Wednesday, April 19, 2006

losing the music

The news about WBEZ's proposed format change next year is disappointing to say the least. The idea of losing my favorite Sunday jazz shows is heartbreaking. Dick Buckley and Marian McPartland should be heard here. So many listeners have learned an enormous amount about jazz from these two living treasures.

Friday and Saturday night music programs (Afropop, Encanto Latino, Blues Before Sunrise, Comin' Home, and Passport) have also been a listening treat and a musical education.

In spite of Chicago's rich musical heritage, most non-mainstream genres get little or no airtime on broadcast radio. Access to these genres should not be limited to those who can afford satellite radio or high speed internet service.

If you're not happy about this either, write to the station manager:

Mr. Torey Malatia
Chicago Public Radio
Navy Pier
848 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-3509

If WBEZ makes this ill-advised change in spite of all of us who want to keep hearing the music, I can only hope that WDCB will pick up some of the programs we will otherwise lose and pick up enough subscribers to boost their transmitter power and be heard in a wider listening area than they are now. Both WBEZ and WDCB have streaming audio available via their web sites.

WDCB has some of the most diverse music programming in the Chicago area (jazz, blues, folk and other genres) and deserves our support regardless of what happens with WBEZ. Check them out. If you like what you hear, tell them so.

Our listening lives will be richer if we keep music programming on both stations. Chicago does not need another all-talk radio station.

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