Pittsburgh jazz fans object to WDUQ format change

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A group of community leaders and jazz fans working to preserve music programming on Pittsburgh’s WDUQ, the NPR News and jazz station that has been in ownership limbo for more than a year, asked the FCC to delay the proposed license transfer to Essential Public Media (EPM), according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The expectant owner recently announced plans to convert 90.5 FM into an all-news station and move all but six hours of jazz programming to an HD Radio channel. Evan Pattak, chair of Jazz Lives in Pittsburgh, recently described the format change as “draconian” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “From 100 hours [a week] to six — it’s a blow to this city’s cultural and artistic diversity. I can’t imagine any jazz fan who would find it acceptable,” he said. The FCC’s window for accepting public comments on the proposed sale closes this week; EPM plans to begin broadcasting on 90.5 FM under different call letters on July 1.