I would disagree and would hardly be calling the WGBH Panel Discussion a “great success”. In fact I am calling the event as “great disappointment”. Sure, the Intelligencer put effort in the game, thanks for that, but we judge value of the events not by fact of events but by QUALITY OF EVENTS. Was the Panel Discussion a quality event? Absolutely not!
The only quality factor during the entire event was a voice of passion coming from few hundred visitors and a few dozens of folks who come to microphone to went disappointment. What WGBH in the face of Mr. Voci offered in response? A bunch of demagogy and sub-sophomoric comprehending the subjects of public concerns! Very productive! It very much not the subject of person animosity to Mr. Voci, in fact I do appreciate that Mr. Voci had courage to show up at the meeting. However the numb, indifferent and partially deceptive reaction by Mr. Voci to the most important subjects brought to the panel did indicate the unfortunate strategic WGBH direction and this ugly direction was foggy expressed.
The Intelligencer fancies itself as a journalistic organ. Where my journalists were during the meeting when the matter of Truth Discovering was needed them the most? What was the role of Intelligencer’s Panelist? They asked lame questions (with exception of Rebecca Marchand) but not of them brought to the table their expert judgments when the clueless apparatchiks (Mr. Voci and Mr. McNeill ) expressed insulating silliness. Among the Intelligencer’s panelist were composers, musicologists and musical critics – where was their voices of rational and competence? The whole panel turned into the Mr. Voci responses to the subjects that he did not understand well and the endless moronic monologs from Dave MacNeill, a former WCRB general manager, who believes that IQ of a classical radio listener shall not be higher than IQ of a teenager pterodactyl. Why no one followed up the stupid insistence of Voci/MacNeill diet that Boston classical station shall be no more “loaded” then drive-by ratio? Why no one makes MacNeill to shut up when he insisted that classical station shall be “music that does not require attention”? Where was the demand for clarification where Mr. Voci and Richard Dyer presented contradictory information? Richard Dyer was blabbing that BSO was not happy with Friday Broadcasts and it was why our Friday Broadcasts were discontinued. In 10 minutes Mr. Voci was pulling out of his ass an argument that it would cost $20K-$30K for WGBH to transmit Friday Broadcasts. Both comments were completely idiotic. BSO willingly donate own live feed to public with no charge or fees. WGBH runs a dedicated feed from Symphony Hall, the feed that up all time and even the 24/7 live broadcast from Symphony Hall coast to WGBH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING as all recourses are in place. Why Mr. Voci went for the sage of $20K-$30K cost? Why was it not the $200.000? Why no one insisted Mr. Voci to itemize the alleged $20K-$30K additional coast for the WBH Friday Broadcasts? Was it his attempt to extort more donations from public? I am sorry but it is dirty method! Partially because as just before he informed that the reasons why Friday Broadcasts were suspended was not the cost consideration but the fact the “Friday and Saturday Broadcasts are duplicates”. Where were my Intelligencer journalists who would explain to a Mr. Voci the whole premise of “LIVE PERFORMING MUSICAL EVENTS” and why for each sane person it would be such a barbaric vulgarity to hear such a comment from a manager of classical radio station?
I was not going to but I had a few words to say at the panel and I started from stating that it is an illusion that WGBH 99.5 cares what we the listeners wants. According to the panelists the WGBH has 76 pages of customer complains since the WGBH took over 99.5. Mr. Voci said that he does not even know what that complains are all about! Furthermore the attitude with which he stated it clearly indicated that he would feel annoyed with an idea that he even might families himself with those complains.
I was listening all of it I was asking myself “What the hell we all doing in here”? It was absolutely clear that WGBH does not have cultural capacity to understand what the people were talking in that church. The complains from the public that WGBH 99.5 is more and more turns into old WCRB crap (with primitive music and idiotic hosts who had be working selling hotdogs during Red Socks games) was faced by Mr. Voci with a lack of understanding the those complains. I presume that Mr. Voci position reflects the position of the entire WGBH upper management. I am, as a listener, felt myself so much screwed, so lonely and so underrepresented! I felt this way not particularly because my voice had no representation in my city public FM classical radio but because my interests (and the interests of thousands people like me) were methodically destroyed by corporate indifference. I truly felt like I was raped and the saddest part in that rape was that I voluntary paid for this “service”!
If cause it is not the question about $20K-$30K, it never was. If the WGBH 99.5 will get tomorrow $120.000.000 as a donation from some kind of oligarch then the context of the WGBH programming will absolutely no be changing. We still will have on 99.5 airs the third movements of the same quarter, first movements of flute concerts, the same overtures from operettas, brainless selection of music and the WGBH management flipping eyes and asking “Why it is wrong?” I need to note that since the WCRB the WGBH programming is better but it is very rapidly sliding back to the “lumpenproletariat entertainment tunes” …. Very sad!
After the meeting I spoke briefly with Mr. Voci and told him that one of the ways to WGBH to stay as a “cultural program” is to development not the brainless DJ presentation of random tunes but to develop and to brew truly compartmentalized authored programs. The best classical programs on today Boston FM dialer are the highly personalized programs by David Elliott from WHRB and by Brian Bell from WGBH. I told to Mr. Voci: why do not give to Mr. Bell another 2-3 slots per week to run 2-3 new programs? For us, the listeners, it is very important to know the STRUCTURE of the programs and to know that the context of the program was well researched and selected. After all, NPR was always known and supported by many for the QUALITY OF CONTENT!
Anyhow, I am feeling worn thin to think and do not anything about the 99.5 as WGBH demonstrated a clear lack of any sanity that I would support. The only positive outcome from all of it I see is that in a few years when the 99.5 shut down the lights the upper WGBH management will be forced to work in McDonalds, where they are belong today. I have no idea who allowed to THOSE PEOPLE to manage THE CLASSICAL STATION in the city like Boston.
Anyhow, the WGBH Panel Discussion was not “great success”. The major question of the discussion was not asked by the Intelligencer panelists and the major question was the following: “The WGBH administration, how different you see your role if the WGBH 99.5 would not be a classical station but be a station dedicated to … gardening and the SKU of WHRB operation were not classic music events but the piles of organic potato?
PS: People, please kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill the stupid HD radio!Rgs, Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche