WCVT of Vermont is changing formats, marking the end of the state’s only commercial radio station. The signal has been airing classical music since 1977. According to Vermont NPR news, WCVTs’s popular morning show announcer disclosed his retirement on Friday. His leaving and the presence of Vermont Public Radio’s classical service convinced the owners of the operation that it was time to switch to some other genre.
This reconfirms my already strong impression that classical music is not a very viable format for commercial radio—at least not the way classical music radio is currently construed. Nielsen’s latest State-of-the-Media survey places classical music almost at the bottom of its top formats for 2013. The genre captures 1.4 percent of total listening, the same share as Oldies and Spanish Contemporary.
Basically if classical radio is going to survive, it will survive as public radio (but by not devouring any more college radio stations, please).
Speaking of classical public radio stations, Northwest Public Radio has a nice list of summer classical music festivals. Enjoy.