Karl rants and raves yet again...
On Mon, 21 Feb 2005, Ray Bayles wrote:
>As a person who has worked as a public radio station manager and board
>president, I was very disappointed to learn that most music public radio
>stations receive is free... But not classical music... Stations pay a
>high price for the classical music libraries.
Just about every distributor offers classical music CDs at a discount
to radio stations. Almost everything distributed by Naxos is free to
radio stations. I don't understand what you mean by the high price for
classical music libraries. For that matter, the music library at the
University of Arizona has a fine collection of recordings...
>Among the most expensive programming we provided, next to the NPR news
>shows, Diane Rehm, Garrison Keillor, and Car Talk.
I am confused, how can the cost of classical music broadcasting compare
to those network shows? Classical music broadcasting requires some
discs, license from BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC, and some informed music
graduate student to do the announcing and programming, in addition to
the equipment, electricity and other basics...
>Public radio costs have skyrocketed since politicians have been cutting
>back government contributions every year.
I would be interested in knowing what the budget for your local station
was some 20 years ago, coupled with the number of staff. I would guess
that if you were to adjust for inflation, you would find that the costs
have skyrocketed due to added staff and salaries which have increased
at rates beyond normal inflation. I know that is what happened at both
our non profit classical station and our NPR outlet.
>Stations cannot continue to offer classical music when the costs are so
>high, and the listenership is so small.
I guess I would like to see some numbers, for the budgets I have looked
at, classical music is cheap compared to the programs you mention.
>Luckily we have pretty good 24 hour classical music coming out of Tucson...
>and it seems well supported both by listeners and by the University of
From 1978 to 1982 I was on the faculty of the School of Music at the
University of Arizona in Tucson. I had a radio program on film music
on the local station. Several of us gave our time free of charge to
the station and produced a weekly series. However, during those years,
especially when Fred Flaxman left, the station went downhill quickly.
They introduced policies like no vocal music, playing movements, no front
announcements, no works longer than 30 minutes during the day, changing
styles from one piece to another, almost nothing written after 1940,
A friend of mine and her husband moved to Tucson a few years ago and
were very disappointed with the station...but then that was at a time
when Austin still had a good classical station to use for the sake of
comparison. I was sent some samples of the programming...I am glad you
are pleased with the programming, but I found it very disappointing.
There are times when I have this fantasy about a public radio station
devoted to the arts...probably in a University town, where faculty and
local and visiting artists discuss the performing arts, music, drama,
dance, coupled with informed programming of classical music, jazz, and
musicals...maybe even a book review program...I wonder, is it possible?
In days of "old" it was possible. I should add that I am not one of
those that believes that in our society, our only culture is "pop"
culture. While it may be a small group of people that are willing to
support broadcasting that will challenge their thinking, I would like
to think it is a hardy group of individuals who would.