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Chuck Nessa

WBEZ Chicago

120 posts in this topic

doesn't (or rather didn't) one always have the feeling that virtually every track [Dick Buckley] played is one that he had, at one time, personally savored?

Absolutely. Dick Buckley is a Chicago treasure. Nice of BEZ to let the newspapers notify him about the station's changes, wasn't it?

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Listening to 'BEZ during the Heim years, especially to her own show (when I did), I got the feeling, from the music that was played and the way it was introduced and spoken about, that the underlying emotional commitment was to shaping and policing the success of the format (in terms of demographics and numbers) rather than to Heim's own involvement (or that of many of the other hosts) with the actual music being played. This to me had a deadening effect. Radio, even music-orientated radio, depends a good deal on one's sense of the host or speaker's savvy and involvement. To be more specific about how this links up to the "music being played" aspect of things, the boundaries of, say, Dick Buckley's taste are what they are, but doesn't (or rather didn't) one always have the feeling that virtually every track he played is one that he had, at one time, personally savored? Makes a big difference.

I agree with the gist of that. The more freedom a dj has to program their own show, the more genuine they will sound on the air, and that's a really important factor. A pro should probably be able to at least convincingly sound like they have a committment to all the material they are presenting, whether or not it is 100% true in every case. Best of course, to only play great music that one personally does believe in. Some non-commercial jazz stations around the country have music directors who pre-pick every single song and dump them into a computer program for djs to robotically follow. That's never been the case at WBEZ.

Taste is subjctive though, and why shouldn't Buckley, or anyone else be allowed to express that. Buckley should be allowed to play exactly what he thinks is worthy of airtime, and is suited for the audience he is trying to reach. I'm fine with that. The thing I am mostly objecting to in this overall thread is the idea that any one station should be held up to unceasing scrutiny (especially by people who have their own shows on other radio stations) for not presenting every single aspect of jazz history, especially when its being done within a program with limited hours, and aimed at a fairly large general audience that includes many jazz fans who are, say, less fanatical than the folks like us who post on jazz websites and have collections of 1000's of records and CDs.

It's especially unfair when those doing the criticizing (for instance, Guthartz from WNUR) can rationalize their own radio station's exemption from the same criteria they apply to WBEZ. Yes, Chicago Public Radio is a public radio station located within the city limits of Chicago, and it gets a very small percentage of its budget from govt sources, but all radio stations, including WDCB, WNUR, WHPK and even commercial stations like WGN, WLS, whatever, use the public's airwaves and are supposed to operate in the publc interest. We've all allowed elements of the federal govt and the FCC's media conglomerate backers to basically do permanent damage to the entire radio band.

If there were more public stations run on the kind of reasonable scale that Blue Lake seems to be (with no middle managers), the radio dial would probably be a much more interesting place for all kinds of music and creative programming.

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The thing I am mostly objecting to in this overall thread is the idea that any one station should be held up to unceasing scrutiny (especially by people who have their own shows on other radio stations) for not presenting every single aspect of jazz history, especially when its being done within a program with limited hours, and aimed at a fairly large general audience that includes many jazz fans who are, say, less fanatical than the folks like us who post on jazz websites and have collections of 1000's of records and CDs.

Lawrence, I understand the points you've been making, but the criticism here is being levied primarily because WBEZ is abolishing their jazz programming. A different matter from, say, the endless, sprawling KKJZ thread over at another board (God help us, I hope this one doesn't turn into that!).

Again, this is the ongoing debate between pleasing jazz likers and jazz lovers--as if programming must be one or the other. My favorite kind of programmer is a jazz lover who pulls the jazz likers along with him or her--cultivating in them, through smart, enjoyable & intriguing programming, a greater enthusiasm for the music.

