Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Licenses for WGBH FM and WCRB FM in Boston being challenged before the FCC

Since November 6, 2009 "Supporters of Folk and Blues on WGBHhas been in the forefront of the fight by WGBH management to replace "the peoples' music"* with "single format"** (talk and news) format. We welcome this recent effort by the "Committee for Community Access", which formed some time during or after 2009, when WGBH fired Steve Schwartz, reduced Eric Jackson's on-air hours and eliminated Bob Parlochato's jazz sprogrms. For additional background, read

Graphic in "WGBH drops folk and blues programs", 11/7/09 - http://notlobmusic.blogspot.com/2009/11/wgbh-drops-folk-and-blues-programs.html, Jeff Boudeau
Marita Rivero Vice President and General Manager for Radio and Television, WGBHJune 1, 2012 at 1:10am · Latest version by Jeff Boudreau
Brendan Hogan returns to Boston NPR radioSeptember 30, 2011 at 12:16pm · Latest version by Jeff Boudreau
Consider community radioSeptember 29, 2011 at 4:07pm · Latest version by Jeff Boudreau
Re-statement of purposeJune 23, 2011 at 3:06pm · Latest version by Jeff Boudreau
WGBH has been escorting long time employees out the doorJune 10, 2011 at 9:17pm · Latest version by Jeff Boudreau
Scott Dickinson's brilliant idea, an open group resource for folk, blues, roots & americana in New EnglandMay 26, 2011 at 12:51pm · Latest version by Jeff Boudreau
...all in "Supporters of Folk and Blues on WGBH's" files areaas well as "WGBH drops folk and blues programs", 11/7/09 - http://notlobmusic.blogspot.com/2009/11/wgbh-drops-folk-and-blues-programs.html - and subsequent WGBH-related articles in Jeff Boudreau's blog - http://notlobmusic.blogspot.com/
* Attributed to Jim Kweskin, November 7, 2009, quoted by Jeff Boudreau  ""I can only assume this has something to do with the almighty dollar. Isn't this supposed to be public radio and aren't we the public. Folk music has been a mainstay on WGBH for as long as I can remember. Acoustic artists are as popular as ever and in some ways even more popular then in days gone by. I don't get it. WGBH should be ashamed of itself. Well, as Ma Joad said, "We're the people and you can't stop us and you can't lick us. We just keep coming, 'cause we're the people."
Source: http://notlobmusic.blogspot.com/2009/11/wgbh-drops-folk-and-blues-programs.html
** A term used by WGBH management at meetings of the the "Community Advisory Committee", November, 2009.


Licenses for WGBH FM and WCRB FM in Boston being challenged before the FCC

Committee for Community Access
4 Carol Avenue | Suite 6 | Boston | MA 02135617.277.4715
Media Contact: Sue Auclair, 617-522-1394 _jazzwoman@earthlink.net

March 25, 2014

For Immediate Release:

Broadcast Licenses for WGBH FM Educational Foundation and WCRB FM in Bostonbeing challenged before the FCC by Committee for Community Accesshttp://www.CCAccess.info

Boston, MA--The Committee for Community Access, a local public interestmedia advocacy umbrella organization, filed Petitions to Deny Renewal ofthe licenses held by WGBH Educational Foundation and WCRB FM with theFederal Communications Commission, Washington D.C. on the first business dayin March, which was March 4, 2014. (The FCC was closed on Monday March 3 dueto asnowstorm.)

Massachusetts radio stations have a 10-year FCC renewal cycle and 2014 isthe year for all radio stations in the state to renew their licenses withthe FCC.

The WGBH Educational Foundation's Oppositions to Committee for CommunityAccess's Petitions to Deny are due 30 days later, or on April 3, 2014. CCA's Replies to the Oppositions will be due 20 days from when theFoundation's Oppositions are filed or April 23rd, whichever is later.

On behalf of Classical, Jazz, Folk and Blues music lovers, The Committeefor Community Access is requesting that the trustees of the EducationalFoundation restore full time music programming on the high power, clearsignal facility of WGBH-FM 89.7 mHz.

