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WETA May Fill Classical Music Gap Left by WGMS
The Washington Post ^ | Saturday, December 16, 2006 | Paul Farhi

Posted on 12/18/2006 9:45:23 AM PST by sitetest

Bach might be back on Washington's airwaves, even if the region's only classical music station, WGMS, drops the format.

Public broadcaster WETA (90.9 FM) is considering dumping its news-and-talk programming and returning to being a classical broadcaster if the music dies on WGMS, WETA's management said yesterday.

In a special meeting Thursday, WETA's board voted to give station executives the green light to consider switching back to classical if WGMS drops the format. Dan DeVany, WETA's vice president and general manager, said the station "could move very quickly" back to classical if circumstances warrant.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: classicalmusic; dansnyder; espn; music; npr; publicradio; radio; redskins; sports; sportsradio; weta; wgms
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I just saw this today (I haven't subscribed to the Post in many years). I didn't see it already posted. My apologies if it's a duplicate.
1 posted on 12/18/2006 9:45:27 AM PST by sitetest
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To: sitetest; 1rudeboy; 31R1O; afraidfortherepublic; Andyman; Argh; aristotleman; baa39; Bahbah; ...

Ping!

Classical Music Ping List ping!

If you want on or off this list, let me know via FR e-mail.

Thanks,


sitetest


2 posted on 12/18/2006 9:46:35 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest; ken5050; mariabush; mkjessup; Red Badger; em2vn; rabidralph; savedbygrace; ...

Pinging to other folks who showed interest in this topic.


3 posted on 12/18/2006 9:51:35 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest

WGMS -- Classical Music for People who Hate Classical Music. Hopefully WETA will be better.


4 posted on 12/18/2006 9:52:43 AM PST by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: sitetest

It's just plain economics. Classical music does not make money. People don't listen to classical music -- and thus, advertisers do not wish to advertise on classical channels. Any station that plays classical is basically doing charity or losing money.


5 posted on 12/18/2006 9:53:53 AM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: sitetest

Boston nearly lost classical music when Greater Media bought WCRB 102.5, a longtime classical outlet. Due to FCC ownership
rules, they had to sell one of their FM stations so they
chose WKLB 99.5; new owner of THAT station, Nassau, decided
to take the WCRB classical format and call letters there
(Greater Media moved WKLB's country to 102.5)

Now the growing country listenership of WKLB has a signal
closer to downtown Boston--and classical fans have a signal
further away.

WCRB ended its classical run by airing "Rodeo" by
Copland (the one featured in the "Beef: It's What's For
Dinner" ads) then shifted to 99.5 with "Hallelujah
Chorus". WKLB ended its country on 99.5 with a country
version of the national anthem and debuted on 102.5
with Rascal Flats' "Life is a Highway" from the movie CARS.

The flip:

http://microfurry.250free.com/Switch995.mp3
http://microfurry.250free.com/Switch1025.mp3

each 2-3 minutes long.
Longer versions are posted at raccoonradio.com


6 posted on 12/18/2006 9:54:55 AM PST by raccoonradio
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To: sitetest; Nonstatist; megatherium; linda_22003; Alouette; Squawk 8888; Hawthorn; TBP; ...

Pinging to other folks who showed interest in the last thread on this topic.


7 posted on 12/18/2006 9:55:43 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest

All these years I have been on FR and I didn't even know there was a classical music ping list. I'll be darned.


8 posted on 12/18/2006 9:56:28 AM PST by Artemis Webb (All Truth is God's Truth...regardless of the source.)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Here in Chicago, the CSO sells out all the time as do local smaller orchestras.


9 posted on 12/18/2006 9:57:44 AM PST by Borges
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Dear HarmlessLovableFuzzball,

Classical music does pretty well in Washington, DC. By all accounts, WGMS is a solid, stable, highly-profitable part of Bonneville's radio empire, with nearly $10 million per year in advertising revenues.

However, Mr. Snyder needs the signal more than Bonneville needs the WGMS profit, as his Washington-region ESPN broadcasting franchise is in jeopardy if he doesn't score a station with a decent signal. Thus, he offered Bonneville a 50% premium over the appraised value of the station.