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True, but it would also be harder to find about those stations as the "middle" level administration of a station is usually publicity and fundraising. Because we only have 8 full time employees, one of whom is the office manager, spreading the word is the dog and pony show model. After we finally started streaming just over a year ago, I took the message to jazz boards all across the net and was pretty much sluffed off as a "look at me" ego maniac. Yet we have no publicity department. Most stations not only have pubicity departments, they have their own graphic designers and copy writers as well as development personnel.

The upshot is though our web stream maxes out at 70 listeners we've yet to fill it up.

Because the station is located in the Manistee National Forest the technology to stream was out of our reach for years. Now Blue Lake has partnered with the Fremont Public Schools system. They use our tower space for Y-fi and some other relays, and we are on the web, and will have a digital studio to transmitter link set up between the station and Grand Rapids. Right now our Grand Rapids frequency, 88.9 FM, is a rebroadcast version of our 100,000 watt FM 90.3 signal: the tower in Grand Rapids has a special reciever on it, reads 90.3 FM, and then rebroadcasts it at 88.9 (600 watts). When we have that digital link, the 88.9 signal sound will improve wonderfully.

And, by the way, that 88.9 signal covering Grand Rapids, which is in a river valley creating dead spots for 90.3 which just went right over it, came to us from Moody Bible Institute. They have a powerful tower in Zeeland, Michigan, which reached Grand Rapids, covering it completely, and the 88.9 frequency was redundant. My boss saw this in a coverage map of frequenies in the area, and approached Moody. I'm not sure now of the exact cost, but it was far less than the millions the signal is worth, and it included their transmitter equipment. They gave us a great deal recognizing our non-commercial, music oriented status (and that we're owned by an international fine arts camp for jr. high and high school aged students).

You can run a classical and jazz music based station for under a million, but there are some downsides to being so small.

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Taste is subjective though, and why shouldn't Buckley, or anyone else be allowed to express that.....

The thing I am mostly objecting to in this overall thread is the idea that any one station should be held up to unceasing scrutiny etc....

"Or ANYONE else"? Pretty big jump there. Buckley's commitment and savvy (within the boundaries of the music he knows and cares about) are not subjective matters really -- many people over the years have measured what he says and plays and have not found him wanting. But we should sit still for ANY schmoo's jazz show, in the name of what ... democracy?

Also the reason 'BEZ is being held to "unceasing scrutiny" is because of things that the station has done -- during the Heim era and now. Don't you understand that THEY started this?

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Taste is subjective though, and why shouldn't Buckley, or anyone else be allowed to express that.....

The thing I am mostly objecting to in this overall thread is the idea that any one station should be held up to unceasing scrutiny etc....

"Or ANYONE else"? Pretty big jump there. Buckley's commitment and savvy (within the boundaries of the music he knows and cares about) are not subjective matters really -- many people over the years have measured what he says and plays and have not found him wanting. But we should sit still for ANY schmoo's jazz show, in the name of what ... democracy?

Also the reason 'BEZ is being held to "unceasing scrutiny" is because of things that the station has done -- during the Heim era and now. Don't you understand that THEY started this?

Well, obviously someone should have to some commitment, knowledge and skill to get a show, but no one else has Buckley's exact qualifications. I think you're making a point about semantics there. Should Lazaro have been required to some panel of jazz quality police before he was hired years ago? Should he and all other djs other than Buck have to obtain a jazz dj liscense? I'm not sure I get your point.

