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Chuck Nessa

WBEZ Chicago

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Just heard this will be announced tomorrow.

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Wow! That's a shocker, at least to me. I listened to WBEZ a lot when I was in Chicago.

I remember playing in that funky little studio many times for Larry's show.

Sad news.

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They don't even have that much jazz to dump, do they? Four programs? For what--more talk? And didn't they just wrap up their spring fund-drive? I'll bet the folks who pledged during the jazz shows will have a real warm, fuzzy feeling.

Seems to be like it's about time to put jazz radio on the Endangered Species list. If there's a station in your neck of the woods that plays decent jazz, please support it.. the pressure on stations to go all news/talk is intense.

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They don't even have that much jazz to dump, do they?

Overnight was the holdout. Now that will be gone.

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I hope Richard Steele lands on his feet somewhere.

richard.jpg

I guess that only leaves Neil Tesser's show?

tesser.jpg

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Does jazz really "matter" anymore? I mean, to "us", yeah. But geez, it seems like "the world" is sending "us" a message that "they" don't really give a fuck anymore.

The feeling's mutual. I guess...

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I guess that only leaves Neil Tesser's show?

tesser.jpg

Neil hasn't been there for a few years. He has another station/show.

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Well, once upon a time... Look, I know that public radio has to act somewhat like a business--and to serve its listeners. But at the same time, part of the mission of public radio is not to act like a business. The very charter of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting states that and emphasizes the need of public broadcasting to preserve American cultural treasures and heritages. If that ain't jazz, then pass me a whiff of what yer drinkin', son... and don't tell me that all the yak-yak bound to replace it is a cultural treasure or heritage.

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... and don't tell me that all the yak-yak bound to replace it is a cultural treasure or heritage.

Hey - nothing says "America" like a bunch of loud yammering idiots! :g:g:g

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Just heard this will be announced tomorrow.

So that would include Dick Buckley's (sp?) Sunday afternoon show?

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Just heard this will be announced tomorrow.

So that would include Dick Buckley's (sp?) Sunday afternoon show?

Ah, Buck Dickley, Bick Duckley, etc. Wonderful guy and an old friend. Not sure of his show but I wouldn't count on it.

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That would be a real shame if Dick wasn't broadcasting anymore. He's turned me on to so much traditional jazz that I would have otherwise never heard. A true friend of jazz!

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... and don't tell me that all the yak-yak bound to replace it is a cultural treasure or heritage.

Hey - nothing says "America" like a bunch of loud yammering idiots! :g:g:g

:g True enough... I should hasten to add that I've never held the attitude. as a programmer, that "jazz is good for people and they should listen to it." I DO think jazz is good and that people should listen to it... but a "eat your vegetables" approach is a drag. Far better, I think, to simply start with enthusiasm, passion, and knowledge, and brew your mix accordingly. Programmers have a big responsibility to come up with compelling ways of presenting the music--and to do so without pandering or appearing to do so. I think about this a lot, because I want the music to have a future as well as a past... and I want to do whatever limited good I can as a DJ to keep it alive and on the airwaves.

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I hope Richard Steele lands on his feet somewhere.

richard.jpg

I guess that only leaves Neil Tesser's show?

tesser.jpg

four letters: WDCB. Jazz every day, 16 hours. Can't beat it.

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I had a long e-mail exchange with an anonymous radio insider in Chicago last summer, one "Daddy-o Dailey," who first wrote to tell me I'm pathetic for doing the Dog and Pony show publicizing Jazz From Blue Lake on the web. And to question my knocking the programming on WBEZ as too mainstreamed and dislocalized for Chicago's jazz scene ( I said some things over at Chi-Improv). This person, obviously a radio professional, talked about WBEZ's listenership being tremendous following their switch from "the old WBEZ" of Neil Tesser days to the more recent progamming model, and mentioned to do that, bring up their general listenership, was the only way to keep the less expensive over night network news from the BBC, or other programs, at bay.

Looks like they lost the battle. The NPR news model is incredibly popular. There's no denying that. Morning Edition and All Things Considered are the most listened to drive time programs on radio right now. Arbitron.

In a sense this is the finale of what was once a great jazz station, when they used to program jazz in the day. When they lost that jazz was never going to recover. You cut the legs out from under the program (the day population) and then complain that the program can't run.

As much as I may have disagreed with some of the choices they made in their music progamming I would never have wished jazz to go away. Was just hoping they'd get broader in the historical and stylistic reach they covered.

Back in the 80's it was fun to hear the new Concords or Milestones or Steeplechases or Delmarks on the radio as you drove in for the Chicago Jazz Festival. WBEZ's national broadcasts of the Chicago Jazz Festival were some of their greatest accomplishments.

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Wow. That is a drag. They were huge supporters of organissimo. But hey, like Paul said... WDCB, baby.

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Our local public station has basically gone corporate...ya know, playlists...more business reports, ect. Their jazz has been cut and evicerated. It's really, really sad. I heard a lot of new jazz releases I don't think I would have heard otherwise back in the day on that station.