CCA calls on members of the public who wish to protest the WGBH EducationalFoundation's dropping of almost all of WGBH-FM's music broadcasts,canceling all Blues and Folk shows, ending its decades long tradition ofjazz all night by limiting jazz to weekend evenings, and its relocation ofall classical programming to a weak out-of-town station, to mail theirsupport of CCA's FCC petitions within the next two weeks to the FCC and tothe WGBH Educational Foundation's Board of Trustees, so the station and theCommission may understand the depth of public feeling on this issue.

A sample letter for the public is on CCA's new webpage: _http://www.ccaccess.info_ (http://www.ccaccess.info/)

Addresses:Media Bureau - Audio SectionFederal Communications Commission445 12th Street S.W., Room TW-A325Washington D.C. 20554

RE: License Renewal Applications ofWGBH-FM #BRED 20131202BIAWCRB-FM #BRH 20131202BIR

Board of TrusteesWGBH Educational FoundationOne Guest StreetBrighton, MA 02135

A steering committee, led by CCA's Chairman, Jacob A. Bernstein andincluding lobbyists for Classical, Jazz, Folk and Blues music programminghas been formed to publicize and raise funds to support these efforts.

"We cannot believe the trustees approved the way Jazz radio was decimatedin June 2012," states Jack Bernstein, Chairman of the Committee forCommunity Access. "Management is chasing a pot of gold in their combinedradio/TV/Web News/Talk format infiltrating and taking over the proud musicbastion they spent 40+ years in the making. We're opposing what they'redoing because they created the demand among New England music lovers forthe best presentation and reception of music. WGBH-FM was an establishedhighly polished exposition of music that was TOO ESSENTIAL TO LOSE!"

Brief History of Eliminating Music at WGBH:

September 1995: Ron Della Chiesa's Music America scrapped by management
September 2009: WGBH bids to purchase WCRBNovember 2009: WGBH purchases WCRB for $14 Million
November 2009: FCC approves WGBH purchase of WCRB; WGBH moves all classical programming to WCRB FM. A protest is held at Old South Churchwith a panel featuring Chris Lydon, Richard Dyer and others. John Voci wasrepresenting WGBH at this event.
December 2009: WGBH Discontinues BSO Friday Afternoon Broadcasts
January 2010: Folk and Blues shows dropped
June 20, 2012: WGBH FM cuts jazz programming; fires Steve Schwartz, cutsEric in The Evening to weekends only; cuts all-night


Related articles from this blog:

1000 supporters of folk and blues on WGBH can't be wrong!, 11/15/09
Which side are you on?, 12/26/09
NPR Ate My Local Public Radio Station, 7/7/10
On the demise of folk, blues and classical on WGBH-fm. one year on., 11/9/10
WGBH's March Towards "Single Format" Continues, 6/20/12
Jazz Funeral for Jazz on WGBH Radio, 7/5, Brighton, 7/3/12
Folk, Blues, Classical and Jazz Funeral for ALL Passed WGBH Music Programs, Copley Square, 7/27, 7/27/12
This will be your last email from WGBH, 8/27/12
4th Anniversary Folk-to-AAA Format Change at "Boston's NPR Music Station", 1/24/13
Think before you donate to so-called "public" radio, 6/7/13
4th anniversary of WGBH killing the peoples' music, 12/2/13


Appended 3/27/13. 

notloB Music asked Scott Fybush for his opinion, who obliged: "As I said when Jeff passed along the news of this initially - good luck with that. Ever since the WNCN fight in the 1970s, the FCC has been steadfast in its determination not to be a judge of content, especially at renewal time. And unlike Canada, where stations are required as a condition of license to program a certain amount of spoken-word content, there's nothing in the FCC rules that mandates whether stations run spoken-word or music programming. If WGBH's license could somehow be pulled for not carrying any music programming, then so could WBUR's, and WEEI's, and WBZ-FM's, and most of the AM dial. If the aim here is to get publicity, so be it, but it's not going to go anywhere at the FCC."
Scott was involved for many years in Boston-area commercial radio and is now the owner of Northeast Radio Watch.

Scott's analysis appears to be dead on. In "Group challenges WGBH programming" by Joseph P. Kahn  | GLOBE STAFF   MARCH 25, 2014,  Jack Bernstein is quoted as saying “We expect to be turned down...”
Read the full article here.

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