I should have known. The local classical station that I’ve been listening to off and on for about 25 years is no more. Now don’t get your hair all tangled up. The station is still on the air, still playing classical music and still has the same call letters.
So what I did I mean by the phrase
“…is no more”? Let’s take a look.
I really didn’t think much of it until this past week when I started listening to the station itself…really listening.
I noticed that the station itself took on a different tone. It did not feel local or have that “localness” (if I can create such a word ) that I have come to expect; the local on air personalities shared their comments and/or opinions about a symphony, concerto, piano piece, choral selection, etc. that was just played on the air. I was waiting to hear local commercials, especially the ones promoting the movie series that is done during the summer season.
Back to the on air personalities. They did not sound like they were from here; they did a good job as far as telling us the name of the piece that was being played and by whom but there was nothing about them that even hinted that they were local to begin with. They never even mention the station call letters at all (a red flag in my opinion). What made me even more suspicious was went they transitioned for announcements of happenings in the local classical music scene (aka station break) where the wording sounded something like this: (now this is not a direct quote, merely my interpretation of what I heard)
You’re listening to classical music, sponsored by (sponsors’ name).
Come to think of it, that was how the local R&B station got “X’d” out of the
box and off the air (…You’re listening to the station that plays the best of today’s hits and oldies; the call letters were never used. That was the beginning of the end).
My suspicions were confirmed 2 days later when I read in the local paper that the station management made the decision to release the local on air personalities and instead use a national syndicated service dedicated to classical music. Per the station management, this was done in an attempt to cut costs…
I see it now as a station that is void of uniqueness…stripped of its personality… just another classical music station…cookie cutter. Will there be any local programming? What about the Metropolitan Opera? Will the station carry their Saturday afternoon broadcasts this season?
Based on what I have heard, the answers are yes (I listened to some local programming this evening featuring the symphony orchestra; it was good, I might add and I also hope they can bring that piano show back) and yes (according to the Metropolitan Opera’s website).
For now I will continue to listen to the station.
However, I am curious as to how this change will be explained during the upcoming pledge campaign…
The answer will come soon enough.