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Subject: Re: Fwd: Met broadcasts in Dallas
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 5 Dec 2016 12:36:21 -0700

text/plain (280 lines)

Donald Kane.  Amazing to me that such a dearth exists in large cities.  Out
here in Santa Fe we have KHFM, a 24-hour classical music section which has
been broadcasting since 1965 under various call letters.  They do carry the
Met broadcasts thank goodness.  The only change during those years is that
they have moved their offices from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.  The population
in Santa Fe is less than 70,000 although the census has not quite caught up
with its growth.  It might be 80,000 now but still.....

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 12:21 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Growing up in Connecticut, I started listening to the broadcasts on WFCR
> (NPR) out of
> Amherst - they did do some classical music besides (the iconic "Morning
> Pro Musica" with
> Robert J. Lurtsema 7 days a week, plus symphony broadcasts, etc), but they
> also carried
> the usual NPR fare - not all music by any means. Sometime in my teens,
> Connecticut also
> got their own public radio station, and they also carried the Met - but
> similarly they carried
> their own mix of NPR programming. The radio station at the University Of
> Hartford (the
> home of the Hartt school of music) also carried their own opera broadcasts
> (recordings) on
> Sundays.
> Moving to the Boston area for college, WCRB was the one true all-classical
> station
> (commercially run), and at that point, in the 1980's, they carried the
> Met. It somehow
> seemed odd to me all of a sudden that our local NPR stations (the two we
> still have -
> WGBH, and Boston University's WBUR) didn't carry the broadcasts. I think
> that even back
> then, WBUR was mostly talk/news programming, while WGBH did more of the
> arts/music
> coverage.
> Gradually that all changed around as well. WCRB dumped the Met, the
> Harvard station
> (similar to the Hartt station) picked them up, along with their very
> eclectic and quirky
> music programming (they're famous for their music "orgies," marathon
> sessions devoted
> to one composer or theme, etc). More recently, WGBH started dumping its
> devotion to
> classical music (giving us *two* local news-oriented NPR stations), but
> they also merged
> with WCRB which has now become their 24-7 classical music sister station.
> One of the quirks on WHRB (Harvard) is that the Met broadcasts are
> preceded by a
> country music show - and the host will always do a promo where he says
> that coming up
> will be "The Metropolitan Opry." The *truly* great bonus to WHRB carrying
> the Met is the
> amazing David Elliott and his post-opera presentations of "singers of the
> past" doing
> pieces from the opera just heard - and other related music as well. He's a
> true opera nerd
> in the very best sense - he knows his stuff - and is *always* worth
> listening to, even if the
> opera of the afternoon isn't your favorite. (Streaming at
> for future
> reference.)
> In any case, classical music on the radio is still alive and well -
> especially now that we can
> access stations from all over the world via the web. I know that some
> people out here just
> like to gripe gripe gripe gripe gripe, but I think we should be quite
> grateful for what's
> actually out there. And in fact, streaming radio carries a perk - no
> annoying problems with
> antenna reception. ;-)
> I'm also not really sure what "radio as it was meant to be" means. Radio,
> like all forms of
> media, have always been rather fluid in their presentation. Styles come,
> styles go, and the
> programming changes to reflect that. I'm not quite old enough to have
> lived when radio
> WAS the main broadcast medium (for me, standardized use of color TV was
> the new fad as
> a kid), but even then, was there ever such a thing as only one *true*
> radio format? I tend
> to think nostalgia does, too often, play vicious tricks with our heads.
> On Mon, 5 Dec 2016 10:53:35 -0500, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >The big mistake here is regarding the Met Opera Broadcasts as a
> >part of the ongoing insipid pap that calls itself  "broadcast classical
> >music".
> >It sort of works here in NYC, where we still have the watered down
> > semblance
> >of what used to be one of a number of authentic classical music
