April 01, 2020

On Nov. 9 the BDN printed a letter by Mary Lou Colbath of Orono in which she justifiably lamented program changes on Maine Public Radio. At the time I thought that there had to be some mistake. Would they really eliminate the Metropolitan Opera and weekday afternoon classical music programming? The answer, of course, is that they certainly would, with these fine programs being replaced by what? Talk radio? The sublime beauty of something like “The Magic Flute” or “La Traviata” is to be supplanted by someone called Zap Mama and something called “Wait, wait, Don’t Tell Me.” In the words of Tom and Ray Magliozzi, has everyone at MPR had an anal/cranial inversion?

It wasn’t long ago that Robert J. Lurtsema’s “Morning Pro Musica” gave us five solid hours of classical music every morning, seven days a week. About 10 years ago, MPR eliminated an hour of “Morning Pro Musica” and it’s been a downhill trend ever since. How much of all this talk do we really need? We already get two and a half hours of news every morning, another two hours of news and “public affairs programming” at midday, and another three hours of news every morning. And now the entire afternoon as well?

And while I’m at it, let me say that though I do enjoy listening to rock ‘n’ roll as well as classical music, I don’t need to get it from MPR. There are plenty of rock stations who cover that area quite well.

Fortunately, I live close enough to the Canadian border to be able to pull in the CBC quite easily. They play classical music all day and broadcasts from the Met on Saturdays.

Lew Richards


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