Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Classically Speaking: Southern Colorado 2, Northern Colorado 0

Checking public radio sports, in the Classical Music League, in the third inning, it's Colorado Springs 2, Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Greeley NOTHING.

It's Only a Game, Right?

If Colorado Public Radio (CPR) were operating under the spirit and intent of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the score would be 2 to 1.

That's because listeners in Colorado Springs have KCME at 88.7-FM, A Voice for the Arts, and Colorado Public Radio (CPR) at 94.7-FM BOTH programming classical music, while people in Larimer and Weld Counties in Colorado have NO CLASSICAL MUSIC OPTION on their radio dials.

Game Analysis

The score is 2 to zip, because the public radio system has been GAMED -- beaten up for nearly 30 years. Public Broadcasting's funding arm, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, was threatened with zeroed-out funding by the Reagan team, and ever since 1981, many in the public radio system have played things way too safe -- with some players playing with a sinister twist (quick, check that ball for foreign substances).

When CPR pulled the plug on Classical KVOD at 90.1-FM recently, and replaced it with KCFR News, CPR lost its connection with Summit County (see previous article), and it ALSO wiped out classical music listenership in Larimer and Weld Counties in Colorado. Now, public radio listeners there are treated to drive time news from KUNC at 91.5-FM AND KCFR at 90.1-FM which is almost identical -- save for local drop-ins from each station -- times at which KUNC has shined in recent months. Since KUNC is more localized than CPR could ever hope to be for this region, the only motivation for CPR to remove classical music and replace it with news is because they know it brings in more money, and it could weaken KUNC's base of support by just offering the same NPR news shows.

The intent of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 is completely ignored in this instance. It was created and funded so that non-commercial radio and TV could take chances; bring new programming and ideas to the airwaves, and serve UNSERVED audiences. Colorado Public Radio's recent removal of KVOD from 90.1-FM takes CPR in the opposite direction from that reason to exist in the first place! All that we may see from this reckless behavior is the support base for CPR growing a bit (at the expense of KUNC) while overall the PUBLIC loses content! Is that what Colorado Public radio means by news initiative?

Game Recap

Meanwhile, back in Summit County, the residents have scored big time with recent actions by the Summit County Translator Board. That's because they recently took the new KCFR-FM signal from 90.1 (previously KVOD) off their system, and replaced it with KCME music. In their own important way, the County -- NOT Colorado Public Radio -- is fulfilling the original intent of the Public Broadcasting Act, by reinstating classical music for its residents. WAY TO GO!

That's it from the public radio ballparks for now. There's still some hope for a rally.

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