KCSN eliminated its classical music announcing staff at the end of last month -- in the words of one blogger, going “JACK-FM for the post-geriatric set” -- and pretty much, nobody in the media’s noticed. As far as I can tell, not the LA Times, not LA Observed, not KPCC.
On the station’s website, there’s an oblique reference to “critical cuts in state funding to Cal State Northridge,” and the “loss of live personal commentary and announcements.” (Ouch. Passive voice. We listeners also become the “listener base.”)
For more details, I e-mailed Karen Kearns, the station’s interim GM, and she responded right away:
In response to dramatic cuts in state funding to Cal State Northridge, KCSN-FM is automating its classical music programming from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in an effort to reduce costs. Three part time radio announcers were let go. “We regret having to take these actions, but we are left with little choice,” said Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. “Every part of the university has had to reduce costs and the radio station is no exception.”
Sunday in the Orangeburg, S.C., Times and Democrat newspaper, two local Republican Party officials wrote an op-ed in which they said, “There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves.”
The authors, Edwin O. Merwin Jr., and James S. Ulmer Jr., were immediately attacked, and have both apologized unequivocally for blithely using one of the most vile and pervasive Jewish stereotypes.
What’s more shocking to me than the fact that the local GOP chairs didn’t know their little anecdote would be offensive is that the T&D printed it. People and politicians believe and say all sorts of stupid, vile things; but it's a newspaper's specific job to carefully consider what it prints.
I’ve just posted a long interview with R.H. Greene, who has just written a wonderful, engrossing memoir of an easily villainized literary figure. It’s “Incarnadine: the True Memoirs of Count Dracula,” and I couldn’t put it down. It’s the inside story on Dracula, offering a sophisticated, nuanced explanation for the various parts of the Dracula myth, like why he needs to sleep in his home soil, why oak stakes go through him, and why he's so damn angry.
We’ll be running a shorter version of the interview on the Halloween edition of Off-Ramp, but I thought you’d like a sneak preview.
Then, at 4pm on November 15th, Greene is at Book Soup for a reading and signing: 8818 W Sunset Blvd 90069-2125.
(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp!)