No 'fix' needed
The pending sale of radio station WDUQ is quite disturbing. I have a personal reason to be upset. I first appeared on broadcast radio as a 13-year-old brat in a weekly drama called "Morning, Noon and Night." That was in 1953. Then, as a student at Duquesne University, I had the opportunity to hone on-air skills, doing Dukes play-by-play and some high school football. The experiences at WDUQ have allowed me to build a career in broadcasting that next year will have spanned seven decades.
Enough of the personal; let's get to the grit of the matter.
The news/jazz programming at WDUQ has been largely successful. The station has twice the audience of the other two public radio outlets in Pittsburgh. The jazz format has attracted a diverse audience, one that would vanish if the station underwent an abrupt change of format.
Pittsburgh has a storied history of jazz performers and venues. WDUQ serves as a constant reminder of that legacy.
My question is: Will WDUQ continue to serve the public in this region or will it suffer the fate of so many of the "cookie-cutter" radio stations whose purpose it is to meet monthly income projections?
That begs another question: Why fix what isn't broken?
The writer has been play-by-play announcer for the Pitt Panthers since 1974 and the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1994.
Save our jazz
We all know jazz is a true American art form. It is the soul of great American cities. From New Orleans, where it was born, to Chicago, Kansas City, New York and Pittsburgh, where it grew up. We could name-drop all the great famous people who came from or played and created jazz in our city.
If we lose our jazz radio station, WDUQ, it would be devastating to the jazz community in Pittsburgh. DUQ is the backbone that keeps jazz alive and musicians working in this city.
I've been playing jazz in Pittsburgh for more than 50 years, and I'm blown away by the new generation of talent here. Some of this talent is second- and third-generation. I've worked with their fathers and even grandfathers.
WDUQ showcases their talents. If we lose jazz radio, it may mean the end of jazz in Pittsburgh as we know it.
And the sad thing is we wouldn't lose WDUQ because its radio programming was unsuccessful. WDUQ is the most listened-to public station in the market, and the station most supported by its listeners. So please, save WDUQ and keep jazz alive and well in Pittsburgh.