Sad to report WNIB classical in Chicago is sold to rock

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Sad to report WNIB classical in Chicago is sold to rock

Postby hasselblad » Thu Feb 15, 2001 7:55 am

2/14/2001 I am writing this the first week of not having my beloved classical FM station no longer on the air here in Chicago!<BR>I am very sorry to report that a fine tastful classical station that had been on the air for over 25 years has been sold (for $165 million American dollars) to some rock network out of Salt Lake City, UT and owned by the for profit arm of the Mormans.<BR>WNIB was owned by a married couple all that time and was run for love, not money. You could hear their dog barking in the background occassionaly. They were not the announcers. They had fine announcers. Obie Yadgar in the morning was a delight. (He was stolen from the Milwaukee classical station, which is still on the air.) <BR>They did feature recorded commercials, that some Chicago purists detested. <BR>We also have another classical station, WFMT, an eletist more "pure" station that plays the most inappropriate piece of music at the most inappropriate time of day often. For this reason, and others, most WNIB listeners are in an absolute period of profound loose and grief.<BR>WFMT is non-profit and therefore is not motivated to respond to a large audience base that supports advertisers. (Even though FMT does have ads only read by their advertisers in a totally dull flat voice.) <BR>FMT is against classical music as background music in the office. They are probably correct, but.........<P>Pardon me as I brush away a tear.......<P>Peace<BR>
Steve Wall
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Re: Sad to report WNIB classical in Chicago is sold to rock

Postby John » Thu Feb 15, 2001 9:36 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hasselblad:<BR><B>2/14/2001 I am writing this the first week of not having my beloved classical FM station no longer on the air here in Chicago!<BR>....</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I understand your sadness. This appears to be a pattern across the U.S. Unfortunately, such stations are either supported via advertising dollars and/or contributions. Some stations have gone to public radio -- supported by listeners and grants. Other stations have simply dropped the classical format in favor of a larger advertising audience. Perhaps the internet, with great sites like Beethoven.com, will fill this void. However Beethoven.com, like other internet sites, don't come free. There is a desire to make money and if they don't, they fold (just see the number of dot-coms dropping every day). The financial models are still being tweaked in this new frontier. Let's hope that Beethoven.com, and other sites like it, will get the financial model worked out so that it is profitable for the holding company and still employs wonderful DJs, provides a solid classical program, and promotes the importance of classical music.<P>I hate to say it, but one of the ways we can make this work is to promote good stations and/or sites via referals, support their advertisers, and let the stations/sites know that they are addressing a need.<P>Well, there's my two cents....<P>
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Re: Sad to report WNIB classical in Chicago is sold to rock

Postby jnowacki » Fri Feb 16, 2001 10:52 am

So sorry to hear about your station "disappearing" on you, but it's what the market will bear. It's a sad fact that while people seem to want and enjoy classical music on-air, not enough of them will support it, either through public radio membership, OR in large enough numbers for commercial vendors to sit up and take notice.<BR>On most public radio stations that still have classical music, it's the NEWS listeners who are actually paying the major share of what it costs to run the programming!<P>Classical music is, and always has been, for the few, not the masses. <P>Now, having said that, it's my job here at Beethoven radio to be first, and foremost, an entertainer. I can only hope I'm providing enjoyment in the form of some really great music, and playing what people REALLY WANT to hear. I try to do that by playing requests...it's the one way I can be sure people are getting what they really want. <P>On a side note, I worked with Obie Yadgar up in Milwaukee at WFMR...he was let go from that station, not "stolen"! His style is/was very much the "old-school"...very stiff and pompous-sounding. Wonder if he was any different in Chocago...<P>-john-
john

"When all reasonable force fails, use a bigger hammer!"
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Re: Sad to report WNIB classical in Chicago is sold to rock

Postby John » Fri Feb 16, 2001 11:49 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jnowacki:<BR><B>.... Now, having said that, it's my job here at Beethoven radio to be first, and foremost, an entertainer...</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>John:<P>I think you and the rest of the Beethoven.com team are doing a fantastic job! Go ahead and give yourself (and your peers, of course) a big raise.<P>John<P>P.S. Well, I guess you could use some mentoring in classical music, but we'll save that for your performance appraisal....<P><BR>
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Re: Sad to report WNIB classical in Chicago is sold to rock

Postby hasselblad » Wed Feb 21, 2001 11:43 am

Hello<P>I was a subscriber to to the WNIB listener's magazine, but of course that could not underwrite the station to any large measure.<P>As to Obie Yadgar being of the old stuffy school, I don't think he was much in that mold down here in Chicago. I wouldn't tag him as entertaining, but he was much more relaxed and a bit personable. The owners had dog that would often bark in the background while he was in the midst of either announcing what he was going to, or had played, or even more "charming," in the middle of a commercial! He would kid about it and you could actually know he was smiling while he spoke because you can "hear" when the mouth is smiling when hearing a word. Ah how we all miss the dog barks now! <BR>He would mention certain listeners and hoped some piece of music would please them. I got the feeling that listeners called the station during the broadcasts. <BR>The music they played was "pleasant" and rarely, if ever very strange or confrontational or too much vocal. Like it or not, listeners had the station on at work, and when you are talking with someone else in the office or on the phone, the last thing you want it "unpleasant" sounds in the background. Of course this is an inditment of the listeners desiring Classical "Musak" but that is the exact reason they were succesfull in their nitch market. They blew their competition, WFMT out of the water. You couldn't argue with NIB arbitron ratings month after month. <BR>I don't see anything wrong with a classical DJ being a bit personable and interjecting interesting tidbit of info. I enjoy leaning new information, or being reminded of old stories.<BR>Peace<BR>Stef<BR>(of course I'm writing this as I am listening to beethoven.com)
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