[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Classical Airwaves

Friday, July 27, 2007

Classical Airwaves

For those of you who are still bemoaning the loss of classical music on public radio airwaves in South Florida, I recently discovered that there is a station playing classical music from 4 AM to 10 AM daily.

It comes from an unlikely source - WRGP FM from Florida International University. It broadcasts on two frequencies; 88.1 FM covering South Dade and 95.3 FM covering Central Dade. The range of each transmitter pretty much sucks, but they're planning on adding another frequency at 96.9 FM originating from the North Miami campus which should reach North Dade and South Broward.

It's pretty decent from what I've heard. It's not as good as the old WTMI or what you would hear on Satellite Radio, but at least it's good that a college radio station which normally plays the standard college radio format dedicates a good chunk of the morning to playing classical music.



Blogger George L. Moneo said...

Here's what I wrote in 2001 on WTMI's demise.

9:27 AM, July 28, 2007  
Blogger Agustin Farinas said...

For a city the size of Miami is unbelievable that it does not have a classical music station broadcasting all day. What you have there is a over abundance of hip-hop and rap music that hurts one's ears all day. I guess is a reflection of the general decline of our culture that no one demands a station with clasical music. One is amazed than in a city with so many philantropists and patrons of the arts, not one single one can be found to sponsor or financial support for a station with that type of music. Even small cities in the Midwest have such a station. I guess is a reflection of the type of audience that exists in Miami. Is a real shame for a city with such cultural diversity. Is a sign of the times we live in.

1:30 PM, July 28, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


I have read your piece before. You're right on. Nice new blog, BTW.


I agree with you to a point. Yes it is sad that South Florida doesn't have a 24-hour a day classical station. However, we are not unique in that aspect. An article I dug up from the San Francisco Chronicle from back in 2002 states that at that time, 34 of the nation's top 100 markets didn't have a classical radio station, including Detroit and San Diego.

As the article and George's piece mentions, it's not a matter of lack of interest in classical music (otherwise, the recent performances by the Cleveland Symphony at the CCPA wouldn't have sold out). Commericial classical stations run the risk of being flipped because they don't make the big money like Top 40 stations do. WTMI, if I recall, usually fared pretty well in Arbitron ratings. What we need is a public station to be willing to carry classical music around the clock. The FIU station is doing what they can, but around the country, the majority of the public classical stations are backed by NPR. Here in South Florida, the Dade County School Board hold WLRN hostage and have blocked previous attempts for the station to broadcast classical music.

Of course, you also have the carpetbagger syndrome in South Florida. Too many people from too many different places who refuse to set roots in this community despite big wallets and the ability to back an effort to fund a public classical station. This same syndrome extends to other facets of our community such as support for our sports teams, but that's a subject for a future post.

1:47 PM, July 29, 2007  

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