WJHU finds jazz draws better than classical


October 23, 1990|By Steve McKerrow


* Could you call it a duel to the downbeat? Radio station WJHU-FM 88.1, currently in the midst of a "quiet drive" fund-raiser, is finding jazz fans contributing at a greater rate than classical music lovers.

"Traditionally, jazz doesn't do that well in public radio," says marketing director Janice Bross. In fact, what is arguably America's unique contribution to the world's music was rarely heard on WJHU for a lengthy period earlier this year and last, until numerous programming changes at the financially strapped station were instituted in July.

Jazz came back in July on a nightly show hosted by Andy Bienstock, from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. And on day two of the "quiet drive," the jazz show drew $985 in pledges compared to just $365 raised in a four-hour afternoon period of classical music. When the juicier jazz returns were mentioned on the air, says Bross, a man walked into the station's Charles Street offices and offered to make a $150 contribution if classical music buffs would counter the jazz trend with matching money.

* Having struck out twice in recent seasons with pretty good series which not enough people watched -- first the comedy "Frank's Place" and then the light drama "Snoops" last year -- Tim and Daphne Maxwell Reid are trying talk.

The married actors host "Tim & Daphne," a show-biz oriented, hour-long weekday talk show which premiered this week at 11 a.m. daily on WMAR-Channel 2.

Bumped from the schedule by the new show were NBC's "To Tell the Truth" game show revival and the half-hour "Marsha Warfield" talk show.

* Once upon a time, it was enough to just put movies on television. Now, films run more often as a part of a bigger themed package. Take tonight's "Running Scared," at 8 on WNUV-Channel 54.

From 1986, the movie is an undistinguished buddy-cops flick starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. But in the context of Channel 54's promotional packaging, it becomes part of "Saturday Night Live Goes to the Movies."

You see, Crystal spent several seasons on NBC's "SNL" repertory comedy show and thus is the thematic element. Last night, "SNL" alumni Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short were in "Three Amigos," and the Wednesday through Friday lineup brings "48 HRS" (Eddie Murphy), "Modern Problems" (Chase again) and "Dr. Detroit" (Dan Aykroyd).

* It is emotionally troubling, but "Gunplay: The Last Day in the Life of Brian Darling," makes a powerful point. Darling was a 10-year-old boy killed in a handgun accident, and his father John introduces the show and offers gun safety tips. The second striking gun control documentary on the HBO cable service this year, it can be seen at 7:30 tonight

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