Thursday, December 11, 2014


A public dispute between the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Colorado Public Radio (KVOD) is flaring in Denver.  KVOD has broadcast CSO concerts for 15 years.  Now CSO is insisting KVOD cede editorial control of the broadcasts and air extra promotions.  KVOD said “no, way” and the CSO is looking for a new broadcast voice.

To me, this is an amazing stupid move by the orchestra. CSO CEO Jerry Kern formerly worked in the cable TV industry.  Kern wants to leverage the power of his content – a good idea – but he has an inflated view of the value of live broadcasts by CSO to KVOD.

Colorado Public Radio has been a vital force in classical radio programming since the 1990s. Back then it initiated “the Denver Project” – research about the way people listen and value the music.  The result was termed “modal music” because it set a mood with seamless transitions.  Some people hated “modal music” but no one can doubt the impact it has had on classical music radio.

KVOD had a 3.2 AQH share in the October Nielsen Audio PPM ratings – not a bad showing in the very competitive Denver/Boulder market. Symphony orchestras need all the friends they can get.  It is too bad  CSO turned a cold-shoulder on KVOD.

David Roden of WKSU summed it up on the AMPPR list:

There's an argument for traditional concert programming, but when you air a
concert programmed by an orchestra's music director, you're airing music
that's pretty much out of your control.
I speak as an outsider, but it appears to me that for years the CSO has been handed a nice, juicy block of valuable CPR time.

No comments:

Post a Comment