An Answer to One of my Protests

OK, I real­ize that I’m becom­ing a bit of a bro­ken record, and I promise that these post­ings about the CBC are reach­ing an end. After all, each of us have to ‘get a life’.

Nev­er­the­less, I couldn’t resist post­ing this, because it shows just how the blath­er the CBC spouts about mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and oth­er BS is being used so that these peo­ple can get their way, a com­mer­cial-style radio net­work with next to no chal­leng­ing or intel­lec­tu­al con­tent.

Here’s the back­ground: In addi­tion to my let­ter to the CBC, I left a sub­mis­sion at the ‘Con­tact Us’ form on the CBC Web site, and here’s what I got in today’s email :

Dear David Druck­er,
Thank you for your email about upcom­ing changes to the week­day sched­ule of CBC Radio 2. We’re enthu­si­as­tic about the changes being planned. It’s good news for all Cana­di­an per­form­ers and all Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers. How­ev­er, we know some peo­ple have mis­con­cep­tions of why we are mak­ing these changes and how the new sched­ule will look.

The ques­tion fac­ing CBC is whether we use Radio 2 to reflect excel­lence in all Cana­di­an music and musi­cians or just a part of the indus­try; and whether we serve a broad spec­trum of Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers or just of a por­tion of the audi­ence.

Allow us to pro­vide you with a lit­tle back­ground to the pro­pos­als.

First, we rec­og­nize the qual­i­ty and pub­lic val­ue of “seri­ous” music. Clas­si­cal music will remain the most broad­ly rep­re­sent­ed form on Radio 2 while we expand the spec­trum to include oth­er forms of music for adult Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers.

Next, it may inter­est you to know that Cana­di­an per­form­ers of all stripes release about 30,000 pieces of music every year. Less than 1 per cent of those receive reg­u­lar air­play on com­mer­cial radio sta­tions. The rich diver­si­ty of Cana­di­an music and musi­cians is clear­ly not being heard on Cana­di­an air­waves. Music gen­res for which Cana­da is famous through­out the world cur­rent­ly have lit­tle expo­sure on CBC Radio’s music net­work.

Since CBC’s man­date charges us to “reflect Cana­da and its regions to nation­al and region­al audi­ences, (and) active­ly con­tribute to the flow and exchange of cul­tur­al expres­sion” as well as “reflect the mul­ti­cul­tur­al and mul­tira­cial nature of Cana­da” the pub­lic broadcaster’s adult music net­work must be a home for these artists and this music.

Final­ly, we also believe there will still be some lis­ten­ers who desire noth­ing but clas­si­cal, or jazz, or adult singer-song­writ­ers. So, this fall, CBC Radio will be launch­ing three 24-hour-a-day web radio ser­vices to serve each niche exclu­sive­ly. Obvi­ous­ly we would rather have a full FM net­work for each genre, but since that is not pos­si­ble, the online solu­tion is anoth­er option for Cana­di­ans.

Radio 2 is now and will be remain a music net­work for adult Cana­di­ans. Our val­ues of thought­ful­ness in pre­sen­ta­tion and excel­lence in per­for­mance remain intact. Our com­mit­ment to offer an alter­na­tive on the dial con­tin­ues. The kind of lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence will not change; the music high­lights will just come from a broad­er spec­trum.

We’re pas­sion­ate about Cana­di­an music. Radio 2 will be the only place to tru­ly reflect the incred­i­ble breadth and depth of tal­ent that exists in this coun­try.

Again, thank you for writ­ing. We look for­ward to your feed­back when the new shows are intro­duced in the fall.

Ray Rusk
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Offi­cer
CBC Audi­ence Rela­tions

I’m get­ting the stan­dard par­ty line I’ve seen in oth­er media: Clas­si­cal doesn’t rep­re­sent true Cana­da; We’re not cut­ting out Clas­si­cal music (or now an even bet­ter sub­tle insult: ‘Seri­ous’ music; gee, why don’t they call it ‘Long-hair music’ or ‘Egghead music’); we’re just mak­ing sure that every­one is rep­re­sent­ed, so Clas­si­cal Music has to go to make room for the oth­er Cana­di­an artists. That bit about ’30,000 pieces of music’ is, I sus­pect, plucked from thin air.

