Scribner Refuses to Retract False Morning Pro Musica Info
by Glenn M. Heller
"A Plea for Classical Music" is the title given
to a poignant letter-to-the-editor published in The Berkshire Eagle
this past Tuesday, June 6th. It is signed by Great Barrington resident
Helen E. Radin. (To read Ms. Radin's letter,
Just beneath the letter, The Eagle inserts an "editor's note"
proclaiming: "Robert J. Lurtsema's "Morning Pro Musica" program
is no longer on the air because the host is ill and his program has been
terminated." The Eagle note goes on to state: "WAMC
still offers 10 hours of classical music on weekends, 11 a.m. to noon and
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"Editor's Note" is False
It turns out that The Eagle "editor's note" is factually incorrect.
Incorrect enough to mislead Eagle readers and WAMC listeners
and classical music devotees into believing that Morning Pro Musica
is simply no longer available for broadcast, and that WAMC is no
longer able even to receive the program from its producer to broadcast
to the WAMC radio audience.
Morning Pro Musica-Alive and Well in Boston
WGBH in Boston, a major production house for radio and television
programming for both National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting
System, is the long-time producer of Morning Pro Musica.
According to Leah Hollenberger, director of media relations for WGBH,
Pro Musica is still very much in production, definitely still on-the-air,
with the same fine selection of music as always, and available for those
radio stations wishing to broadcast the program to any audience in any
radio market outside Boston.
David Scribner, Editor-in-Chief of The Berkshire Eagle, and
a good friend of Eagle columnist Alan S. Chartock, WAMC-FM's
chairman and executive director, was contacted by telephone at The Eagle
Wednesday afternoon and alerted to the misinformation published in Tuesday's
newspaper as well as to WGBH's official statement contradicting
Eagle's faulty allegation in its "editor's note".
Mr. Scribner was notified that the program presently being offered by
is still called Morning Pro Musica and is hosted by a substitute
host in Mr. Lurtsema's absence, and that this program is indeed still in
production, with the same type of music as before Mr. Lurtsema's departure,
and is still broadcast over WGBH-FM in Boston and available for
Mr. Scribner's response was that he disagreed with WGBH's statement
and that as far as he was concerned, the program known as Morning Pro
Musica "was cancelled", no longer produced, no longer being broadcast
on-the-air, and that an entirely "different musical program with another
host" is being offered by WGBH in its stead.
Scribner Still Doesn't Get It
When it was clarified yet a second time to Mr. Scribner that the show's
own producers refuted him and that his information was simply not correct,
Mr. Scribner categorically refused to acknowledge WGBH's statement
as being factually accurate. Even when offered Ms. Hollenberger's
telephone number at WGBH, Mr. Scribner refused to agree to contact
the organization to check out the veracity of his "facts" and whether he
might be wrong.
He stated that he was standing by the "extensive knowledge" of his editors
and by the statements made by those editors, and by what they wrote, and
that he would "not print any retraction or correction".
Scribner a Regular Guest on WAMC Shows
Mr. Scribner has often appeared as a guest on various WAMC-produced
shows, appearing many times with host Mr. Chartock as a panelist on The
Media Project. He has also appeared on The Round Table and on
a listener call-in program Vox Pop.
Morning Pro Musica also on the Internet
Ms. Hollenberger says that Morning Pro Musica airs over WGBH
89.7 FM in Boston on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7 A.M. till
12 Noon with Doug Brisco acting as substitute host for the program during
Robert J. Lurtsema's leave of absence. She says that during these weekend
over-the-air broadcasts, MPM can also be heard simultaneously over
Internet website, via streaming audio, by logging onto www.wgbh.org,
the official website of WGBH.