CBC cuts classical; Kansas station airs taped local concerts; N.Y. host retires

More goings-on in the news:

Commenter Chris asked us to pay attention to happenings across the border at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., so here you go. CBC is cutting back on classical music aired during its weekday schedule in favor of more pop, rock and alternative. The move is aimed at attracting more listeners to the service, reports the CBC’s own website. (More in the Globe and Mail.)

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Christopher O’Riley; classical radio in Anchorage; grant to N.J. station

A few items gleaned from here and there: Christopher O’Riley, host of public broadcasting’s From the Top, discusses performing the music of Elliott Smith and Nick Drake: "Elliott’s songs work because they address a whole range of emotional problems. Each song was its own world. With Nick’s music, what interests me most are his instrumentals." O’Riley has some tapings and live performances coming up. KLEF, a commercial classical station in Anchorage, Alaska, tied for second place in share in the market’s fall 2007 Arbitron ratings, reports the city’s Daily News. The station … Continue Reading

So what is this blog all about, anyway?

Last month in Los Angeles, Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, premiered a chamber opera he wrote with composer Paul Salerni called "Tony Caruso’s Final Broadcast."  The main character, Tony Caruso, is a failed operatic tenor, but he’s well respected as a classical music announcer.  Sadly, Tony loses his job when his station drops its classical format and switches to Golden Oldies.

A familiar and painfully realistic scenario.  The opera is fiction, but here’s a scenario that’s real: just over a year ago National Public Radio quietly closed down its Classical Music Unit, laid off nearly all of the staff, and outsourced its flagship shows Performance Today and SymphonyCast to American Public Media.  NPR executed the shutdown so quietly that the public really never even knew about it.

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