No More Shabbat on the Radio
Public ownership kills New York’s weekly broadcast
At 8 p.m. tonight, the New York Times Company will hand ownership of its 75-year-old classical music station, WQXR, to the local public radio station, WNYC. For classical music fans, the switch means tuning to a new frequency—105.9 FM, instead of 96.3—but for Jewish listeners, it means the beginning of the end for the station’s decades-old weekly Friday night broadcast of Shabbat services from Temple Emanu-El, the Reform bastion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. WNYC spokeswoman Jennifer Houlihan said that WQXR will discontinue all of its religious programming—which also includes Sunday-morning church services—as of January 1, 2010, in accordance with the station’s policy on nonsectarian broadcasting. The synagogue, which will continue streaming services on its website, is still hoping to find another broadcast outlet, but administrative vice-president Mark Weisstuch tells Tablet Magazine that, as of now, “we have not met with much success in finding an alternative radio home.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.