Nev­er mind that the myth­i­cal ‘audi­ence’ they are talk­ing about (instead of ‘por­tion of that audi­ence’) doesn’t exist. The peo­ple who lis­ten to Radio 2 by def­i­n­i­tion lis­ten to Clas­si­cal Music because if the CBC didn’t broad­cast that, they wouldn’t lis­ten to Radio 2. The alter­na­tive to Radio 2 is, let me see…Oh right: noth­ing.

Nev­er mind that Cana­di­an com­posers and Cana­di­an Clas­si­cal Music are going to con­tin­ue to be phased out of the air­waves. The biggest bald-faced lie in the email is this one: Clas­si­cal music will remain the most broad­ly rep­re­sent­ed form on Radio 2 …

Sor­ry, pop­u­lar light clas­sics from the hours of 10AM through 3PM, when no one but home-bound seniors will hear them is not ‘most broad­ly rep­re­sent­ed’.

To under­stand just how much the oppo­site of ‘most broad­ly rep­re­sent­ed’ is, here are some facts not men­tioned in the let­ter:

The CBC Young Com­posers Com­pe­ti­tion
has not been held since March 9, 2003. It, as well as the CBC Young Per­form­ers Com­pe­ti­tion have been sus­pend­ed for the past four years. The Cana­da Coun­cil pro­vid­ed the fund­ing for the $10,000.00 grand prize.

The CBC set the clas­si­cal music bud­get for CBC Records to 0 in Feb­ru­ary 2008, pre­cise­ly on the eve of their first Gram­my win by Cana­di­an vio­lin­ist James Ehnes and the Van­cou­ver Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra under Bramwell Tovey on the CBC Records label. That’s right; the first Gram­my win, and these guys get rid of the record­ing label. Many Clas­si­cal Music per­form­ers launched their careers on a CBC Records label record­ing.

The com­mis­sion­ing bud­get pre­vi­ous­ly devot­ed to com­mis­sion­ing new works from com­posers is now spread out to cov­er jazz, pop musi­cians, and some unspec­i­fied amount of con­tem­po­rary clas­si­cal music.

CBC can­celled Two New Hours, a mul­ti­ple-award win­ning pro­gram that was aired for two hours a week in the incred­i­bly prime time slot of Sun­days 10pm to mid­night. This pro­gram was ded­i­cat­ed to the music of liv­ing Cana­di­an com­posers. It was can­celled in March 2007 in its 29th year.

CBC can­celled Music For A While, which aired clas­si­cal music dai­ly from 6pm to 8pm.

CBC can­celled In Per­for­mance the flag­ship Clas­si­cal con­certs pro­gram.

The CBC dis­band­ed the CBC Radio Orches­tra: North America’s 70-year old last remain­ing radio orches­tra and plat­form for count­less pre­mieres of new Cana­di­an com­po­si­tions cit­ing lack of resources. The next day, they ran a full-page ad in the Globe and Mail cost­ing an esti­mat­ed $30,000 to con­vince us of the same par­ty line that I was read in the let­ter. It’s worth not­ing that there was not a sin­gle clas­si­cal music (com­pos­er or per­former) list­ed in the ad. Instead, the rep­re­sen­ta­tion was pri­mar­i­ly from com­mer­cial record­ing labels and oth­ers involved in pop­u­lar music.

That bit about a ‘web’ sta­tion is utter­ly ridicu­lous as well.  Will I be able to lis­ten to the web sta­tion in the car or on the Sky­train? Will I have to rig up a com­put­er in the bed­room so I can wake up to it in the morn­ing? Will kids in school who have nev­er been exposed to Clas­si­cal Music dis­cov­er their Inter­net-based sta­tion?  Maybe in 5–10 years we’ll have per­va­sive Inter­net con­nec­tiv­i­ty so that stream­ing audio is avail­able at all times, includ­ing while trav­el­ing at decent qual­i­ty, and is next to free for all, but not today. Like mag­a­zines that stop print­ing paper edi­tions and only pub­lish on the web, putting most of the CBC’s Clas­si­cal Music sole­ly on the Inter­net is pret­ty much get­ting rid of it from main­stream lis­ten­ers.

