Radio Feedback

Thanks to the many Rifftides readers who are weighing in on the discussion of jazz on public radio in the US. The comments—some from inside the medium—include reasons for the decline, analysis of its nature, reports of a few bright spots, and a good deal of frustration. It seems to be an open question whether there is a future for informed radio hosts serving as companions who can help listeners get inside the traditions and culture of the music. To read the discussion so far and contribute to it, scroll down two exhibits or click here.

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  1. dave bernard says

    The three Boston Public Brodcasting outlets have significantly abandoned their original mission to cater to a more intelligent demographic. The programming philosophy is as annoying hard-sell in tone as any of the commercial corporate b’casters that are commonly seen as the main culprits in what’s destroyed unique Radio. While production quality is far more polished compared with its early Educational years, it was a far more thoughtful outlet for information and trends. The Science shows were hosted by genuine Scientists, not celebs brought in to boost viewership. Nowadays, the Tv operation, with it’s subcarriers on two frequencies operates five stations which exceeds the limit for comm’l operations. When programs run short of the hour, they run clusters of self-promotion that go as long as fifteen minutes between shows. An inordinate amount of Boston Public Tvs’ programming is in-house produced infomercials for dubious, New Agey self-help programs you’d expect to see on the low-rent stations. The local Talk hosts have adopted the amateurish tone of afternoon Tv fare on the usual overwrought topics. As for Public Radio jazz, the mostly-jazz Worcestor station barely reaches Boston. There are still a couple of Public stations, notably WRTI in Philly that one can get via the ‘Net, but it doesn’t offer a showcase for Boston talent.