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Group challenges WGBH programming

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A local media advocacy group calling itself The Committee for Community Access has filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission, asking it to deny renewal of WGBH-FM’s broadcast license, which comes up for review this spring, as it does every 10 years. Alternatively, CCA wants the radio station to restore music programming — jazz, classical, folk, blues — that since 2009 it has either cut back or shifted to sister station WCRB 99.5-FM. CCA cofounder Jack Bernstein , a retired telecom analyst for the City of Boston, says WGBH’s switch to primarily talk and news shows duplicates what’s available on public radio station WBUR 90.9-FM or commercial radio. “We expect to be turned down,” Bernstein admitted Monday. Nevertheless, his supporters hope to persuade WGBH trustees to reevaluate their decision to trim music programming from the home station, with its more powerful broadcast signal, and look elsewhere for listeners. CCA’s petition was filed March 4. WGBH’s response is due April 3. “We have had many conversations with Mr. Bernstein about his personal programming preferences,” WGBH spokesperson Jeanne Hopkins said in an e-mail Monday, “and we are not surprised that he is now sharing his preferences with the FCC as well. We’ll respond to the FCC, too.”

Joseph P. Kahn can be reached at jkahn@globe.com.
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