Friday, December 18, 2009

Classical Consolidation : With the new agreement,WCRB streamlines BSO's live concert schedule

After more than 58 years on local radio, the live Friday afternoon broadcasts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra performances from Symphony Hall will not be heard on WCRB 99.5FM. it was officially announced this morning. WCRB 99.5FM was acquired by WGBH on December 1st. As part of the new collaboration agreement between BSO and WGBH, the Saturday evening live BSO broadcasts on WCRB will continue with an expanded schedule. The BSO which does not get licensing fees from its live local radio broadcasts will also be adding more of its content to WCRB's line-up.

Here's official WGBH Radio's release on BSO broadcast changes :

WGBH Radio expands collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on99.5 All Classical

WGBH’s recent acquisition of WCRB 99.5 All Classical enables the public broadcaster to air a greatly enhanced schedule of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s many offerings, including Saturday evening concerts and specials 52 weeks of the year, all 25 Tanglewood concerts throughout the summer, and the entire Boston Pops spring season.

“Preserving a full-time classical music service for the region was very important to us, and we’ve begun to realize its promise with this robust new collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” said Marita Rivero, WGBH vice president of Television and Radio. “We are pleased to now broadcast much, much more of the BSO’s repertoire on our new 99.5 All Classical station.” The new lineup adds up to an increase of 140 percent more BSO than previously broadcast by WGBH.

With the additions, WGBH will forego the Friday afternoon concerts, which generally duplicate the Saturday evening performances. “While our decision to discontinue the BSO’s Friday afternoon concerts was a difficult one, we wanted to focus our resources on additional performances that would not otherwise be heard. We recognize there are listeners accustomed to the Friday broadcast, and hope they now will enjoy those same concerts on Saturday evenings, which will be available on 99.5 All Classical,” Rivero said.

The BSO’s Holiday Pops on 99.5 All Classical is underway this month and can be heard on December 19 at 8pm and December 24 at 7pm. The concerts feature 99.5’s on-air host Laura Carlo reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” with Keith Lockhart conducting the Boston Pops and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Beginning in January, 99.5 All Classical will air BSO concerts or specials every Saturday evening at a new time – 7pm. The live concert season kicks off on Saturday, January 9th with a broadcast of acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma with Ton Koopman, the Dutch early music specialist, for the Haydn C major Concerto. On January 30th, James Levine returns, conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the first time in more than four months.
For more information on 99.5 All Classical, visit

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, producing such award-winning PBS series as Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2/HD and 44, and digital channels World and Create. Local TV productions that focus on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black, and María Hinojosa: One-on-One. WGBH Radio serves listeners from Cape Cod to New Hampshire with WGBH 89.7, Boston’s NPR Station for News and Culture; 99.5 All Classical; WCAI for the Cape and Islands; WNCK on Nantucket; and the All-Classical WGBH HD channel. WGBH also produces the national radio news program The World. WGBH is a leading producer of online content and a pioneer in developing educational multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for people with disabilities. Find more information at

BRW Notebook :

Two is better than one? : The Globe takes a look at the new WBUR-WGBH tussle for public radio's news and information slice of the Boston radio audience. With so much focus on WGBH's turning to more news/information, even WBUR 90.9FM examines its new competitor via this report.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I listen to a lot of radio and stations, formats and personalities come and go - I may take notice but it dosen't effect me that much, except - the 30 hours straight of light classical Christmas music always featured on WCRB and brought to you by realtor Chobee Hoy in Brookline, was sadly missing this season. For many years - this has been the soundtrack to Christmas day in my household. The satellite providers once provided a similar holiday mix but that was cut also - can only take a very little of Elvis and the Chipmunks doing holiday standards. It was a small loss in the overall scheme of local radio but one certainly felt.