On the otherhand, I had a friend of mine up in north texas say he's been listening to KNTU lately and loving it! He's just a regular dude, not a jazz fan at all. However, he says he's tired of all the other kinds of music he's been force-fed over his lifetime.

In an age where Katie Couric is our new Walter Cronkite, I think the money-making powers that be in broadcasting will do their best to kill on-air jazz.

Thank God for radio on the internet such as WKCR and WBGO. I pray to God those hang on.

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I had a long e-mail exchange with an anonymous radio insider in Chicago last summer, one "Daddy-o Dailey," who first wrote to tell me...

Oh man, Daddy-O Dailey is anything but anonymous!

He's legendary and part of a grand tradition of Chicago jazz and/or soul radio

that for decades encompassed people like

Yvonne Daniels, Dick Buckley and E. Rodney Jones (my namesake).

I'd seriously consider anything he'd have to say about that city's radio history.

Too bad about 'BEZ...I agree about their great coverage of the Chicago Jazz Fest

each year. Surprised, a bit, that it's lasted as long as it has. I got out of radio

after 13 years 'cause it became such a drag with it's ever increasing rules and regulations.

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As a long time public radio professional and former jazz show host (15 years on WUTC-FM), I understand the disappointment about WBEZ's dropping of jazz from their format. But I can also tell you that the financial pressure on public radio stations is intense. Funding can no longer be taken for granted, as community stations that may be funded in part by local governments or university stations must continuously re-evaluate their support of public radio stations. If underwriting and individual listener gifts are not growing substantially and listenership is stagnant, then increased costs may force management to make changes.

I miss the annual Labor Day weekend broadcasts that WBEZ hosted for years (that were also fed live on selected NPR stations until a few years ago). I'm afraid that jazz may be on its way to disappearing from many of the larger stations, though I hope that other stations will attempt to pick up the slack.

Edited by Ken Dryden

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're facing increased costs, doesn't adding a bunch of NPR shows just increase that even more? Those shows are not cheap.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're facing increased costs, doesn't adding a bunch of NPR shows just increase that even more? Those shows are not cheap.

True, NPR shows aren't cheap. Some changes, like extending the hours for drive time news programming, don't cost a station anything extra if it already carries the programs. But don't forget there is a considerable amount of overhead in running a public radio station, even if the programming is "free." Equipment upgrades and maintainance (including conversion to digital studios and transmitters), salaries & benefits (though the cost of benefits is likely to rise more quickly than salaries in most public stations) and webcasting-related expenses are just a few of the items in addition to network membership fees, satellite access fees and carriage fees for syndicated programming. If the numbers for listenership and fundraising drop sufficiently during local programming, they have to be reviewed by station management. They may very well determine that paying for syndicated shows is more beneficial to the bottom line than continuing to air local programming in the same daypart.

Be clear, I am a jazz fan first, but if jazz programming isn't paying the bills for a station, I understand the desire to make a change. I would personally prefer to hear jazz as I drive around any city.

Edited by Ken Dryden

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Rotasi,

Daddy-O Dailey was the handle this annonymous person used when speaking to me.

Ken, I really don't think BEZ's numbers were bad for local programming, and their fundraising during jazz was powerful. The station was raising good money. While what you're saying is true, greed before mission comes into play with this choice. And it's not like they don't have options to keep jazz. See below....

I would say yell and scream. Write them letters and tell them that they're turning their back on more than just a "small but devouted" following.

Chicago Sun-Times

All that jazz gives way to all public affairs

April 6, 2006

BY LESLIE BALDACCI Staff Reporter

Chicago public radio station WBEZ-FM (91.5) is eliminating music programming next year when its signal strength increases nearly tenfold and it switches to an all-public affairs format, the station's staff was told Wednesday.

Gone will be the jazz programs that now run Monday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., Friday night's world music lineup and Sunday afternoon's jazz programming.

As first reported by Sun-Times media columnist Rob Feder, Chicago Public Radio has been planning to broadcast two full-time programming services on separate frequencies. The move became possible with the acquisition of WBEW-FM (91.5) in Chesterton, Ind., and WBEQ-FM (90.7) in southwest suburban Morris.

The station had considered moving music to the second station, but they are taking the riskier step of doing public affairs on those two stations as well, said Daniel Ash, the station's vice president of strategic communication.

"The WBEW and WBEQ signals will be rooted in public affairs, with the sensibility of attracting a more diverse and a bit younger audience," Ash said.

He said WBEZ's music programs, about a third of the station's schedule, have "a small but loyal audience."

About two-thirds of the station's schedule already is news, talk, arts, culture and National Public Radio programs.

In coming weeks, the station will form creative teams to address new programming, Ash said.

 

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Frankly, if I had donated any money to the station in the last year (at least), I'd demand to have it back. In fact, we (organissimo) donated CDs, at the request of the station, to be used as giveaways to entice listeners during the fall fund-drive. Maybe I should send them a bill for 5 CDs at full list price.

:angry:

WDCB, folks.

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They're picking an extra frequency and making that all-talk as well? That's really perturbing.. because the "second-signal solution" has always promised room for both formats.

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