It’s sick­en­ing to be read a par­ty line that is disin­gen­u­ous at best. That bit about mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism is a smoke-screen.  Do you think they are going to be play­ing a lot of Pak­istani and Chi­nese music? ( And isn’t iron­ic that so many Chi­nese are huge fans of Clas­si­cal music and are build­ing con­cert halls like mad in Chi­na while the CBC takes it away from lis­ten­ers in Rich­mond?).

If the CBC says that peo­ple like me ‘just don’t get it’, that ‘The kind of lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence will not change; the music high­lights will just come from a broad­er spec­trum’ and should sim­ply lis­ten to web radio, what they real­ly mean is that they are sim­ply inter­est­ed in mak­ing more mon­ey — just like they do on TV by air­ing ‘Hock­ey Night in Cana­da’ — by pre­tend­ing to be ‘mul­ti­cul­tur­al’, and then run­ning a com­mer­cial Easy Lis­ten­ing sta­tion. The pat­tern they’ve fol­lowed from the last 3 years plain­ly shows it.

10 Replies to “An Answer to One of my Protests”

  1. I’m pleased to see the first fed­er­al MP, NDP Cul­ture Crit­ic Bill Sik­say pub­licly crit­i­cize the destruc­tion of our nation­al orches­tra and the dis­in­te­gra­tion of Radio 2 into a mediocre adult con­tem­po­rary sta­tion. I wish the oth­er MP’s would speak up as well. I’ve e-mailed Hedy Fry, my Lib­er­al MP and the Min­is­ter of Cul­ture. I think we should also write to Sen­a­tor Lar­ry Camp­bell as well as I think he has the weight to get the atten­tion of the brass. He is from Van­cou­ver and we Van­cou­verites are real­ly get­ting the brunt of the ham­mer blow here with the orches­tra based here, Disc Dri­ve being tor­pe­doed and the lack of alter­nate clas­si­cal sta­tions etc.

  2. when i first arrived in cana­da in the ear­ly 80s, i couldn’t believe how lit­tle clas­si­cal music was played here on the radio. now i wish we were back to those times.

    a lit­tle while ago, i came across an arti­cle enti­tiled, “how to avoid the emer­gence of anoth­er leonar­do davin­ci.” looks like we’re also work­ing hard on mak­ing sure we won’t have anoth­er glenn gould or oscar peter­son. yes, oscar peter­son, too — because with­out chopin and liszt and bach, he wouldn’t have got­ten to where he did in jazz.

    the sad sto­ry, of course, is that CBC doesn’t get it that mar­ket­ing for the mass­es has gone the way of the dodo bird quite a while ago and that by alien­at­ing their ded­i­cat­ed niche audi­ence, they’ll prob­a­bly use ALL audi­ence.

  3. You are absolute­ly right, Isabel­la. This idea of ditch­ing the audi­ence that they have in search of a new one has all the log­ic (and pos­si­bil­i­ty of suc­cess) of Coca Cola’s ‘New Coke’. I won­der if, like the soft drink com­pa­ny, they’ll see how wrong they are in time?

  4. By shock­ing coin­ci­dence I received the iden­ti­cal email. This is my response to it. My ID is Music4Life. Apolo­gies for length.

    Rusk: Thank you for your email about upcom­ing changes to the week­day sched­ule of CBC Radio 2. We’re enthu­si­as­tic about the changes being planned.

    M4L: Your enthu­si­asm about the pro­posed changes leads me to believe that I have not made myself clear about the impor­tance of restor­ing CBC 2. I apol­o­gize for my lack of clar­i­ty. Let me try again.

    Rusk: It’s good news for all Cana­di­an per­form­ers and all Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers.

