May 27, 2020

Broadcast vacuum

Mainers who can’t stand to be alone with their own thoughts during the long winter now have plenty of talk talk talk and pop “culture” to distract them on Maine Public Radio. Its mission, according to MPR’s vice president Rus Peotter, seems to have changed and is no longer to provide quality programming, but to achieve the greatest numbers of listeners, at the lowest common denominator.

But wait. Maybe MPR is onto something here. Maybe other publicly supported cultural institutions can learn something from MPR’s whole-hog embrace of whatever is trendy today. For example, I’ve noticed the auditorium is not always full at the Maine Center for the Arts. Maybe an MPR-style live quiz show would pack ’em in!

So, you boards of directors of the Maine Center for the Arts, Bangor Symphony, Penobscot Theatre, et al. – take heed. You are being left behind in the dust of quality programming by the staff and directors at MPR. They alone have the vision (of more contributors), they alone hear the music (of pledge phones ringing) as they charge forth into the broadcast vacuum of the 21st century, unperturbed by pesky considerations of program content, whole hoggedly determined to fill the void, with something. (Oink)

David P. Frasz, M.D.


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