The Same Old Song

Radio Survivor carried this story yesterday, and it should come as no surprise to those listeners who’ve had their public stations absorbed into the borg of Arbitron-inspired Triple A tripe or talk-talk. “Classical, jazz, and world music on public radio declined by up to 30% over last decade,” written by Matthew Lasar, reports:

A survey of 505 public radio stations from 2001 through 2010 indicates that a fifth of them abandoned classical music formats during those years. Many also let go of jazz, and even more discarded world music during the same time period. The statistics were submitted to the Federal Communications Commission by National Public Radio in October.

“During this time, we saw decreases in classical music (down 20%), jazz music (down 15%), and world music (down 30%) and increases in eclectic music programming (up 54%), popular music (19%) and news programming (up 27%),” NPR wrote to the FCC.

More recently the downturn in classical music on public radio has been less pronounced. Surveys in 2006 and 2010 of the full 1057 public radio stations in the United States indicate that the decline from mid-decade to the present has slowed down, dropping by three percentage points, from 27 to 24 percent.

But the basic trend continues: more news, more pop, less classical, world music, and jazz.

The accompanying chart there broke it down further:

Jeff Boudreau reports that at ‘GBH in Boston — which unceremoniously dumped folk and blues to compete in all talk all the time — the public TV side of the conglomerate picked an odd show to beat the drum in the latest fundraiser: “John Sebastian Presents: Folk Rewind.” As Jeff noted, channeling Arlo Guthrie, they’ve got a “lot of damn gall.”

‘GBH is currently going through contract negotiations, Jeff says, and sent along this website that gives an interesting take on what is transpiring, well worth the read. One basic question author Rachel Wiederhoeft asks that rings far too true in the general politics of the day: “And so my next thought then is, what if, just what if the economy is just a scapegoat for a power grab?” The economy does seem to have a rather gilded tint to it… Check it out, and if you’re so inclined, add your name to the Facebook group involved in the battle.

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One Response

  1. Hey! Thanks for the mention and the compliment. I believe in keeping the public in public radio too, so I’m super excited to have now seen your blog. Especially, since I was very sad myself to see blues go from our station.

    Keep up the good fight and let me know if you have any questions about the negotiations.

    Cheers,
    Rachel
    http://againstthegrind.com

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