    M4L: No, actu­al­ly. It was the work of just a few min­utes to come up with over sev­en­ty extra­or­di­nary Cana­di­an musi­cians, com­posers, ensem­bles and music fes­ti­vals, all with inter­na­tion­al careers and rep­u­ta­tions. World-class, you might say: Glenn Gould, Jon Vick­ers, Mau­reen For­rester, Lois Mar­shall, Ben Hep­p­n­er, Elmer Isler, Alexan­der Brott, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Richard Marge­son, Michael Schade, Measha Brueg­ger­gos­man, Rus­sell Braun, John Kimu­ra Park­er, James Park­er, Angela Cheng, Jan­i­na Fialkows­ka , Healey Willan, Giles Bryant, Boris Brott, Luc Beause­jour, Kari­na Gau­vin, Suzy Leblanc, Isabelle Bayrak­dar­i­an, James Camp­bell, André Laplante, Richard Ray­mond, Angela Hewitt, James Ehnes, Denise Djo­kic, Shau­na Rol­ston, Mario Bernar­di, Ofra Harnoy, Tra­cy Dahl, Berna­dine Bla­ha, Corey Cerovsek, Guy Few, Alain Trudel, Den­nis Brott, Anton Kuer­ti, Tafel­musik, Cor Leone, Elec­tra Women’s Choir, Fes­ti­val of the Sound, Orford String Quar­tet, St. John String Quar­tet, Sco­tia Fes­ti­val of Music, Cana­di­an Children’s Cho­rus, Indi­an Riv­er Fes­ti­val, Win­nipeg New Music Fes­ti­val, Eck­hardt-Gram­mate Com­pe­ti­tion, Raf­fi Armen­ian, Cristos Hatzis, Alex­i­na Louie, R. Mur­ray Schafer, Srul Irv­ing Glick, Jacques Hetu, Van­cou­ver Cham­ber Choir, Nexus, John Grew, Music Royale, Oscar Morawetz, John Weinzweig, Box­wood Music Fes­ti­val, Ottawa Cham­ber Music Fes­ti­val, Les Voix Humaines, Gryphon Trio, Har­ry Somers, Susan Platt, Ben­jamin But­ter­field, Mur­ray Adaskin, the Lafayette String Quar­tet, Stew­art Goodyear, Yan­nick Nezet-Seguin, Joshua Bell…

    We know their names and enjoy their music only because of CBC Radio 2, when it was at its best.

    I won­der if you rec­og­nize all the names on this list, Chris Blake or Ray Rusk. If you don’t, I am very sor­ry to say that CBC man­age­ment has decid­ed that you will not eas­i­ly be able to find them on your radio in the future. Too bad. It’s your birthright, and it is being stolen from you.

    Rusk: How­ev­er, we know some peo­ple have mis­con­cep­tions of why we are mak­ing these changes and how the new sched­ule will look.

    The ques­tion fac­ing CBC is whether we use Radio 2 to reflect excel­lence in all Cana­di­an music and musi­cians or just a part of the indus­try; and whether we serve a broad spec­trum of Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers or just of a por­tion of the audi­ence.

    M4L: The broad spec­trum of Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers is admirably served by all the com­mer­cial radio sta­tions, whose adver­tis­ers know that their mes­sages will be heard by a broad-spec­trum audi­ence. The CBC’s man­date is to reflect the best of Cana­da to Cana­di­ans, and CBC 2 has, in the past, done that job admirably and cheap­ly.

    Rusk: Allow us to pro­vide you with a lit­tle back­ground to the pro­pos­als.

    First, we rec­og­nize the qual­i­ty and pub­lic val­ue of “seri­ous” music.

    M4L: I would dis­pute the depth of your recog­ni­tion of qual­i­ty, but let that go.

    Rusk: Clas­si­cal music will remain the most broad­ly rep­re­sent­ed form on Radio 2 while we expand the spec­trum to include oth­er forms of music for adult Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers.
    Rusk: Clas­si­cal music will remain the most broad­ly rep­re­sent­ed form on Radio 2 while we expand the spec­trum to include oth­er forms of music for adult Cana­di­an lis­ten­ers.

