Combating Kitsch and Insincerity

I’ve been listening to both regular programming and fund drives on a number of classical stations over the last several months, and after a while I began to notice a pattern.  Hosts tend to open up in a big way when they’re paired with other people.  They set aside all those preconceived ideas of what they should sound like as a classical radio host and began to talk like normal people.  The act of asking someone for money uses a different part of your social skills – you’re forced to put yourself … Continue Reading

Classical Radio’s Personnel Problem: Get New Talent In The Door!

In my previous post, I laid out a quasi-apocalyptic vision for the bleak future of classical radio.  Or at least raised some minor concerns.  Now it’s time to think about solutions to those concerns. At the heart of the issue is making the case that classical radio can be a fun, rewarding, and financially stable career.  Finding the money to make this happen is the biggest concern, and I’ll get to that eventually.   But another part of the problem lies with content and staffing choices already being made that, at best, … Continue Reading

Classical Radio Doesn’t Have an Audience Problem. It Has a Personnel Problem

As I continue to reflect on the results of Classical Music Rising’s workforce survey, CMR is busy working on new endeavors; most recently, “Classical Spark” has been a valuable resource for stations to get back to basic radio fundamentals of self-identification, branding, and forward promotion.  It’s easy to forget these fundamentals, and Classical Spark project leader Craig Curtis has an excellent outline you can read here.  I don’t think it needs much analysis or explanation.  It’s a document that every station should read and implement if they aren’t following similar practices already. … Continue Reading

A Brief Word About Details

Much of my musings on this blog are big picture ideas about the direction of classical music radio, but today, after sampling brief snippets of programming on streams from stations across the country, in large and small markets, I feel compelled to write about something very mundane: attention to detail in the studio.  Consider this a Festivus-inspired, Frank Costanza-approved airing of grievances. What it really boils down to is taking care of the microphone.  The microphone should only pick up the voice of the host, and nothing else.  So often I hear … Continue Reading

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