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CLASSICAL  February 2005

CLASSICAL February 2005

Subject:

Re: Another Classical Station to Bite the Dust?

From:

Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Feb 2005 16:44:34 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (57 lines)

John Proffitt wrote:

>NPR (National Public Radio) does NOT get government funding.

Is not public radio tax exempt?  Also, between one and two percent of
their funding comes from federally funded organizations such as the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NSF and NEA.

>Pardon the lengthy rant.  I needed to give another perspective to this
>issue.  I am obviously not a member of Karl's "choir"!

I don't see you ranting...even if I do see it all from a very different
perspective.

My perspective looks what our local classical station used to cost...
with a full time staff of three people: station manager, program
director/announcer, secretary-fundraiser, plus two on-call engineers for
transmitter maint.  Most of the minor equipment repairs were done by the
manager, who also helped with the transmitter maintenance...people gave
freely of their time to host programs some of which drew from their own
specialized collections.  We also had some part time announcers.

Now they have additional staff, full time announcers, a recording
studio that rarely gets used, a fund raiser, accounting person, etc.
Plus significantly higher salaries for the station manager and program
director.  For me, that is bad enough, but then I look at our local NPR
station of 30 full time, 14 part time and 6 contract employees.

Yes, I have read just about everything I can get my hands on, from the
Knight Foundation study to the old Baumol and Bowen text.

For me, it isn't that art music (not classical light) can't survive,
I just see it being killed by marketing based on it having primarily
entertainment value and management costs that have gotten out of hand.
Can it survive totally on cost recovery...I rather doubt it, but then,
neither does higher education.  Am I happy with some professors spending
most of their time researching and getting salaries of over $100,000...and
football coaches getting higher salaries than the University President's
and Governor's salaries combined...nope.  I realize lots of these things
are the "way of the world." As a friend of mine likes to point out, I
have never gotten over the change from educational broadcasting to public
broadcasting.  "NPR is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor
of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming." www.npr.org/about/

Take out the word "noncommercial" and what do you have...commercial
radio...ok, so maybe commercial radio doesn't give you internationally
acclaimed news, but...on the other hand, I wonder if the British listen
to NPR news...I certainly listen to the news on the BBC.

My frustration isn't just that some NPR stations avoid classical music.
It is far deeper, when I hear a station dumbing down classical programming
to increase the numbers...I find that to be a myopic perspective on the
range of expression to be found in art music, and, in a sense, a
misrepresentation of the possibilities to be found in art music.

Karl (believe it or not, I cut this note in half before posting, and
John thinks he might be ranting!)

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