OK, I'll grant you, "unceasing" is a little overboard, but the scrutiny I referred to was not relating to the cancellation of the jazz programming,(some scrutiny from music fans for cancellation) but rather all the bashing of the content of the jazz programming which has been going on for years. It's often come from people who said patently false things (like that WBEZ didn't play Trane - totally untrue) or had a personal agenda (like that ex-DJ Dave Freeman who has been quoted all over the place) or just wanted to grind an ax because Heim didn't play their CDs, or from people who claim not to have even heard the jazz programs. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but much of the Chicago jazz media is like a little exclusive club that was neer going to give her a fair break, no matter what she did. The bad rep she got from people like Lloyd Sachs and Peter Margasack was worse than it deserved to be and was always left unchallenged. Most of the complaints came from people whose suggestions would have likely only quickened the cancellation. If is wasn't for the changes Heim made in the mid 90s, unpopular as some of them may have been in certain quarters (though they greatly increased the size of the audience and the amount of pledge dollars) it is more likely the plug would have been pulled long ago. Yet she is still a target after she is no longer employed there. Maybe it is the Chicago school board you should have this beef with for selling out the station 15 years ago (or the Federal pub broadcasting budget slashing of the Bush 1 and Gingrich eras) thus putting WBEZ, out of financial necessity, forever on a more audience growth oriented path. Heim made a number of program changes long designed to gain a larger audience and ensure the jazz show's survival. She never bashed anyone though, it all one sided against her from the "jazz community", even the stories often had two sides. She just made changes she felt needed to be made, and people got pissed. The only publicity the jazz programs ever really got was negative. I just think that bashing has never been very fair.

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Where else has Mr/Mrs/Ms Olds posted? He/she shows up on this thread "out of the blue" and enters into subterfuge (go back and compare his defenses).

Let this troll go.

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The thing I am mostly objecting to in this overall thread is the idea that any one station should be held up to unceasing scrutiny (especially by people who have their own shows on other radio stations) for not presenting every single aspect of jazz history, especially when its being done within a program with limited hours....

Really? 40+ hours a week are "limited hours"?

It's especially unfair when those doing the criticizing (for instance, Guthartz from WNUR) can rationalize their own radio station's exemption from the same criteria they apply to WBEZ.

Once again: Different criteria apply based on the realities of the situation. Responsibility is proportional to power. If WNUR and WBEZ had similar resources (money, equipment, space, transmitting range, etc.), then we could begin to talk about a universal standard. But they don't, so we can't.

You keep skirting my main point - that the scope of what WBEZ played under Heim was incredibly narrow by the standards of mainstream consensus (e.g., Down Beat, Chicago Tribune, Penguin Guide, et al). It's not about jazz likers vs. jazz lovers, or "inside" vs. "outside" - it's about a reasonably proportional representation of the histories and realities of this artform, on a radio station that has unique responsibilities given the unique circumstances of its position in Chicago broadcasting. WBEZ under Heim failed miserably.

Just because you happen to dislike the traditions of post-Ornette, post-Ayler, post-Taylor, post-AACM musics doesn't mean they should be completely excluded. No room for a couple of hours a week out of 40?

(When I said I didn't listen to BEZ often, I meant I've only been capable of enduring a half-hour here and there in recent years, due to its aesthetic myopia. When I came to Chicago about 10 years ago, I used to listen for a couple of hours each night before bed - then I decided to ween myself off of sleeping aids.)

As a side note, WNUR does not systematically ban any particular tradition from its jazz programming - I defy you to find one (though I'll admit it would be hard to find examples from the post-Kenny G tradition). NUR may de-emphasize certain styles and traditions which anyone within its broadcasting range can hear on BEZ. But - and this goes to your "equal criteria" argument - it doesn't work the other way around: most listeners within BEZ range can't pick up NUR.

...even commercial stations like WGN, WLS, whatever, use the public's airwaves and are supposed to operate in the publc interest.

We agree! But who's dreaming now?

Yet she is still a target after she is no longer employed there.

We were having a discussion among jazz likers and jazz lovers about WBEZ's decision to cancel its jazz programming. The question was raised by GregN about why Heim was disliked. I provided my perspective, which I believe fairly represents the perspective of more than a "dozen other stridently vocal self-appointed spokepeople for the 'jazz community'," as you put it.