    M4L: With respect, would you just lis­ten to your­self? The argu­ment you are mak­ing is that CBC man­age­ment has cho­sen to alien­ate the audi­ence you have in order to serve an audi­ence you don’t have, a phan­tom audi­ence appar­ent­ly that does not exist in suf­fi­cient num­bers to make an impact on com­mer­i­cal radio. Would it not be wis­er, more pru­dent, to serve this audi­ence on web-based radio, and count ears for a year or two, to assure your­self of a new improved audi­ence that will replace the one you no longer want? This is a seri­ous ques­tion and I would like a seri­ous answer.

    Rusk: Next, it may inter­est you to know that Cana­di­an per­form­ers of all stripes release about 30,000 pieces of music every year. Less than 1 per cent of those receive reg­u­lar air­play on com­mer­cial radio sta­tions. The rich diver­si­ty of Cana­di­an music and musi­cians is clear­ly not being heard on Cana­di­an air­waves. Music gen­res for which Cana­da is famous through­out the world cur­rent­ly have lit­tle expo­sure on CBC Radio’s music net­work.

    M4L: Indeed. Those musi­cians and that audi­ence could be served by an FM ser­vice called Radio Three. Was that not the orig­i­nal plan? What hap­pened? This is also a seri­ous ques­tion for which I request a seri­ous answer.

    Rusk: Since CBC’s man­date charges us to “reflect Cana­da and its regions to nation­al and region­al audi­ences, (and) active­ly con­tribute to the flow and exchange of cul­tur­al expres­sion” as well as “reflect the mul­ti­cul­tur­al and mul­tira­cial nature of Cana­da” the pub­lic broadcaster’s adult music net­work must be a home for these artists and this music.

    M4L: Look at the names on the list above — Gould, Vick­ers, Cheng, Fialkows­ka, Glick, Schade, Beause­jour, Armen­ian, Brueg­ger­gos­man, Cerovsek, Nezet-Seguin, But­ter­field, Bayrak­dar­i­an, Trudel, Braun, Brott, Weinzweig, Hetu, Gau­vin, Leblanc, Bryant, Hornoy, Djo­kic, Ehnes. Sounds like Cana­da to me.

    Rusk: Final­ly, we also believe there will still be some lis­ten­ers who desire noth­ing but clas­si­cal, or jazz, or adult singer-song­writ­ers. So, this fall, CBC Radio will be launch­ing three 24-hour-a-day web radio ser­vices to serve each niche exclu­sive­ly. Obvi­ous­ly we would rather have a full FM net­work for each genre, but since that is not pos­si­ble, the online solu­tion is anoth­er option for Cana­di­ans.

    M4L: This is a non-solu­tion solu­tion, that is, it looks like a solu­tion on the sur­face but it is noth­ing but a drop-dead after­thought. First, CBC 2 lis­ten­ers lis­ten to the radio through real radio speak­ers, not tin­ny com­put­er speak­ers which are scarce­ly wor­thy of the name. Sec­ond, we move around when we lis­ten, from the kitchen to the office to the car, to the hard­ware store. We also talk to each oth­er from time to time. With all the gee-whiz new media – pod­casts and con­certs-on-demand, you seem to fail to get the key point that while lis­ten­ing to the radio can be a splen­did soli­tary expe­ri­ence, it is just as often a won­der­ful shared expe­ri­ence. Two or three peo­ple in a kitchen, or a car, or a cor­ner store can sud­den­ly stop their con­ver­sa­tion, and lis­ten until the end of a par­tic­u­lar­ly beau­ti­ful piece. After­wards we talk about it. Togeth­er. With each oth­er. In the past, we have often fin­ished the exchange by remark­ing on what a gift CBC 2 is, and how proud we are that Cana­da con­tin­ues to val­ue it. Well, that’s what we used to say.

    Rusk: Radio 2 is now and will be remain a music net­work for adult Cana­di­ans.

