The disappearing classical-music newspaper critic?

Posted on: August 13, 2015

“It’s no secret that arts coverage has been slashed by many news media outlets looking to pare costs, and there are fewer writers and less space devoted to serious classical music criticism,” writes Naomi Lewin on Tuesday (8/11) at New York classical radio station WQXR. Lewin interviews Douglas McLennan, founder and editor of, and Scott Cantrell, the Dallas Morning News music critic who recently took a buyout, leaving “a grand total of zero full-time classical music critics in the state of Texas.… But if a newspaper critic as an influential arbiter of taste has declined, this hasn’t led to less music criticism. Rather, a void is being filled by bloggers and other Internet pundits, who for the most part are unpaid…. Both guests estimate that there are currently about a dozen classical music critics at U.S. newspapers, down from about 65 only two decades ago…. McLennan also believes that newspapers’ current obsession with website clicks will exhaust itself, and new measurements of success will take over…. McLennan cautions about feeling nostalgic for the past as a golden age of classical music journalism: It wasn’t necessarily better, just different.”

Posted August 13, 2015