Jazz Institute of Chicago executive director Lauren Deutsch said the following on the chi-improv group (which has over 900 members - rather substantial for a Yahoo discussion group with such a narrow focus):

WBEZ _NEVER _promoted anything the Jazz Institute has done in the past nine years--so we won't miss support we never had. They rarely played music by Chicago musicians (except for Richard Steele, who actually played Nicole Mitchell every once in awhile among others), so the music community won't be missing too many opportunities either.

You would think that supporting marginalized music (as they marginally did over the last decade) would fit into the mission of a public radio station, but this this station sold its soul long ago.....

I guess you consider Deutsch and the Jazz Institute to be among the "self-appointed spokespeople" as well. But who would you expect to care about BEZ's programming flaws? Casual BEZ listeners unfamiliar with the musics they weren't allowed to hear under the Heim Mandate?

Anyway, speaking of realities, I just don't have time to remain engaged in this thread. Malatia has spoken, despite your wishes or mine. We can all enjoy whatever Wal-Mart-sponsored talk shows they'll be putting on instead of music.

Happy listening,

Jason

Edited by jasonguthartz

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Where else has Mr/Mrs/Ms Olds posted? He/she shows up on this thread "out of the blue" and enters into subterfuge (go back and compare his defenses).

Let this troll go.

This is a public forum. If people read something here and want to respond to it, that is their right. I have one magazine in the UK that instead of defending itself here against what it considered "malicious attacks", just refused to review our latest disc. I'd rather the person come on and enter the discussion.

"lawrence olds" may or may not have been involved in WBEZ. I don't think it really matters. He/she has every right to speak his/her mind on the issue.

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You keep skirting my main point - that the scope of what WBEZ played under Heim was incredibly narrow by the standards of mainstream consensus (e.g., Down Beat, Chicago Tribune, Penguin Guide, et al). It's not about jazz likers vs. jazz lovers, or "inside" vs. "outside" - it's about a reasonably proportional representation of the histories and realities of this artform, on a radio station that has unique responsibilities given the unique circumstances of its position in Chicago broadcasting. WBEZ under Heim failed miserably.

Just because you happen to dislike the traditions of post-Ornette, post-Ayler, post-Taylor, post-AACM musics doesn't mean they should be completely excluded. No room for a couple of hours a week out of 40?

--------------------------

A few last points and I'll stop making this thread on WBEZ so tedious.

A) Reading about music is different than listening to it. Many people enjoyably read about Ken Vandermark in the Trib but have no intention of buying a CD or going to a concert. I'm not much of a Jaco fan, but I thought Bill Milkowski's book on him was a great read. As far as what responsiblity any jazz radio station has to act as an encyclopedia/almanac for the the music, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

B) I have never said I didn't like post-Ornette, post-Taylor, post-AACM musics. I've met and talked to Ornette, Cecil Taylor, Ken Vandermark, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson, Charles Gayle, etc and have music from all of them in my home collection. I saw Sun Ra in concert 7 times and I treasure the memory. The Atlantic album "Ornette" was one of the first jazz albums I ever bought. I will say that I listen to Gene Ammons more often for pleasure than Lester Bowie, but I don't hate post-AACM music by any stretch.

C) What Lauren Deutsch wrote in her post to chi-improv is ridiculous. Every DJ, even Heim, at WBEZ played Nicole Mitchell's CD for months upon its release. The most recent CDs from Jeff Parker, Kahil El Zabar, Ted Sirota and many others were also on WBEZ's new release playlist and received steady airplay for months. To say WBEZ rarely played Chicago musicians is a big fat lie. To say WBEZ played mainly the mainstream Chicago jazz players would be fairly accurate. The Jazz Institute shares office space and an identical mailing address with the AACM - is every Chicago musician in the AACM? No conflict of interest there? Ever heard of that event the Jazz Institute programs (with the city's money) called the Chicago Jazz Festival? WBEZ promoted the crap out of the jazz fest every year with a whole month featuring the music of the fest performers, not to mention the national broadcasts which were provided free byWBEZ to stations accross the country for decades until WBEZ's funding ran out a few years ago. The jazz fest broadcasts did not earn money for WBEZ, it cost a ton to produce. Too bad it doesn't still broadcast the event. The Jazz Institute was happy that the broadcasts ended though, they felt the broadcasts were hurting attendance. So who is serving the public interest there?

