Sadly, Mr. Walker passed away a couple of years ago, and no one else is the same for me. But his exit was natural. Mr. Bamberger’s was something else:
“In the likely (and understandable) event you were watching the Caps play tonight instead of listening to HJSN, I wanted to share with you that WAMU announced earlier this evening a slate of upcoming program changes. Among them is the cancellation of Hot Jazz Saturday Night. My last broadcast will be on June 23rd. You can find a link to the station’s press release on the home page, www.wamu.org.
The station will be moving LIVE FROM HERE, the successor to A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, to air 8:00-10:00, followed by LIVE WIRE, at 10:00 P.M. Judy Carmichael’s JAZZ INSPIRED will be replaced with an additional hour of news from the BBC.
If you wish to hear my comment from this evening’s program, it begins roughly ten minutes into the final hour. The program stream should be available tomorrow. I will try to arrange for it to be excerpted, with a separate link, on Monday.
I am seeing so many wonderful expressions of sorrow and support. Thank you all.”
A unique local program, one that has actively supported the local jazz scene, has been replaced by canned content. Public radio content, but canned, nonetheless.
Certainly this decision was financial, but listeners have supported this station, ad specifically this program, for years. I understand, it’s a business. Even public radio. But I am also making a business decision. I’m done with WAMU. The national programming I can get from WV Public Broadcasting, and the public affairs doesn’t interest me. “Hot Jazz Saturday Night” was my reason for continuing to listen. You have told me you don’t need me.
So be it.
Rob Bamberger, thank you for your time and your talent. I still remember seeing you at the Starland Café listening to Brooks Tegler’s group. DC jazz royalty. As a jazz fan and mediocre musician, I thank you for all you have done to promote jazz of the 20s, 30s and 40s, as well as the modern artists who dedicate themselves to that sound, and the local jazz scene.
You will be missed.