The listeners to WETA-FM's recently replaced morning classical music programming who have commented so irately might consider this [Close to Home, June 13; letters, June 21 and June 26]: The purpose of public broadcasting, radio and TV, is to provide programming not available on commercial radio and TV outlets because such programming is not sustainable in particular commercial markets.
In the case of the Washington radio market, there is a commercial classical music station, WGMS-FM, which most commentators consider to be a fine classical music station, quibbles by some of your letter writers regarding WGMS-FM's commercials and personality emphasis notwithstanding. Indeed, I consider the existence of a commercial classical music radio station to be a phenomenon of miraculous proportions.
The attempt of WETA-FM to replace even a small amount of its classical music programming with public affairs programming is a move in the right direction. It being a public station supported by tax-deductible contributions of corporations and individuals, WETA-FM shouldn't be in the business of competing with a commercial classical music station. In fact, the case can easily be made that tax benefits of contributors to WETA-FM should be disallowed as long as it is competing with WGMS-FM.
PHILIP M. JOHN