    M4L: This state­ment reminds me of a book talk I attend­ed. The author’s his­tor­i­cal research was about when and how the Roman Catholic Church shift­ed course, or changed its posi­tion on a vari­ety of issues. The announce­ment of a rever­sal in pol­i­cy appar­ent­ly always fin­ished with the words “Rome has spo­ken,” and that became the title of the book. The author also dis­cov­ered that announce­ments of rever­sals of posi­tion were always pref­aced by the words “As Rome has always said…” That is, the refusal to acknowl­edge a change in direc­tion is the pref­ace to a change in direc­tion, in this case a shame­ful dumb­ing down.

    Rusk: Our val­ues of thought­ful­ness in pre­sen­ta­tion and excel­lence in per­for­mance remain intact.

    M4L: Unfor­tu­nate­ly this state­ment is con­tra­dict­ed by the lam­en­ta­ble change in CBC 2 pro­gram­ming which has already tak­en place. CBC 2 is tox­ic after 6 pm week­days.

    Rusk: Our com­mit­ment to offer an alter­na­tive on the dial con­tin­ues.

    M4L: We do not seek alter­na­tives. We seek main­stream seri­ous music, such as pre­sent­ed by WQXR in New York, or Anten­na 2 in Por­tu­gal.

    Rusk: The kind of lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence will not change;

    M4L: the lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence has already changed, and not for the bet­ter;

    Rusk: the music high­lights will just come from a broad­er spec­trum.

    M4L: Broad-spec­trums are for antibi­otics, not music.

    Rusk: We’re pas­sion­ate about Cana­di­an music.

    M4L: Actu­al­ly, you’re ring­ing the death-knell of the only Cana­di­an music that is like­ly to last, and which gives us stand­ing in the civ­i­lized world.

    Rusk: Radio 2 will be the only place to tru­ly reflect the incred­i­ble breadth and depth of tal­ent that exists in this coun­try.

    M4L: Sad­ly, that is no longer true.

    Rusk: Again, thank you for writ­ing. We look for­ward to your feed­back when the new shows are intro­duced in the fall.

    M4L: You are receiv­ing my feed­back now. If you per­sist in this unwar­rant­ed attack on the Cana­di­an clas­si­cal music com­mu­ni­ty, when the “new shows are intro­duced in the fall” my radio and a mil­lion oth­ers will be turned off. You would do well to con­sid­er that the cur­rent firestorm of protest is a wake-up call to save your job, and to save you from your­selves. In a year or so, it is pre­dictable that the gov­ern­ment will dis­cov­er that audi­ence num­bers are down, and will cut fund­ing, and we will not be there to defend the CBC. The CBC is engag­ing in risky, self-destruc­tive behav­iour, and it is pre­dictable that it will end bad­ly. Pass it on.

  5. That’s spec­tac­u­lar, Bar­bara, and I couldn’t have put it bet­ter. I wish there were a way for such a good response to CBC’s cheer­ful and Orwellian let­ter. I par­tic­u­lar­ly like the fact that you point out, at the end, that these peo­ple are appar­ent­ly, cheer­lead­ing for the changes that will result in the loss of Radio 2 and their jobs. They should pass on such infor­ma­tion inter­nal­ly.

    Like you, if these changes do go through, I will turn off my radios in the house and car, prob­a­bly for good. I will rely on my music col­lec­tion and the Inter­net for record­ed Clas­si­cal music, prob­a­bly keep an iPod in the car for pod­casts and music I’ve already got­ten there, and look toward a day when these tech­nolo­gies are good and per­va­sive enough that ter­res­tri­al radio is indeed irrel­e­vant, but that won’t be for as long as a decade, I think). I will also mourn the loss of a medi­um that could have served to pro­mote the Cana­di­an artists you men­tion (and oth­ers not yet dis­cov­ered or even born).

