Two Dave MacNeils?

A. Joseph Ross
Thu Jan 18 00:33:03 EST 2007

On 17 Jan 2007 at 14:02, Don A. wrote:

> WCRB decided to alienate a few die-hards....and gain many more
> "ordinary" listeners in their place. (Just as they did when they
> extended their audience by removing opera from the air.)
It's actually a bit more complicated than that.  Several years ago, 
after Theodore Jones either died or retired, WCRB started to revamp 
its programming in order to appeal to more "ordinary" listeners.  And 
one of the things they did was play single movements of symphonies.  
They apparently got a lot of complaints from listeners and either 
stopped or curtailed that practice.  They also developed the practice 
of using a limited playlist of music that they played over and over.

The new ownership seems to have brought back the practice of playing 
single movements of symphonies.  I can't say whether they have cut 
the playlist further.  I've always found that annoying.

On the other hand, where the former ownership had a ban on choral 
music except during the holidays, I did hear the Hallelujah Chorus 
today, and I've heard Beethoven's 9th symphony on occasion in the 
evening, when they have tended to play longer works.

Bottom line, though, is that when I am in my car, where I can easily 
switch between stations, I generally find that WCRB is more likely to 
be playing something I want to listen to than either WGBH or WHRB.  
So something they are doing seems to be working.  I just think they 
can do it without playing fractions of works and without having such 
a short, repetitive playlist.  They can have a greater variety 
without playing stuff that few people want to listen to.

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
 15 Court Square, Suite 210                 Fax 617.742.7581
Boston, MA 02108-2503           

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