> broadcasting
> >venues: WQXR.  It ain't what it used to be, but it does provide the Met
> >matinees.  Truth is, the Met on the radio every Saturday was once a
> special
> >event, not an example of a station's regular programming.  It was
> provided,
> >without commercials, as a prestigious service to the community by a
> network
> >such as NBC. Eventually, in NYC, it was carried by WOR, a primarily talk-'
> >oriented local station replete with a daily menu of live shows featuring a
> >variety
> >of subjects.  It was the real thing, radio as it was meant to be; if you
> >wanted to
> >listen to a disc jockey you simply twisted the dial.  Sadly, the truth
> must
> >be
> >faced; on the airwaves today, the dollar - and the dumbest audience -
> > rules.
> >
> >dtmk
> >
> >
> >On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 7:07 PM, gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> >> This evening I received a post from WRR. Lubbock and other towns smaller
> >> than Dallas can afford the broadcasts but....
> >>
> >> Mr. Young:
> >>
> >>
> >> Thank you for your note and for being a WRR listener.
> >>
> >>
> >> I wanted to take a few minutes to fill you in on the status of the
> >> Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on WRR.  As you know, WRR has carried
> these
> >> broadcasts for many years and, like yourself, I'm a big fan of opera
> and I
> >> understand that any decision on carrying the Met is extremely important
> to
> >> some of our listeners.
> >>
> >>
> >> That said, there are two things that all of us at WRR are dedicated to
> in
> >> all that we do:  1) Working to increase the audience for classical music
> >> and 2) operating in a financially sound manner so that we can continue
> to
> >> bring classical music to the people of North Texas.  We
> >> take the responsibility of providing "Classical music and the arts for
> >> North Texas" very seriously and never do anything without carefully
> >> considering the effect on the two items I just mentioned.
> >>
> >>
> >> The fact is, the Met broadcasts cost us dearly, both in lost audience
> and
> >> lost revenue.
> >>
> >>
> >> During the weeks that we carry the Met, we lose about 40% of our
> Saturday
> >> afternoon audience...a disastrous falloff in listenership and one of the
> >> barriers to our growing our overall audience.  We have promoted these
> >> broadcasts heavily on air, via email blasts, permanent ads on our web
> site
> >> and more.  Nothing has increased the audience for these programs over
> the
> >> past couple of years.
> >>
> >>
> >> Also, WRR loses as many as 32 minutes of spot time during a four hour
> >> broadcast.  This is time that we would normally sell to our clients and
> >> thus bring in additional revenues for the station.  In the past, the Met
> >> paid WRR a fee for carrying the performances as partial compensation for
> >> lost revenues.  They discontinued this two years ago.  We discussed
> their
> >> reinstating these payments for this year and were told that they had no
> >> budget for doing so and that, if WRR didn't carry the broadcasts,
> listeners
> >> had the alternative to get the performances on the internet stream.
> They
> >> did not seem overly concerned to lose broadcast coverage in the fifth
> >> largest media market in the nation.
> >>
> >>
> >> In addition, we have worked for the past two years to find sponsors who
> >> would replaced the revenue we lose when carrying the Met.  No clients
> have
> >> been willing to sponsor these performances in a significant enough way
> to
> >> cover the lost revenue costs and compensate for the loss of audience.
> >>
> >>
> >> The bottom line is the Met broadcasts cost us listeners and costs us
> >> revenue.  No broadcaster can continue to support programming that is
> >> hurting the station and WRR is no exception.  We've searched for two
> years
> >> for a way to grow the audience for the Met and sell the show to
> potential
> >> advertisers, with no success on either front.  We can no longer air a
> >> program that is such a drag on station audience and revenues.
> >>
> >>
> >> We hope you understand and that you will continue to enjoy the hours of
> >> classical music WRR provides.  We're fortunate in North Texas to have a
> >> station like WRR and I can promise you we will do all we can to keep
> this
> >> station an enjoyable, uplifting classical broadcast resource for our
> area.
> >>
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