Friday roundup: WYPR union bid fails; stations plan to add news, cut classical

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• A bid to unionize workers at Baltimore’s WYPR-FM has failed, according to the Baltimore City Paper. The union conceded defeat after the National Labor Relations Board upheld management’s challenge to the inclusion of two on-air hosts in the bargaining unit. “We are disheartened by management’s decision to spend significant station resources to undermine our democratic effort,” said the union organizing committee. “We hope they will commit as fully to making measurable improvements to the workplace and supporting the production staff.”

He's tired of the charade. (Photo: Brighterorange via Wikimedia Commons)

He’s tired of the charade. (Photo: Brighterorange via Wikimedia Commons)

• Two more public radio stations are poised to drop classical music from their midday schedules. In Atlanta, WABE plans to replace six hours daily of classical music with news and arts programming, reports Creative Loafing. The change comes several months after Georgia Public Broadcasting took over Atlanta’s student-run WRAS during daytime hours, replacing music with news as well. “. . . To be frank, I can’t tell you [GPB’s entry into Atlanta’s market] had no effect,” WABE Chief Operating Officer John Weatherford told the paper. “It did something that hadn’t been done before.”

Meanwhile, KBIA in Columbia, Mo., has bought an FM signal from Stephens College in Columbia and will move classical programming to the new station after the purchase gets FCC approval. After the change, KBIA will air news/talk programming from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. The move will leave some listeners without a classical service due to the smaller coverage area of the 1,250-watt KWWC. “What we want to be in the community is a station that you can rely on for news all day,” said KBIA Director Michael Dunn.

• Should KBIA’s bereft classical listeners be able to turn to an app for their music fix? Joe Goetz, music director at WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., and classical radio blogger, thinks so. Writing at Scanning the Dial, Goetz revisits a discussion at September’s Public Radio Program Directors conference (which we also covered) about the prospects for a public media classical music app. “Can it be done?  I believe it can,” he writes. “In all honesty, the only thing standing in the way is…ourselves.”

• The secret is out: “Ira Glass Exhausted From Doing Every Single Voice On ‘This American Life.'” “Glass, who never digitally alters his vocal performances, relies on time-consuming manual techniques to shape the sounds on his program, such as speaking into a Styrofoam cup to mimic the degraded sound quality of a secret tape recording for a recent segment on the relationship between Wall Street bankers and federal regulators,” according to, yes, The Onion.