OK - I'll call it quits on this topic now, I've been enjoying reading the organissimo forums for a couple of years, but until this thread came up I never had the urge, or time, to register and post. I 'm not trying to disrupt the forums, I just felt I had to debate a few issues. I'll try to continue to post, in other areas, on other subjects, in the future, and I would be happy not to say another thing about WBEZ. IS that OK Mr Nessa? Or is anyone who says anything nice about WBEZ not allowed to join the club?

Cheers...

and

Unity,

Lawrence Olds

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The eye rolling at Braxton, as if he would be heard on radio at all, is blind to the moment of jazz stardom A.B. reached after his Arista period. Bassist Mark Helias, during an interview portion of a live performance on Blue Lake, recalled 7,000 Berliners, some camping out overnight, gathering to hear Braxton's hard driving band play his angular melodies with wild blowing sections. Tens of thousands heard him in Chicago at Jazz Fest. I was there. And as I recall he was not ignored in the pre-concert publicty realm. There was a period in there where Braxton drew good crowds at home (and abroad). Not that he'd draw poorly now. But he's more like Steve and Edie these days: he doesn't need the media anymore. :lol:

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I once saw Braxton ( with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul ) open for Ramsey Lewis during Ramsey's Sun Goddess years. No shit.

holland11.gif

After their set ended Braxton turned to the others and said "A gig's a gig".

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Where else has Mr/Mrs/Ms Olds posted? He/she shows up on this thread "out of the blue" and enters into subterfuge (go back and compare his defenses).

Let this troll go.

This is a public forum. If people read something here and want to respond to it, that is their right. I have one magazine in the UK that instead of defending itself here against what it considered "malicious attacks", just refused to review our latest disc. I'd rather the person come on and enter the discussion.

"lawrence olds" may or may not have been involved in WBEZ. I don't think it really matters. He/she has every right to speak his/her mind on the issue.

I believe Root Doctor (the band, not that guy who posts over at the other forum) has paid the price recently with one UK publication as well. Too much in the way of politics in the world of music it seems. I understand Chuck's hyper-vigilance as I imagine some folks sneak into forums just to stir up trouble and sometimes change a moniker to do so. I also understand Jim's desire to moderate here.

On the upside (at least to some minds) organissimo has been invited to interview on the air at WBEZ just before their Chicago appearance in June. Pretty cool!

:w

:ph34r:

Edited by GregN

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From burntheincline [burntheincline@yahoo.com] via Chi Improv:

For those who are still interested, here are details of a public meeting next week with station representatives:

Community Advisory Board Meeting

General Event Information

Event Category: Chicago Public Radio Presents

Price: FREE

Dates and Times: Thursday, May 18; 6:00-7:30 pm Description Chicago Public Radio invites the public to participate in their Community Advisory Board meetings led by the Community Advisory Council. The meetings seek to gather ideas and concerns about Chicago Public Radio and its role in the community.

Venue Information

Venue: Columbia College School of Media Arts

Address: 600 S. Michigan Ave., Room 401

City: Chicago

State: IL

Zip Code: 60605

Country: United States

Telephone:

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The Business

Music fans give Chicago Public Radio static about its new programming plan.

Mike Widell and Hillel Frankel have started a petition to ask WBEZ not to

abandon

music programming.

By Deanna Isaacs

thebusiness@chicagoreader.com

No examples of the new concept, which apparently falls somewhere between public access TV and This American Life, were offered. WBEZ general manager Torey Malatia had to face the music last week at a meeting of Chicago Public Radio's Community Advisory Council at Columbia College.

