Purring Along at WFMT | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Purring Along at WFMT



To the editors:

While I have the greatest respect for my colleague Studs Terkel, I disagree with his assessment that "WFMT is now a wounded cat, limping along" and that "it will never again leap as high as it once did" [Letters, September 18].

News Flash . . . The cat lives! It does not limp and it does not just maintain. It proudly--but humbly--moves forward with a dedicated and talented staff that leaps far and reaches higher than ever. In the past 12 months alone there were world-premiere performances on WFMT of Shulamit Ran's and Jan Bach's 40th-anniversary commissions and a celebration in City Council by proclamation.

There were 300 enthusiastic callers one weekend last spring, inquiring where to hear WFMT's Lyric Opera of Chicago rebroadcasts in their hometowns around the country. There was in May a rich monthlong presentation of French culture through music, word, and song. There was in June a reaffirmation of WFMT's technical excellence when Sony Corporation again chose WFMT to demonstrate, for the first time in the world, their new recordable compact disc and playback equipment.

There was in January the inauguration of the WFMT Fine Arts Circle, a listener member group, on which 6,000 now rely for news and programming information about WFMT. There was in October the introduction of the WFMT Ideas Network, which began distributing significant spoken word programming such as "Speakers Corner" and "City Arts of San Francisco" to more than 175 radio markets nationwide.

There was in September the Marconi Radio Award for "Best Classical Station in the Country," given by the National Association of Broadcasters. In March the critically acclaimed "Chicago Theatres on the Air" series brought 14 Chicago-area drama companies to live audiences and national radio audiences over WFMT. And the University of Chicago Centennial series profiled spectacular concerts and lectures taped by WFMT over four decades at the U. of C.

No, the cat is not limping. It's preparing for the next high leap. And it's packing oxygen for the altitude, just in case.

Jon Kavanaugh

Corporate Communication Manager


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