Tough to walk away from that much cash, even if you're making money in the present.


sitetest


10 posted on 12/18/2006 9:59:16 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
It's just plain economics. Classical music does not make money.

Not true. Even though the programming is terrible, WGMS is the 7th most listened-to station in the Washington DC media market. Its listeners are the most educated and most affluent of any commercial radio station in the area, which means it takes in a heck of a lot of advertising revenue. It is a very profitable station -- Dan Snyder just thinks he can make more money promoting his Redskins.

11 posted on 12/18/2006 9:59:33 AM PST by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: sitetest

I hope it works out that they return classical music to WETA. They should know they can't compete with WMAL when it comes to talk radio!


12 posted on 12/18/2006 10:01:08 AM PST by rabidralph
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To: sitetest

It will be a good thing if the last radio station takes classical music off the air. Classical music on the radio, interrupted by a "classical DJ" and/or advertisements is nothing but savagery. Recorded classical music is only meant be heard uninterrupted in one's living room in complete darkness, and only on 6 channel surround DVD-audio or Telearc SACDs.


13 posted on 12/18/2006 10:02:13 AM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: raccoonradio
WCRB, the BSO, Tanglewood, the Pops -- and Howie Carr -- some of the very few things that were plusses for living in MA...
14 posted on 12/18/2006 10:02:27 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
People don't listen to classical music

Who needs Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, when we have such timeless geniuses as Britney Spears, Christina Agulara, Snoop Doggy Dogg, 2 Live Crew...

15 posted on 12/18/2006 10:03:33 AM PST by MaestroLC ("Let him who wants peace prepare for war."--Vegetius, A.D. Fourth Century)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

LOL! I'm such a savage!!


16 posted on 12/18/2006 10:04:44 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: TXnMA

...and Jerry Williams

(here reading A Child's Christmas in Wales)
http://microfurry.250free.com/JerryW.mp3


17 posted on 12/18/2006 10:05:32 AM PST by raccoonradio
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To: MaestroLC

Who needs Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, when we have such timeless geniuses as Britney Spears, Christina Agulara, Snoop Doggy Dogg, 2 Live Crew...
***
You forgot Paris HIlton. *snicker*


18 posted on 12/18/2006 10:05:40 AM PST by fatnotlazy
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: Artemis Webb

www.beethoven.com


20 posted on 12/18/2006 10:17:58 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
It will be a good thing if the last radio station takes classical music off the air. Classical music on the radio, interrupted by a "classical DJ" and/or advertisements is nothing but savagery.

I don't like classical radio, and WGMS is worse than most stations (Classical Lite? Ugh), but I couldn't disagree with you more. Some people are turned onto classical music by listening to it informally on the radio -- how else are you going to convince people to go to the symphony or buy the complete Ring Cycle on CD if they haven't been exposed at least somewhat to classical msuic?

21 posted on 12/18/2006 10:21:42 AM PST by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: sitetest
I love classical music !!!!

Here is a shameless plug for my friends group called the "Bach Babes", she is the harpsichordist.

www.bachbabes.org
22 posted on 12/18/2006 10:22:49 AM PST by Kimmers
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To: sitetest

thanks-- I guess it's been about 10 yrs. since WETA went to the alltalk format, right?


23 posted on 12/18/2006 10:25:36 AM PST by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

Dear gusopol3,

Actually, I think it was 2005.


sitetest


24 posted on 12/18/2006 10:27:09 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: gusopol3

Or maybe early 2006.


25 posted on 12/18/2006 10:27:41 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest
However, Mr. Snyder needs the signal more than Bonneville needs the WGMS profit

Especially right before the NFL playoff....Wait!
26 posted on 12/18/2006 10:29:06 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy.)
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To: Thrownatbirth

Playoff?? What's that??

