I am not a curmudgeon nor cynical; far from it. I
just want to share with you, in tongue-in-cheek style, situations I feel that are less
than satisfactory in our present day life, both locally and globally. The following
editorials, and the opinions contained therein, are mine alone and I hope you take them
in the light they are given...light!
Dance, Trance, Disco, Hip-Hop...
come on, give us just one more station!
The Wit and Tenets of Brad P. Scobey
bastion of dance music South Florida has become. My goodness, all the choices;
WPYM, HOT and MIX are just the beginning. Want to listen to WSKX or WARP? How
about WACO? Let's get another station that plays nothing but pulsating rhythms, and
fight over who has the least commercials. GIVE US ANOTHER CHOICE, DARNIT!
What am I talking about, folks? Why it's the
South Florida dance war. You see, station owners here think that all of the revenue
to be generated revolves around the 17 to 25 year old market. Now we know that there
aren't that many senior citizens here. No way. And who would think that the
average person really wants relaxing music during their leisurely drive on the South
Florida choke-ways of I-95; the Palmetto and the Dolphin? Come on, let's put
something on the dial that's frantic and fast-paced to sit in traffic and listen to.
You see, the ultimate coup-de-gras for dance music came on December
31st, 2001. South Floridians' who were so inclined held a wake for classical music
radio station, WTMI. We listened to the last broadcast by Lynn Farmer and Dee
Silvers saying a tearful goodbye, ending WTMI's 20 years of classical music with The
Star Spangled Banner. Tears welled in the eyes, both of patriotism and loss.
A moment of dead air followed which seemed to last for hours. No one
knew for sure what the new format was going to be. Rumors of talk radio abounded,
but then it happened. Beating...pounding...thumping...DANCE! Happy New Year to
WTMI was the ONLY classical music station in all of
South Florida and now it was muerto, dead, gone, nix, null. Originally owned by
Marlin Broadcasting (beethoven.com) they sold it in 1999 to the wonderful Cox Enterprises,
owned (98%) by the ever charming and needy Cox sisters. Cox
Enterprises tried, really tried, to return a huge profit on their investment but, alas and
alack, were unable to. What else could they do?
For those of you who don't know them, the Cox sisters
are billionaires (among the worlds 20 most richest women*). A billionaire is someone
who was a millionaire but added a bunch of zeros. Yes, that is exactly what the Cox
sisters are. Obviously, making such a poor showing on "the list" could be
embarrassing. One has to admire such drive. Don't' get me wrong, I do not go
around knocking the needs of little ol' ladies. I don't even know them personally
(wrong crowd). But it appears that they could provide a bit of culture to what is
becoming a cultural wasteland, profits aside. Don't they need some write-offs?
But I digress.
I said earlier, on December 31st, 2001, WTMI classical became WPYM, the new dance mix,
touting more music (subjective) and less commercials. It is a huge success here in
this market of mediocrity; Winner:Cox; Loser:Us. How can a market of over five
million people not support the need for a station of classical music? Gone are Bach,
Beethoven, Strauss, Gershwin, Porter; disappearing into a crevice of who knows where; but
it appears that no one is looking for them, either. Not one station, even the
college stations, have taken the banner and waved it calling for some semblance of culture
in this locality. Are we not as cultured as Milwaukee, Seattle, Houston or
Philadelphia? Oops, just a rhetorical question. We now have an AM station
(since September, 02) with little power that broadcasts classical music now. Some of
the hosts from WTMI are there, but forget the signal before 7 AM or after 6 PM, and I
can't figure how to get high-fidelity stereo through my AM station.
So, to you deviants who want to listen to classical
music, tune into your internet stations, pull out your records, tapes, CD's or just
subscribe to a digital radio system and listen to your boring, peaceful music in the
privacy of your own home. As for me, I think I'll just beat my head against the
*According to Forbes 2001.
Updated, March 26, 2004: The dance is
gone! It has been replaced by a third "album rock" station. And I
thought we were getting closer.
Updated, June 1, 2008: Well, we finally
have classical music back on the radio; albeit from Minnesota (public radio);
but I'll take whatever I can get!
Wish to comment on this rant? Email me!