Re: OT (Sort of) Announcers on Classical Radio
- From: Dontaitchicago@xxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 12:31:56 -0800 (PST)
On Jan 28, 7:33�pm, Josquin <josqui...@xxxxxxx> wrote:
I don't doubt that there have been previous threads on this subject,
but not too recently, so I'd like to bring up a somewhat related issue
inspired by the recent discussion about noise during concerts. This
has to do with the behavior of announcers on classical radio stations.
I live in NY and have listened to WQXR (and WNCN) for decades. Now
that WQXR has switched ownership and belongs to the local public radio
station I've noticed something I find extremely irritating - the
announcer will not **wait even a single second** after a piece
concludes to burst in and announce it. �And the same lunkheads (or
maybe their engineers) do a similar thing at the beginning - the very
moment they finish talking, attacca, the music immediately begins.
I suppose this might have happened also under the previous WQXR
incarnation, but, if so, I never noticed it.
I've already complained once to WQXR, but before raising it again I
thought I'd run this by the folks here for their opinions.
Do you think having all music played with obligato announcer is fine
and I'm just being too picky? Or does hearing Vivaldi's concerto for
four violins and one announcer annoy you too?
I don't think you're being too picky at all. I couldn't agree more.
As some here know, I was an announcer at WFMT in Chicago for 35+
years until 2007. What you describe was *never* done there, and still
is not. In fact, in back-announcing, WFMT announcers operated under a
rule: paraphrasing it, "have you [the announcer] paid attention to the
music? Because it's the MUSIC that counts. In your announcements,
react to it as you would, and like you think any other listener
would." Wait to talk, and judge your pause before you speak. The delay
between the end of the music and the back-announcement should vary
depending upon the character of the music just heard. After the most
profound works (Mozart and Brahms Requiems, Mahler and Bruckner
symphonies, Beethoven 9th and Missa Solemnis, and many more), leave
anywhere between four and eight seconds of silence. It was and remains
standard WFMT practice. For "fun" and exciting music, less, of course.
But never sound as if the announcer isn't listening and partcipating
in the music along with the listener, sharing, and slamming in
immediately with talk. The pace should always be like a free and
relaxed conversation between people who love music and want to share
I well know about the difference at other stations, and to which you
refer. First, most broadcasting bosses now seem to have a horror of
"dead air." Even one single second of radio silence freaks them out,
and they become terrified that someone changing the radio will hear
silence, move on, and deprive the station of ratings and possible
sponsor money. But they're only listening to the "consultants," who go
around telling insecure radio bosses what they ought to do ("don't
play any chamber music. Everybody hates it and ratings could go down.
Don't play any vocal music. Everybody hates it. Don't play any choral
music, because that has voices. Don't play any solo violin music,
including concertos, because a violin sounds like a soprano. Don't
play any organ music because that reminds people of church. Don't play
anything longer than twenty minutes, because the attention span of
listeners is twenty minutes at best. [Besides, you can get in more
announcements and commercials.] Don't play any orchestral music from
the Romantic or later eras because its has a wide dynamic range;
listeners might go to their radios to turn them down, then go back to
turn them up, and might finally get frustrated and turn away. Fewer
ratings, fewer profits. Perhaps, but WFMT's experience is that it's
Anyway, what music do the consultants leave? Instrumental Vivaldi
and other baroque composers, of course. Not much dynamic range;
usually about twelve to fifteen minutes; and no dreaded human voices
when that is excluded. And that is why so much FM radio in the USA now
consists of that repertoire.
Sorry for such a long message, but I assure you that what I've
written is based upon first-hand knowledge gained during my many years
"on the inside" at WFMT. It's why so many of the remaining classical
music radio providers sound the way they do.
- OT (Sort of) Announcers on Classical Radio
- From: Josquin
- OT (Sort of) Announcers on Classical Radio
- Prev by Date: Re: "Boot Camping": Holliger
- Next by Date: Re: Earl Wild, Pianist, Dies at 94
- Previous by thread: Re: OT (Sort of) Announcers on Classical Radio
- Next by thread: Re: OT (Sort of) Announcers on Classical Radio