</redskinfan>


27 posted on 12/18/2006 10:30:11 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest
The one thing I miss, (besides the Hardtimes Cafe) since I moved from the DC area 4 years ago, is easily accessible classical radio. Good luck to WEAT if they are going all Classical again.
28 posted on 12/18/2006 10:32:54 AM PST by Talking_Mouse (wahhabi delenda est)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

WETA's a "public" station, so profitability matters not.


29 posted on 12/18/2006 10:33:59 AM PST by RockinRight (Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. He's a Socialist. And unqualified.)
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To: Alter Kaker

I agree - most people aren't raised with it any more. When I was a child, we'd come back from church and Dad would stack up a pile of records on the turntable, and all during dinner I was informally quizzed - "What piece is that? Who wrote it? How do you know it's Beethoven and not Bach - what are the differences?" etc. I imagine most parents don't do that these days - if, in fact, most parents ever did.


30 posted on 12/18/2006 10:36:29 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: sitetest

I like classical music, but I only listen to the radio when I'm driving. And it's kind of tough to appreciate the sublime subtlety of a Beethoven symphony when maneuvering I 495. Talk radio works for driving, but not classical music.


31 posted on 12/18/2006 10:38:29 AM PST by Our man in washington
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To: rabidralph

I don't think that's their intended competition; why the two major NPR stations in the market (WETA and WAMU) should have identical programming makes no sense to me.


32 posted on 12/18/2006 10:42:01 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: Our man in washington

Dear Our man in washington,

" And it's kind of tough to appreciate the sublime subtlety of a Beethoven symphony when maneuvering I 495."

Just because I may be unable to fully appreciate it while driving doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it a great deal, anyway.

For me, listening to classical music while driving, especially if the driving is tough, can take my mind off the difficulty of the drive.

"Talk radio works for driving, but not classical music."

To each his own. I just don't enjoy talk radio.


sitetest


33 posted on 12/18/2006 10:43:29 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: linda_22003

Dear linda_22003,

Although I'm not fanatical about that, we do that at home.

It's fun to do it from time to time, but it gets old (at least it does to the guys) if we try to do it on a regular basis.

As well, sometimes I like to play two different recordings of the same piece, and ask the guys what they think are the differences.


sitetest


34 posted on 12/18/2006 10:45:34 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Our man in washington
..Talk radio works for driving, but not classical music.

Amen. Rush Limbaugh IS classical music. Here is a baritone who delivers aria after aria with great mastery, precision and skill, and humor to boot. It's a three hour opera buffa with only actor, one singer. Once in a while extras like Dick Cheney and W enter the stage briefly, but thats it.

35 posted on 12/18/2006 10:46:49 AM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: sitetest

bttt


36 posted on 12/18/2006 10:47:43 AM PST by ADemocratNoMore (Jeepers, Freepers, where'd 'ya get those sleepers?. Pj people, exposing old media's lies.)
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To: sitetest

90.9 would be just fine, providing its all classical and I dont have to listen to NPR propaganda, too. .


37 posted on 12/18/2006 10:48:44 AM PST by Nonstatist
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To: sitetest

I'm strictly a daytime listener, since I don't live in the immediate area--is that why I'm confused--aren't they 90.1?


38 posted on 12/18/2006 10:58:46 AM PST by gusopol3
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
Any station that plays classical is basically doing charity or losing money.

CFMX in Toronto is doing quite well thank you very much. The audience may not be large but advertisers love the demographic- average age that is underserved by other non-talk radio formats, well-educated and high disposable income.

39 posted on 12/18/2006 11:01:31 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Pluto's been marginalized! Call the ACLU!)
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To: gusopol3

Dear gusopol3,

The answer to our question is actually deep in the article:

"WETA and WGMS were rival classical stations for 35 years, but WETA abandoned the format in March 2005 for news supplied by National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corp."

I haven't listened to WETA in a verrryy long time, so I can only report what I read.


sitetest


40 posted on 12/18/2006 11:08:57 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Disagree. I have no problem with things being interrupted--back in the day, they would often play only partial movements at performances or do encores of a movement right after it was played. Plus radio exposes folks to new works they might not otherwise hear. I had a classical show in college that was weird, with many skits in between pieces. It became a cult hit.

