Editor’s Note on Miami Herald dropping classical coverage
As regular South Florida Classical Review readers know, since this website was launched in 2008 we have had a relationship with the Miami Herald wherein nearly all of the newspaper’s classical coverage was provided by SFCR. That collegial syndication arrangement worked well for both sides for the past eight years.
Last year the Herald began cutting back drastically on the number of articles and reviews they picked up from SFCR. At the beginning of this 2016-17 music season I was informed that due to space limitations and lack of freelance money, the Herald has decided to drop its classical music coverage entirely, and would not be carrying classical reviews from SFCR or any other source. Except for a preview about a New World Symphony chamber concert of Pulitzer Prize winners last fall, the Herald hasn’t run any classical articles or reviews for the past four months.
It’s not a surprise that the day has finally come when no newspaper in South Florida is doing even minimal classical music coverage. I had a close-up view of the deteriorating situation as the Herald’s classical music critic, one of the first staff positions that the paper cut in the economic downturn of 2008. I started South Florida Classical Review at that time to fill the looming void; it just took a few years longer to happen than I thought.
I have no doubt the Miami Herald is being genuine about the lack of space and available freelance money being the primary reasons for x-ing out classical coverage. As media observers know, the Herald is only the latest newspaper to eliminate classical music in the past decade.
But even in these straitened times for print journalism, zeroing out classical music coverage also reflects a paper’s priorities and whether they are serious about maintaining a genuine commitment to the fine arts.
As with many newspapers today, I’ve been told that the Herald’s allocation of freelance resources is now based almost entirely on how many website clicks an article receives. So, by that criteria, the paper believes that they are serving their readers better with more articles about where to get a mojito on Ocean Drive than about a chamber concert in Coral Gables.
While I obviously disagree with their decision, there are no hard feelings on this side and I want to thank the past and present Herald editors I’ve dealt with over the last several years–Kathy Martin, Kendall Hamersly and Margaria Fichtner–for their integrity and professionalism.
Most importantly, I want to emphasize to all of our readers and supportive advertisers that South Florida Classical Review is not going anywhere. As with our other sites in New York, Chicago, Boston, Texas and Washington, as long as we enjoy sufficient advertising support, we will continue our comprehensive, high-quality coverage of the tri-county classical music scene, from Palm Beach to Coral Gables.
A happy, healthy and prosperous 2017 to all!
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Thu Jan 5, 2017
at 3:35 pm