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Listen or Lose It, People: What Music Lovers Will Miss on KBCS

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from the new issue of CityArts Magazine:

On August 24, KBCS-FM rolled out its new weekday program grid, replacing Drive Time Jazz with the syndicated public affairs show The Takeaway and eliminating its morning jazz programs (The Bud and Don Show, Bebop Spoken Here, Twentieth-Century Jazz and Vintage Jazz) in favor of airing Friday morning’s hybrid of jazz and world music, The Caravan, five days a week.

According to station manager Steve Ramsey, The Caravan was selected because of host John Gilbreath’s range of musical interests and ability to weave diverse musical threads through the show. “He can play music we air on Saturday nights and make it fit, then point people to the other spots on our schedule where they can hear these other styles of music in more depth,” Ramsey explains.

Gilbreath claims no involvement in strategies involving the show’s artistic direction. “I assume they have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and it’s my pleasure to help them craft my part of what that looks like for the future,” he says.

It will not be so easy for Richard Gillmann, Iaan Hughes, and Sean Donovan, three of the five hosts of the cancelled Lunch with Folks, who have been retained for the replacement program, The Outskirts. “They will be working more collaboratively than before,” Ramsey says. “If a cool artist is heard on a Monday, you may well hear them again on a Wednesday or a Friday, because the hosts will be sharing playlists. We want the listener to get a similar audio experience no matter which day of the week they tune in. The music director will help sculpt a more consistent sound for that show with a view to being a bit more rootsy and contemporary, while continuing to keep it a folk-based program.”

These changes were implemented without soliciting input from the listeners. Eric Hardee, a volunteer host who has been with the station for eighteen years, says that when Ramsey was asked by the staff why listeners were not consulted, he answered that there was no need to ask them since he already knew what they were going to say.

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This story appears courtesy of Seattle Jazz Scene.
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