  6. Hi David,
    It’s a small world. I linked to you while read­ing Rebecca’s live blog of Third Tues­day, and dis­cov­ered your blog. I was sit­ting in the row of seats behind you. What I find inter­est­ing is that I was also one of those protest­ing the CBC cuts — although in Vic­to­ria as that is where I live. Re the cuts — your com­ments and those of Bar­bara are spot on. What both­ers me more than any­thing is that there has been no pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on this. Hubert Lacroix does not appear to be account­able to any­one. That’s nuts! The Face­book group has helped to mobi­lize peo­ple. Is there any­thing more we can do through social media? I’d be inter­est­ed in your thoughts and sug­ges­tions. Thanks. And if I’m able to make it over to the next Third Tues­day, I’ll tap you on the shoul­der!
    Cindy

  7. Hi Cindy,
    I remem­ber meet­ing you last night before we took our seats. I’ll look for­ward to see­ing you again next month.

    As for what we can do, so far, as you know, there have been email writ­ing cam­paigns, and twice I’ve pick­et­ed the CBC’s Van­cou­ver office (the last time at the same time oth­ers were sup­pos­ed­ly doing it around the coun­try). Here in Van­cou­ver the pick­eters are more pas­sion­ate about stop­ping the dis­band­ing of the CBC Radio Orches­tra, but even though that’s upset­ting to me as well, it won’t quite have the neg­a­tive impact that remov­ing Clas­si­cal Music pro­gram­ming from the air­waves will have for me (and, I sus­pect, thou­sands more, at least).
    Not sure what else we can do — some have sug­gest­ed enlist­ing the aid of promi­nent per­form­ers. I don’t know if this will help. I’d like to get some promi­nent politi­cians on board as well. The sto­ry on 60 Min­utes last week­end about how Clas­si­cal Music per­for­mance is trans­form­ing the coun­try (by cre­at­ing orches­tras where poor chil­dren can par­tic­i­pate from an ear­ly age) drove home to me the impor­tance of the pres­ence of great music in pub­lic cul­ture, but dri­ving that point home to a Harperite Con­ser­v­a­tive MP strikes me as a dif­fi­cult road to hoe. Per­haps you can think of some­thing as well.

  8. I think you should keep on about this. We all should. This deci­sion is obvi­ous­ly about even­tu­al­ly turn­ing the CBC into just anoth­er com­mer­cial broad­cast­er.

    There are alter­na­tives — just not on the radio. And in recent months as Radio 2 has become infest­ed with stuff that real­ly belongs on Radio 3 (inter­net only and very lim­it­ed indeed) I find myself lis­ten­ing to all sorts of oth­er sources. The radio gets switched off and I use last.fm, or stream­tuner — and, of course, NPR. And since they are not lis­ten­ing to us there will come a time when I am not lis­ten­ing to them.

  9. It’s hard to keep push­ing when you reach a brick wall. There’s not been any indi­ca­tion from the CBC of any­thing but acknowl­edg­ment that the deci­sion was ‘hard’ (par­tic­u­lar­ly to dis­band the orches­tra). I don’t believe a word of their bureau­crat­ic bab­ble.

    As for turn­ing to the Inter­net, I’ve grim­ly accept­ed that this will be the way that I have to go this fall. It does not include the car (will plug in the iPod there and lis­ten to pod­casts plus my library if I want music). As for home, we have a very good set­up, all in all, except for the bed­room. I’ve been look­ing into installing an Air­port Express Router, a device to which I can stream audio from any com­put­er in the house (includ­ing the one in my office). I can take the audio out of the router into our clock radio, so that at the time the alarm goes off, the source is no longer the FM tuner but the AUX (from the Inter­net). This all should work, but there’s no telling what the audio qual­i­ty will be and frankly, it all feels a bit like a Rube Gold­berg con­trap­tion of sorts.

    In the mean­time, I get up every day at 6 AM on week­days, main­ly to hear Tom Allen. No mat­ter what I end up doing, I’ll lose his enhance­ment to my morn­ing. With the end of his pro­gram a few months away, he’s been tak­ing more chances (what does he have to lose?) and the oth­er morn­ing I even heard him make fun of the way that oth­er clas­si­cal announc­ers do their job (with their grave, pompous, and bor­ing inton­ing of piece titles and composer’s names). For my mon­ey, he’s the best at what he does in the Eng­lish-speak­ing world. I plan to write a post describ­ing why I think he’s such a unique trea­sure on the air­waves, and just what a loss he’ll be to the coun­try.

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