I wish this had happened a couple of years ago. When WETA went to
its yakity-yak format, one of the WETA board members noted how D.C.
had another classical music station, WGMS. That told me how little
WETA board members appreciated what WETA was. WGMS plays endless reruns
of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms (actually a little light on the Bach),
specializing in the shorter repertoire. And, for a little variety,
Tchaikovsky too. While I've been glad it's there, by no means is it a
replacement for what WETA was, and I would have expected a board member
to have understood that. Nope, not at Sharon Rockefellar's WETA.
Speaking of Sharon Rockefellar's, I think she is a sleazebag. I heard
the woman say, before WETA abandoned CM, that WETA would never have an
announcer with a British accent. Now I took that as a cut at Judith
Crummick, an announcer at WBGJ in Baltimore, even though it probably was
not intended as such. What Sharon Rockefellar managed to avoid mentioning
(and what I suspect she knew very well was a real possibility when she
said it), she would later contract with the BBC to provide the likes of
"BBC Newshour" and "World Have Your Say", where, by golly, British accents
abound, and abound ... and abound. All the while, roping in the CM
listeners for money while she plotted her change in format.
I've long ago contributed my last nickel to- and gotten up early in the
morning to cover the early shift during pledge week for the benefit of-
WETA. The windbags still send me their solicitations for money. On
occasion I may even listen to those wretched British accents coming over
90.9 FM. And every time I do, I am reminded of the betrayal of Sharon
I cannot blame WGMS for selling the station when it's in their economic
interest to do so. But WETA under Sharon Rockefellar shows the hollowness
of government claims that "public radio" is in any sense a steward of
the culture I value.