He was scheduled to air his latest programming plans in the flesh for the first time, and an audience of about 70 was waiting to take him on. Last summer he'd announced that CPR would launch a second Chicago-area broadcast stream on 89.5 that would be all music, while 'BEZ would go all talk.

Then while the public was digesting that news, he had a change of heart. In a letter posted a month ago on 'BEZ's Web site, he made a drastically different announcement: all music programs would be dropped from both stations.

Beginning in 2007, CPR would be nothing but jabber.

That news prompted entertainment lawyer Hillel Frankel and jazz fan Mike Widell to create a protest Web site, savethemusiconwbez.org, which features a heated blog and a relatively tame online petition demanding that the "proposed programming changes be discussed and debated publicly . . . rather than allow a few individuals to unilaterally effect drastic change." Frankel says Malatia's plan will be detrimental to local venues, musicians, and music festivals, all of which "rely on 'BEZ to get the word out," a vital function that "only works in the context of a music program." By last week the petition had drawn 2,600 signatures with what Frankel says was minimal publicity.

At the meeting Ron Jones, CPR's vice president of programming, attempted to summarize the changes for the council members, some of whom wondered aloud if there couldn't have been a less drastic solution. "We'll create a public affairs service, 24-7, for WBEZ," Jones said, "and a new service that isn't found anywhere else in radio [for 89.5]. That service will consist of not programs but a series of modules that depict life in the community. We're working toward the notion of listener generated programming. We're looking to attract nontraditional listeners. Our new service won't have a music format, but will contain lots of music in creative ways." (Partial translation, later provided by Jones: "You'll be able to hear musicians talk about their music.")

Malatia opened his own remarks by "reminding" the council that "we got to this point of view philosophically together. In 2000 we all engaged in a review of our strategic plan-a number of representatives from the Advisory Council participated-reflecting on whether we were indeed performing relevant service to our community." The 2000 census pointed to the growing diversity of the community, Malatia said, but our programming was not reflecting that in any way whatsoever." 'BEZ, with an estimated 600,000 listeners, is serving just a sliver of its 7.6 million member community, he continued, and research shows others are not listening because of style barriers and what he described as an "embarrassing" lack of relevance. And given recent changes in the industry-including consolidation, which has resulted in less local news and public affairs coverage, and the rise of Internet and satellite radio-the "notion of taking the second asset and turning that into an eclectic music station became much less appealing."

Instead, Malatia said, "we decided to be the place that brings people together, to specialize in public service, and to focus our attention and energy on one expertise." WBEZ will continue to carry national and international coverage while 89.5 will be "entirely local and regional" and will use acquisitions from independent producers. "We think this is the right thing to do with our mission," he added, quoting a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation statement that had inspired him: "If radio is not a healing and reconciling force . . . then we have failed." Then he took off on his own: "We're building a service that's going to be a resource for every single member of this community. The course is set, and I say that speaking for all staff, speaking for all board. The task is a noble one."

That elicited a fiery reply from Pete Kimball, the first audience member to grab his two minutes of floor time: "The last time I got told there was a noble goal-we should trust that everything had been thought of, and you'll love it when you see it-we ended up in Iraq." Oak Park resident Larry Spivack warned that CPR is "going to lose thousands and thousands of subscribers."

Others complained that the programming was narrowing even as its spectrum was increasing, that occasional and unpredictable use of music would drive the music audience away, and that nobody at CPR had bothered to ask listeners and station members what they want. When asked if this was a done deal or if there was still room for input, Malatia replied, "This is a done deal in which you have input." Only Alva Lewis, a newcomer to Chicago, said the changes were a good idea, noting her belief that public radio is there to give us not what we want but what we need. No examples of the new concept, which apparently falls somewhere between public access TV and This American Life, were offered, and its fuzziness brought charges of rhetoric without substance. At press time, the plan hadn't been announced or discussed on the CPR airwaves.

