Classical change in Washington DC

Peter Murray
Wed Jan 24 09:39:33 EST 2007

Sean Smyth wrote:
> Bob Nelson <> wrote: 
>> However while the move has no doubt pleased classical fans, it's
>> annoying fans of shows that have
>> gotten displaced, like NPR news/talk/entertainment (though I think
>> WAMU may carry them) and
>> a locally produced folk show (the manager of the New Christy
>> Minstrels comments on their
>> blog that he's upset that the show was cancelled).
> Indeed, WAMU does carry NPR news programming -- and it was the main
> source for those programs until a couple years ago, when WETA then
> de-emphasized classical music. There's also WTWP, which fashions itself
> as an NPR-style station but slowly is fading away from that, especially
> now that Tony Kornheiser has signed on.

Since I've lived here, WAMU has always been a 90% NPR/PRI talker, with 
WETA switching about 2 years ago to a 95% NPR/PRI/BBC talker (from its 
aforementioned classical focus). The two both carried the "big shows" 
(Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace and a few others). 
The rest of their programming was largely not duplicated.

WGMS was displaced in January 2006 (during the great {delete Z104, move 
WTOP to FM, bump WGMS, create WTWP} shuffle) from 103.5B (Washington DC) 
to a simulcast of 104.1B (Waldorf, MD) / 103.9A (Braddock Heights, MD), 
two more distant DC signals (much to the consternation of Classical fans).

WAMU has shifted its lineup a bit to pick up several shows carried by 
WETA, and I suspect there may be some additional shifting.

Further details are at if you want more. The 
"death" of WGMS in its recent form was anticipated for quite a while.

Ob Opinion: Unless it is a stunt or simply something to fill in dead 
air, why add another "Jack" clone to the dial here? Mix 107.3 (WRQX - 
Washington DC) has a class B signal to which 104.1 can't compare. I 
realize that the 12+ ratings available to the public doesn't tell much 
of a story - but does WARW (classic rock) and WRQX ("Jack" clone) bill 
that much better? WGMS was consistently (not insignificantly) profitable...


Peter Murray (N3IXY)
Oak Hill, VA

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