Pittsburgh's Classical Station Goes the Rare More Music, Less Talk Route

Classic Arts News   Pittsburgh's Classical Station Goes the Rare More Music, Less Talk Route
 
Listeners to Pittsburgh's classical station WQED-FM (89.3) will notice changes in the programming, but the station is not succumbing to the more talk/less music approach adopted by other public radio stations recently, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The changes, which will take effect on Monday (August 14), mostly affect the evening and weekend schedules, according to the paper. WQED-FM executive director Susan Lyons says it is "going back to the basics" in terms of music and hosts. "It's about more music and less talk. Listeners tune in a classical music station 'to escape talk.'"

The new schedule is designed to appeal to both classical music connoisseurs and novices, and will include both accessible programming and more obscure works.

The biggest change, says the Post-Gazette, is a revamping of Jim Cunningham's morning show, which is the only program that will feature more talk — and that will be expanded coverage of the arts world. In light of this broadened news-and-reviews coverage, the weekly Sunday arts program, "The Bayer Arts Magazine," will be dropped.

Pittsburgh Symphony broadcasts will move to the "Arts Magazine" Sunday 4 pm slot and "Performance in Pittsburgh," hosted by Stephen Baum, will expand to three hours a week. The station will play more music by the PSO and add opera arias during peak weekday hours, to give the music wider audience exposure, according to the paper.

A new weeknight feature called "Buried Treasures," hosted by Charles Andrews, will air weeknights at 8 pm, highlighting off-the-beaten-track repertoire.

Other changes reported by the Post-Gazette include former Pittsburgh Symphony trombonist Bill McGlaughlin, now of Minnesota Public Radio's "St. Paul Sunday," hosting the syndicated "Exploring Music" program, and a new weekly program called "Modern Masterpieces," which will feature music by both classical and emerging composers.

The weekday lineup reportedly remains the same. However, several syndicated programs, including "Adventures in Good Music," "Record Shelf," "The Vocal Scene" and "The Romantic Hours," as well as Cleveland Orchestra concert broadcasts, will be dropped.


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