Critics of former music director Chris Heim (who was let go when the new plan was announced) opined that Malatia, who ignored complaints about her programming for years, was now throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Mark Ruffin, who was fired as a 'BEZ on-air personality in 2000, said Listen Here, the jazz talk show he cohosts with Reader contributor Neil Tesser, is broadcast in 86 cities but "can't get on the air here." HotHouse director Marguerite Horberg brought up Chicago's "historical role in the development of jazz and blues," and Bob Koester, founder of Delmark Records and owner of the Jazz Record Mart, said if there's been a decline in contributions from jazz listeners over the years "it's because you've ruined the programming. Chicago's the number one or two center for avant-garde jazz, and you don't play it."

Frankel and Widell say they'll step up their efforts now, and hope to have thousands more signatures by the next 'BEZ board meeting, scheduled for 8 AM Friday, June 16, at the station's Navy Pier offices. "We want to give people a chance to express themselves on this," says Widell. "It is supposed to be public radio.

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I re-formated it for you, Lazaro, to make it easier to read. Thanks for posting.

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Bob Koester, founder of Delmark Records and owner of the Jazz Record Mart, said if there's been a decline in contributions from jazz listeners over the years "it's because you've ruined the programming. Chicago's the number one or two center for avant-garde jazz, and you don't play it."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just one important point of clarification here. The truth is, neither the ratings nor the level of listener contributions declined over the years. Both actually increased tremendously since the mid-90s, and remained solid through to the present day. The decision to drop music at WBEZ wasn't due to ratings, it's a desire on the part of management to create a whole new type of radio station on one frequency (89.5) and give more news/talk service to the existing primary news/talk audience on 91.5. Whether or not Bob Koester thinks ratings would have been significantly higher had WBEZ played more Roscoe Mitchell really is beside the point. (and by the way, Lazaro, I'm not rolling my eyes at Mitchell's music, and I wasn't rolling them at Braxton's a few weeks back either - that was your own extrapolation). Jazz isn't being pushed off WBEZ for lack of ratings or listener support, although that move probably would been made by management long ago had ratings not been as solid as they have been.

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Jazz isn't being pushed off WBEZ for lack of ratings or listener support, although that move probably would been made by management long ago had ratings not been as solid as they have been.

Which makes this turn of events even more outrageous.

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Here's the latest, from Robert Feder's Sun-Times column of 10/24/06:

After months of bracing listeners for the demise of music programming

on WBEZ-FM (91.5), the Chicago Public Radio station won't be going

tuneless after all. WBEZ has unveiled a new schedule that includes

such music-oriented shows as "Sound Opinions," "Passport," "Afropop

Worldwide," "Ken Nordine's Word Jazz," "American Routes" and a jazz

showcase hosted by the legendary Dick Buckley.

Missing from the lineup, as expected, is the evening and overnight

jazz programming that has aired for decades. Effective Jan. 8, WBEZ

will expand its news, talk and information format to full-time

weekdays.

What's surprising is the amount of music still airing on weekends.

Highlights of the new schedule include nightly rebroadcasts of each

day's "Eight Forty-Eight" at 8 p.m., "Worldview" at 9 p.m. and "Fresh

Air" at 10 p.m.

From midnight to 4 a.m., a new "Global Overnight" show will present

live, English-language programs originating from China, Africa,

Australia, Russia, the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Weekends also get a makeover, with new times for "Wait, Wait . . .

Don't Tell Me!" and "Whad' Ya Know?" among others.

Coinciding with the changes at WBEZ are plans for a new format of

interactive news, opinion and public affairs on WBEW-FM (89.5) in

Chesterton, Ind., and WBEQ-FM (90.7) in southwest suburban Morris.

Both stations now simulcast WBEZ full time.

The ambitious programming initiative at WBEW and WBEQ is expected to

start on the Internet in February, with an over-the-air debut planned

for spring.

In the latest Arbitron quarterly survey, WBEZ ranked 16th in the

market with a 2.5 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of

530,400

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