WGBH cancels blues, some folk programming

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Sat Nov 7 07:58:57 EST 2009

But from what you say, there is no suggestion that any of the
programming that is being dropped from 89.7, other than the midday
classical block, will be moving to 99.5. Thus, it sounds as if, in its
race to cater to the people who contribute the most, WGBH is
alienating significant groups of listeners. Public radio seems to be
adopting the same model as commercial radio, where some formats are
available on three or four signals in a market and others, if they are
heard at all on terrestrial signals, are only on HD-n subchannels
(where n > 1). As the country allegedly becomes more diverse, we seem
to be moving inexorably toward little or no diversity in the facets of
life that supposedly distinguish our society as civilized. Rather
frightening, really! I know, somebody is going to tell me about the
hundreds of Web streams that carry blues. Not the same thing as having
the format on an over-the-air terrestrial signal.

Also, although I am really a fan of some kinds of jazz, and I like
some kinds of blues, nobody would call me a blues afficionado. What I
am wringing my hands about here is not so much that blues will be less
accessible to the Boston radio audience; it's that economics seems to
be increasingly limiting listeners' choices--providing a surfeit of
what we already have enough of and a paucity of what can make for
listening adventures. And don't give me the "radio is a business"
line; WGBH is a noncommercial station. Wouldn't suprise me if  'GBH
now fills the hours that blues used to occupy with the same BBC news
already available in the same hours 1.2 MHz up the dial.

Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Nelson" <raccoonradio@mail.com>
To: "BostonRadio Mailing List"
Sent: Saturday, November 07, 2009 3:21 AM
Subject: WGBH cancels blues, some folk programming

WGBH has made what it calls a difficult decision, cancelling the long
running Blues on WGBH (formerly Blues After
Hours with the late Mai Cramer) and Folk on WGBH. This is all part of
the move due next month where they will start to
offer classical music commercial free on WCRB 99.5


They mention stations like WUMB as places where folk can still be
heard. Some shows, like A Celtic Sojourn and Prairie
Home Companion, will stay, though. The folk and blues hosts were

I know I for one found shows like Blues After Hours a great way to
discover and learn about the blues.

>>As we refocus the 89.7 schedule on news and information, it became
>>apparent that it would not be possible to retain all of the nonnews
>>elements of our schedule.

"We've Got Blues Here"--Mai Cramer

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