Depressing bit of news. WCRB is up for sale, as reported by the Globe's Chris Reidy.

WCRB has been a fixture of local airwaves for more than 50 years, and unlike practically every other commercial station, it hasn't changed its format. It still plays classical music.

It's also located in Waltham, on South Street, near the Weston line. I like to listen to it during my commute when I want to relax or think, and can't deal with rock or talk.

But there aren't many people out there, apparently. Revenue is declining. In other national markets like Atlanta, there is no classical radio station, according to the Globe article.

A few points that the Globe article doesn't mention: WCRB's audience is older than other commercial stations, and not necessarily being replaced by younger listeners, who may prefer to listen to classical music by popping in a CD or hooking up their iPod to their car stereo. Additionally, WCRB has to deal with competition from WGBH (public broadcaster, 89.7) in the morning and WHRB (Harvard's station, 95.3) in the afternoon, both of which have good classical programs.


Anonymous Peter said...

Perhaps listeners are tired of the homogenized format WCRB provides: endless Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven; single movements of larger works; a general dumbing down of classical music.

You bring up a great point. Both WGBH and WHRB have fantastic classical programs that provide a wide variety of music for serious listeners. Surely WHRB challenges the listener with more modern and contemporary music, but I have also hear more Renaissance music on HRB than on any of the other stations. I can understand your desire to listen to something relaxing, but I won't miss WCRB if it sells and changes format.

5:50 PM  

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