For the record and those of you who may not know, Pipe Dreams is a weekly program of organ music (pipe dreams – get it?) It plays on our classical station, WBNI, and has a small, but loyal group of fans. And it’s going away. These are hard things to do. When we look at the numbers and see that maybe on a good day, a couple hundred people are listening to a particular program, and that program is one we pay for, it’s a really good business decision to let it go.
But it’s not that we don’t think about the fact that each program is an important part of somebody’s day, their routine, their way of appreciating music and the world around them, and when we change things up – and I know it can seem arbitrary and sudden – we upset people.
The fact is that when we announced a year ago that we needed to offer our classical frequencies for sale, I thought it would be a done deal by now and we budgeted accordingly. So now, even though we have some activity and continue to work diligently to make a sale a reality, we are still operating the classical stations. Good news for our listeners who enjoy that programming, but challenging for us from a budgeting standpoint. We still have the capital commitment of those stations and the operational expenses pushing on a budget that has some other challenges, as well.
So we’re discontinuing many of the classical programs that we pay to air and replacing them with our own programming, with music from our really astounding classical library. It will sound a bit different and no doubt we’ll miss the uniqueness of some of those programs and their hosts, but the music will continue on 94.1, until we can conclude a sale. And then it will continue as a digital signal on 89.1.
Change. Not always easy, not always what we’d really like to see happening. But at least for us, in this instance, absolutely inevitable.
And for those of you who have been enriched by Pipe Dreams and Symphony Cast, and the small number of other programs that we’ll be easing out of over the next couple months, please know that those decisions were made knowing that it would disappoint you and taking that very seriously, but also knowing that we aren’t in a place that offers many choices.
Thanks for understanding or at least trying to.