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Sour Note in D.C.

Thursday, February 10, 2005; Page A22

In discussing the possibility that WETA-FM may go to an all-talk format -- a decision that could be made by the broadcaster's board of directors today -- Paul Farhi indicated that if that were to happen, only one station left in Washington, the commercial WGMS-FM, 103.5, would play classical music [Style, Feb. 2].

However, WBJC-FM, 91.5, based at Baltimore City Community College, is quite available to listeners in the D.C. area. I listen to it all day at work and most evenings at home in Catonsville, but I also listen to it on the car radio when I am in downtown Washington. It is all classical all the time, and it is wonderful.

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Catonsville, Md.

The Post reported that public radio station WETA-FM was near a decision to eliminate all classical music programming in favor of an all-talk, all-news format. Among the reasons station management cited for this decision was a supposedly declining audience for classical music throughout the area.

Meanwhile, The Post has been reporting extensively on the opening of the new Music Center at Strathmore in Montgomery County. The Washington area now boasts the greatest number of venues for classical music concerts anywhere in the nation.

Can WETA seriously want to end local listener access to the only remaining non-commercial radio source for classical music in the D.C. area in the face of clear evidence that our jurisdiction represents one of the nation's most vibrant and expansive classical music audiences? Something is wrong with this picture.



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