As part of a deal finalized Thursday (June 16), the 20 full- and part-time employees of WDUQ FM in Pittsburgh are terminated effective June 30, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Duquesne University is turning over control of the station to Essential Public Media, a joint venture between WYEP-FM and Public Media Co. (a new subsidiary of Public Radio Capital). Two employees, interim General Manager Fred Serino and Business Manager Vicky Rumpf, will remain through the transition.
with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer . . .
EPM Strikes Out
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Jazzville fans that day:
Their radio station sold, with no more music left to play
And then when Yacovone retired, and Plaskett retired too,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of DUQ.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only somehow the Jazzers could get but a whack at that –
We’d put up even money, now, with Jazzers at the bat.
But Hanley’d left the station, as had also “Johnson John,”
And Cardamone was a lulu and Ferraro woebegone;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Jazzers getting to the bat.
But Dick Roberts issued a release, to the wonderment of all,
Said Jazzers, though much despis-ed, wouldn’t have to lose it all;
And when the dust had lifted, and the folks saw what had occurred,
There was to be jazz on Saturday night, displayed like a polished turd.
Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Jazzers, angry Jazzers, weren’t satisfied with that.
There was ease in the Jazzers’ manner as they put their plan in place;
There was pride in the Jazzers’ bearing and a smile on their collective face.
And when, responding to the jeers, YEP locked its Facebook page,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt the depth of Jazzers’ rage.
Ten thousand eyes were on them as they hurled a little dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded and cried they would be hurt.
Then while the scheming Humphrey ground their DUQ to dust,
Defiance gleamed in the Jazzers’ eyes, for them, it’s “Jazz or Bust!”
And now the boycott’s taken flight, from Facebook friend to friend,
And Jazzers vow to battle on until the bitter end.
Close by their trusty radios, they heard Bob Studebaker’s voice,
Saying “Two more weeks of jazz to go,” but it’s clear that’s not by choice.
From Pittsburgh, from the suburbs, and beyond, came a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill Charlie Humphrey!” shouted someone taking a stand;
And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Tony raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Tony’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade that life go on;
He made plans to retire, and once more the Jazzers knew;
That EPM’d ignored them, and the public said, “Strike two.”
“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Oliphant and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that cultural fascists wouldn’t let jazz play again.
The sneer is gone from the Jazzers’ lips, their teeth are clenched in hate;
They bristle at the notion that elitists command their fate.
And so the Jazzers fight the fight, but the ball’s not in their court
“Six hours of jazz is plenty! You should be happy” was Grant’s retort.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
A jazz band’s playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light
And somewhere folks are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there’ll be no joy in Jazzville – if the Jazzers’ cause strikes out.
So pack up your DUQ coffee mug and mail it to EPM,
And send those folks the message that you’ll not be supporting them
Until they play the music that fills Jazzville with so much cheer.
And if they do not like it, they should cry into their (donated) beer.
Fred Serino is a rock, and if the new organization doesn’t hire him to head development operations, they’re crazy.