The problem with classical music nowadays is that too many listeners treat it as a museum piece or as something so serious it cannot be enjoyed, only appreciated. The best classical has elements of frivolity mixed in with the soul-stirring grandeur.


41 posted on 12/18/2006 11:15:01 AM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Euphorion Falls)
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To: linda_22003

My parents made fun of me for listening to classical (started when in high school).


42 posted on 12/18/2006 11:16:28 AM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Euphorion Falls)
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To: Our man in washington; sitetest; raccoonradio
it's kind of tough to appreciate the sublime subtlety of a Beethoven symphony when maneuvering I 495.

~~~~~~~~

Curious that you should specify I-495 -- where, on a drive home, I had a bizarre/sublime "WCRB moment":

Somewhere on I-495 between Taunton and Wrentham (not too far from Great Woods) I was tooling along, listening to Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in D Minor on WCRB.

As I often do, I was steering with my left hand, and "conducting" with my right.

Suddenly, I heard a Beemer zoom up on my left and smoothly brake to match my speed. When I looked over, there was a lovely young lady, playing her "air violin" -- in perfect sync with the music on CRB -- and with my 'conducting'. We "jammed" together for for several seconds, then she flashed me a beautiful smile and bowed; then her driver put his foot down and left me in the dust...

That was a moment of pure "drivetime magic" -- on I-495 -- courtesy of WCRB!

43 posted on 12/18/2006 11:28:46 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: Cyclopean Squid
The problem with classical music nowadays is that too many listeners treat it as a museum piece or as something so serious it cannot be enjoyed, only appreciated

True. It's also hard to condense a classical piece into a 20 sec sound bite for promotional purposes. And the lack of scantily clad women in classical music videos don't help either. (Now if a stark naked woman were to be shown playing Chopin's Minute Waltz on the piano, many would look (and listen) more closely into classical)

44 posted on 12/18/2006 11:29:30 AM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Some modern day musicians have borrowed themes from works by Pachelbel and Bach, and I'm sure others. These songs enjoyed some popularity. Plus folks do enjoy music from films such as Lord of the Rings. I think all that is required for the majority of people to embrace classical is to be exposed to it and taught that it's not snobby to enjoy it.

Haydn would be a great bridge for the uninitiated. Not only is he the Man, but his is the perfect blend of drama and light-heartedness.


45 posted on 12/18/2006 11:34:09 AM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Euphorion Falls)
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To: TXnMA

I think you guys are each talking about a diff. I-495,
one in MA and one in the DC area (the beltway, right?)
Same route number but they don't connect with each other
of course! :)


46 posted on 12/18/2006 11:39:24 AM PST by raccoonradio
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To: sitetest

I lived in Arlington 1969 -1971 and listened to WGMS. I remember you could get a Beethoven poster on his birthday if you knocked on the door of their celler studios and intoned the words, "Loodvig sent me" Their style was much better than Milwaukee's snooty WFMR.


47 posted on 12/18/2006 11:39:35 AM PST by StACase
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To: Cyclopean Squid

Haydn's the MAN. There would be no Mozart without a Haydn or at least the Mozart we know, and definitely no Beethoven without a Mozart or Haydn. I never tire of listening to his later symphonies ( 80s and above). They are just so charming.


48 posted on 12/18/2006 11:49:17 AM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: gusopol3

WETA is 90.9; 90.1 in the Washington area is C-SPAN radio. I listen to Washington Journal on my morning drive, and arrive at the office gnashing my teeth or laughing hysterically, depending on the topic and the callers.


49 posted on 12/18/2006 11:55:09 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Agree wholeheartedly. He was the first of my pantheon and still is there. His symphonies, his string quartets, and his oratorios rule. One of my greatest, probably the greatest, concerts I have been to is a performance of Die Schöpfung while I lived in Vienna (for study abroad).

There are still so many works of his I have yet to experience (dude was prolific as all get-out, as you well know).


50 posted on 12/18/2006 11:59:45 AM PST by Cyclopean Squid (Euphorion Falls)
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