I listened to public radio for many years. I think what happened was that
it lost track of its original vision to educate.
The public radio stations in my area are basically running many of the same
talk or music series that have been around since the 1980s. There doesn't
seem to be anything there I've not heard before or seen around the Internet.
For me, public radio was at its best in the 1970s when it acted as a kind
of curator for the best or most interesting in what was happening in
serious music or the arts. It was the place you would turn to to hear new
classical works or new recordings of classical music, experiments in radio
drama, or what was happening in music scholarship.
A good example is a weekly show I wish I could recall the name of that came
from one of the public radio networks and, each week, featured vintage jazz
and big band recordings - I recall one whole episode was just devoted to
At other times, my local public radio stations featured regular broadcasts
of classic Old Time Radio - Suspense, the Great Gildersleeve, Jack Benny
and other programs.
Sure, much of this material is available now on the Internet or satellite
radio stations. Public radio could find its voice again by being a curator
and gateway into what's worth my time, rather than being either background
classical Muzak for a day at the office or offering the "comfort food" of
"Prairie Home Companion". It's just stale.
I like Sirius XM because it allows me to sample genres of music that I
don't know much about or listen deeper into a genre catalogue to figure out
what I might like or not like - the same thing that public and college
radio used to do for me many years ago.
The OTR channel is a little conservative for my taste, repeating many of
the same "war horses" that I've heard many times before, but at least it's
On Sat, May 24, 2014 at 6:41 PM, Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Having been present at the creation of on-air pledging for public
> broadcasting, I find a subscription service such as SiriusXM vastly
> preferable to the endless rattling of the tin cup heard today on NPR
> affiliates. A straightforward financial transaction with no appeals to
> guilt and other such social pressure seems the likely path for classical
> music services in the future.