[JPL] Sucks!

EdBride at aol.com EdBride at aol.com
Wed Jun 20 23:45:11 EDT 2012

This is nothing less than a cultural travesty, the Dean of New England jazz 
 broadcasters cast aside, like a wilted salad. Steve is a little more 
eloquent in  his comments. A sad day for Jazz, indeed.
In a message dated 6/20/2012 9:42:33 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
drjazz at drjazz.com writes:

Jazz  programming on WGBH-FM being scaled back, a blow to local jazz fans

By  Joseph P. Kahn, Globe Staff

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, which take effect July 2, amount to a serious  downscaling 
of jazz programming on Boston radio, where Jackson and  Schwartz have 
been mainstays for three decades, exposing their listeners  to artists 
old and new and promoting concerts and other events that have  been 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. The hosts  learned of the changes Tuesday from 
station managing director Phil Redo.  As of mid-afternoon, WGBH had yet 
to release a statement confirming the  new programming schedule.

Jackson, who celebrated 30 years on air last  spring, was told his show 
was being moved --- and cut back to nine hours  weekly --- to make room 
for more news and public affairs programming. "The  station has been 
moving in that direction for a couple of years," he said  Wednesday. A 
month ago, he and Schwartz heard their shows would be cut one  hour 
apiece, he added, but moving his show to weekend nights only was "a  
total surprise."

To the local jazz community, "this is major,"  Jackson said. "The music 
has always been there in the evening. To put it  on the weekends at 9 
p.m., when families won't necessarily be listening  together, is not the 
same thing. It's a different vibe."

Live  interviews and shows featuring a single artist may no longer be 
tenable,  he continued. "I still love doing radio, and Boston still needs 
jazz  radio, because jazz is a major part of American culture. Not to pat 
myself  on the back, but I think my show has been a major part of the 
jazz scene  around here."

Schwartz, who's been on the local airwaves for nearly 27  years, said 
change was imminent a couple of years ago, when WGBH shifted  its 
classical programming to another station. Then, "the other shoe  
dropped," said Schwartz as he was told that having two jazz hosts no  
longer fit with WGBH's plans.

"It wasn't a total surprise, but it  is a loss," Schwartz said. "The 
station is losing a consistent format  spread across the week. And the 
Boston jazz community is losing an  important venue for musicians to 
promote their events."

The moves  could also have a negative impact on WGBH membership, Schwartz 
added,  since membership in the WGBH Jazz Club includes access to live 
concerts  that will no longer be produced.

As news of the changes spread, many in  the local jazz community reacted 
with shock and dismay. On Facebook, a  "Save Eric in the Evening" page 
--- a reference to the show's former title  --- elicited postings ranging 
from sadness to calls for a protest petition  directed at WGBH.

Saxophonist Ken Field noted how well-known and  popular jackson has been 
among artists from all over the area, and the  world. "Reducing his 
airtime is a step in the wrong direction, for people  in Boston and 
people outside Boston," he said. "Eric has been so  supportive of not 
only international musicians who come to town but also  local jazz 

A lot of people he knows are angered by the  news, Field added, and 
wondering why they should continue to support WGBH  if it drops shows 
such as these.

"That's some tragic news,"  commented pianist Danilo Perez, reached by 
phone in Colorado Wednesday  afternoon. "In a culture where we are so 
much in need of hope and  optimism, that's what jazz is all about. As 
long as people listen to  radio, it's crucial to have jazz [featured] 

Beyond that, said  Perez, "People like Eric and Steve love and know the 
music. To a listener  like myself, it's almost like having a History of 
Jazz class on the  radio."
Joseph P. Kahn can be reached at jkahn at globe.com.

Dr.  Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
24270 Eastwood
Oak Park, MI   48237
(248) 542-7888
SKYPE:   drjazz99


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