New York station hires host with eclectic tastes

New York’s WNYC has a new host for its weeknight music show, Evening Music: Terrance McKnight, who just moved to the station from Georgia Public Broadcasting and made his on-air debut last night. The New York Times ran an article on McKnight last week that hit on an issue familiar to many classical public radio stations:

In 2002 WNYC angered many classical music fans when it cut five
hours of music programming from its daytime schedule to add news and
talk. That left WQXR-FM, 96.3, a commercial station owned by The New
York Times Company, as the city’s main classical music station.

Since then WNYC executives like Limor Tomer — an independent
performance curator hired in 2006 as executive producer for music —
have grappled with the station’s role at a time when webcasts and
satellite radio have radically expanded the availability of the
classical format and on-demand access to specific music.

“It’s not enough just for us to put stuff out there,” said Dean
Cappello, WNYC’s chief creative officer and senior vice president for
programming. “We want to engage people. We want people to be active. We
want them to do something when they leave the radio.”

McKnight, a former producer and host for Georgia Public
Broadcasting, says that on a typical night his show could “mix Mozart,
Olivier Messiaen, the medieval composer Guillaume de Machaut and the
Monks, Meredith and Thelonious.” WNYC’s website offers more info on McKnight, including a "musical autobiography." And here’s a video of McKnight interviewing Midori and John Adams (Windows Media). For an upcoming post I’m going to interview Limor Tomer about how WNYC is trying to introduce its news listeners to its music programming, a topic she discussed at last month’s Music Personnel Conference.

About Mike Janssen

Mike Janssen Served as Scanning The Dial's original co-authors from Mar, 2008 to Jan, 2010 and is a freelance writer, editor and media educator based in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. He has written extensively about radio, mostly for Current, the trade newspaper about public broadcasting, where his articles have appeared since 1999. He has also worked in public radio as a reporter at WFDD-FM in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he began his career in journalism and filed pieces for NPR. Mike's work in radio expanded to include outreach and advocacy in 2007, when he worked with the Future of Music Coalition to recruit applicants for noncommercial radio stations. He has since embarked on writing a series of articles about radio hopefuls for FMC's blog.

Mike also writes regularly for Retail Traffic magazine and teaches workshops about writing, podcasting and radio journalism. In his spare time he enjoys vegetarian food, the outdoors, reading, movies and traveling. You can learn more about Mike and find links to more of his writing and reporting at

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