Protests Continue Against WGBH Jazz Cutbacks
Response from Philip L. Redo WGBH Managing Director
By: Sergio Brandão - 09/29/2012
"WGBH Slashes Jazz Programming"
Below is the letter I wrote to the WGBH managers Phil Redo and Jon Abbot — and following, the reply I received from Phil Redo. As the community in protest is growing, it should not hurt to share them once again. Ultimately it illustrates how short sighted is their stand in the situation. They do not seem to realize how deeply important these shows already are in Boston\'s own profile!
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From: Sergio Brandao
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:27:49 -0400
To: Phil Redo
Subject: Eric and Steve
Mr. Redo and Mr. Abbot,
Eric\'s and Steve\'s shows are major icons of Boston\'s music vitality!
Dismissing Steve Schwartz and cutting back on Eric Jackson\'s show is an insensitive disservice to Boston\'s music community. It will affect all parts involved, at all levels — musicians, promoters, clubs, music students, even tourists(!), and fundamentally, the very listeners that in good faith have provided consistent support to WGBH itself.
It seems to be lacking the understanding of how important it is the actual consistency of having these programs in a daily basis — and how unique that has made WGBH stand out. Thirty plus years is a life. The lack of these programs will create a vacuum not in a half-dozen aficionados, but in many dozens of thousands! (Not quite a simple matter of individual preference, as you pointed to Guillermo Nojechowitz.)
WBUR used to have music. As much as their talk shows are generally good, it became a dry station.
\'GBH also use to provide much more music, classical music and jazz, making it stand out as an unique cultural station.
With this recent dull decision (no offense), WBGH will damage what is left of its own oasis and distinct personality. Blindly following \'deja vu\' is no virtue or achievement. Following the steps of WBUR is a blend move. It weakens you.
Please reflect on the fact that, in general, and more so at night, our minds are already filled with too many words!! The evening time is to chill out… It is to enter the realm of the soulful that can speak more to our hearts than a thousand words would ever do. That is the art of music, particularly the art of Jazz — a most Universal idiom.
Taking Eric and Steve out will weaken you indeed. Their shows are far more powerful than any talk show you could ever come up with.
Steve Schwartz may be less known than Eric Jackson. Nevertheless, you may well know, he is fundamental in Eric\'s production — the special ad-on that makes things shine and work on the needed moments. More over, his own show is truly a cultural learning experience — a complete finesse.
My understanding is that WGBH\'s Commitment is for culture.
Boston is a music center of great importance to the world.
From Boston spring most of the greatest jazz players we know.
You should be proud to have these two great talents right there.
They are ingrained in Boston\'s music life!
Believe it or not, they have greatly contributed to the music awareness of thousands of young jazz players!
Please reconsider your recent decision altogether.
This is not a case that people will forget.
Your names will be remembered.
The evening should be kept for Eric Jackson, and Steve Schwartz!
Dear Mr. Brandao:
Thank you for your very thoughtful email.
This was a difficult decision and I completely understand why you are unhappy and upset.
Please know that Eric will continue to use the hours on the weekend to expose and support local jazz artists and venues. We will continue to produce jazz performances and make many of these events available to our listeners. Eric will be included in our local talk programming so jazz may be better exposed to a different audience. And we are hoping to upgrade and relaunch our WGBH jazz stream, as on-line listening has dramatically increased over the past several years and is now a viable option for those who desire more musical choices.
We agree Boston is a special jazz city and we are keeping jazz on the air for a reason. Music matters. As you know, we have maintained a commitment to Celtic music and we want to do the same for jazz.
But I know that none of this makes up for losing Monday-Thursday.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
Philip L. Redo
89.7 WGBH Radio