Pittsburgh’s WQED classical radio cuts staff, trims programming

Posted on: February 21, 2014

“Citing an increased challenge to finance 24/7 classical music on a public radio station, WQED Multimedia announced Wednesday it will be trimming locally hosted FM 89.3 weekday broadcasts and letting go two staff members,” writes Maria Sciullo in Thursday’s (2/20) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “ ‘People who work at nonprofits … choose to do this work knowing they’re not going to get big raises and stock options and all the rest of that stuff. So it’s a hard thing to say goodbye,’ [said Deb Acklin, president and CEO of WQED Multimedia]. She said one of the unnamed staff members took a buyout, the other was laid off. Ms. Acklin said that before any decisions were made, a seven-month study … was done … [surveying] 1,600 people—both WQED members and nonmembers—and concluded listeners were adamant about maintaining a round-the-clock classical presence…. Changes beginning March 1 will clip at least two hours off the daily shows” with local hosts. “Programming from Classical 24, a round-the-clock live streaming service [produced by American Public Radio and distributed by Public Radio International] with a lineup of national hosts, will fill in those gaps…. Some of its content … already is in WQED-FM’s lineup.”

Posted February 21, 2014