I was shocked to learn this weekend that Chicago’s Public Radio station, WBEZ, has announced they will drop all music programming beginning next year. Originally, the plan had been to boost the signal strength of their sister station WBEW and create an all-music public radio station, changing BEZ to all public affairs. Now, the word has come down that all music will be dropped from BEZ and BEW will become a second all-talk radio station.
That means that Chicago public radio will have no jazz or blues programming!!! Chicago, people! A town very much into its jazz and blues music. No Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. No Blues Before Sunrise. No Coming Home. And hardest of all to imagine, no Dick Buckley!
It also means no more pledge dollars from yours truly to WBEZ.
Chicago without blues and jazz on the radio. Unbelievable. This was good stuff, music you couldn’t hear anywhere else on the dial. Slashing all music programming is a real blow to Chicago’s already pathetic state of radio. Time now for the college radio stations in the area (College of DuPage, Loyola and Northwestern) to pick up the baton and run with it.