take on “Performance Today”, the large context is pretty depressing.”National Public Radio said it will end production and distribution of “Performance Today,” the most popular classical music program on the air, and eliminate 11 jobs in its Washington headquarters as a result.”and “The move is another sign of classical music’s diminished role at NPR and its affiliated stations.

Many public stations, including WETA-FM (90.9) locally, have dropped daily classical programming, including “Performance Today,” in favor of news and talk programs.” Read the rest here.

And more here:

“In recent years many US public radio stations have been reducing airtime for classical music or eliminating it from their schedules altogether in favor of news, features and talk programs. This trend has alarmed classical music lovers, but the stations generally report that their listenership increases in the wake of such changes.” 
Posted by Bart Collins at 9:06 AM Labels: classical music, NPR, radio 

So depressing. So depressing. So depressing. So depressing.

It was such an unpopular show that NPR made this claim on their website—    
 

“Performance Today is America’s most-listened-to classical music radio program, reaching 1 million listeners on 230 stations around the country.”

 

Yes, it had to go. Wasn’t worth the investment.

Perhaps, just perhaps, if some of those public radio stations had actually been playing GOOD music that was classical (I’m speaking of local, morning-concert-type shows, not P.T.), instead of god-awful five minute extracts of baroque oboe concerti, and if their on-air hosts had spoken like sane people, and been able to pronounce the names of the pieces, their classical programs would have been more popular, instead of the tedious laughing stock they became over the last 20 years. When the type of person who least wants to listen to your classical programming is anyone who likes or knows anything about classical music, you have a problem.

Why have public radio stations spent 20 years trying to attract people who like elevator music instead of trying to attract PEOPLE WHO LIKE MUSIC!!!!!!!!?????????

Performance today used to be a great, great show. Fred Child’s team had worked hard to bring it back to those heights, but the content hasn’t ever returned to what it once was. Now our national public broadcaster has washed their hands of it completely.  All this so we can have more inane travel and cooking shows. Great… How do the trustees of public broadcasting live with themselves? 

When the organizations who are supposed to be agents of enlightenment instead become servants of the greater stupidity, we know times are bad.

What do we do when Minnesota joins Canada

So depressing. So depressing. So depressing. So depressing. So depressing……. 

Update- Question: Do you think the folks at the BBC are paying attention to all this?

      
c. 2006 Kenneth Woods
 

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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