Tuesday, January 23, 2007

DC Classical radio dies and is re-born

When I surrendered the helm at Sisson's Brewpub, I had (and still have) a visceral sense of loss. I mention that because ....

I can only imagine the hurt felt by all who had been connected with Washington DC's last remaining commercial classical radio station, WGMS, 104.1-FM (formerly 103.5-FM), when it switched - after 60 years - to a quotidian 1970s to now rock/pop format yesterday afternoon.

As a child and teenager, I grew up listening to WGMS announcers such as Dennis Owens and Renee Cheney (I had a teenage crush on that marvelous voice) and the classical music they presented.

In welcome related news, one of the area's public stations - WETA (90.9FM) - simultaneously switched back to all-classical music after a 1 1/2 year hiatus for all-news/talk. DC's airwaves are saturated with news and talk, so this was a smart business move, as well as a gift (re-gift?) for us good music listeners. (The call letters for WGMS had long been promoted as an acronym for Washington's Good Music Station.)

Interesting trivia: WGMS broadcast the area's first helicopter traffic reports in the late 1950s.

Listen live to WETA (you didn't think I would actually offer a link to a 70s album rock station, did you?) and/or read more about it all.

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