shaunna at mac.com
Thu Jun 21 00:06:50 EDT 2012
Hello Jazz friends.
I am saddened by the loss of most of the jazz programming on WGBH.
I have no faith that a move to a single-format news/information will benefit anyone, especially the rich Boston music and arts community. I do not believe WGBH will be more successful.
Pittsburgh certainly has not benefited from such a change. There is a hole in the radio dial here.
Speaking from my former radio business side (and not just my passionate jazz-lover/arts community supporter side) -
Have consultants and higher-ups ignored another large market's great failure?
About a year ago, WDUQ 90.5 FM (News/Jazz/NPR - dual format station) was purchased by an organization that changed the format to news/information and scuttled all but a few measly hours of jazz on Saturday evenings. The station used to carry over 100 hours of jazz weekly. I programmed much of that for 10 years.
Almost a year since the sale of the station and format change, WESA (formerly WDUQ) has had consistently abysmal ratings. WDUQ averaged a 3 to 3.3 audience share in Pittsburgh. The new WESA has averaged a 1.2 share or less. Astonishing.
Such an audience decline is *absolutely unheard of* when a format change leaves Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Fresh Air in the slots they were always heard on. WDUQ carried those programs. WESA has not changed that. The local news that had always been a part of WDUQ has not changed.
Apparently the jazz programming is missed. The Takeaway, On Point, Q, TOTN, etc. (and reruns of such syndicated shows) have taken its place. There is a locally produced one-hour news program now. It isn't too bad, but it isn't all that compelling.
But audiences won't miss jazz, will they?
Ask WESA. Ask them how much that affects their bottom line. Audience = $. $ are down.
Those are numbers. Numbers matter to the decision makers.
Good luck WGBH. You have failed your community.
Best to all I have been out of touch with for too long,
(former Music Director @ WDUQ Pittsburgh)
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