By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Mar 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Monday's column on Milwaukee's media offerings prompted a comment that comes in from time to time: "How sad that in all of these choices we can't, as we once could, offer a few jazz and classical music outlets."

While there are no traditional Milwaukee-based broadcast outlets offering  jazz or classical music, there are countless way to listen to as much of either type of music -- or even less commercial genres -- through a number of different technologies.

Let's look at classical music. You can, in fact, get a 24/7 classical music channel from a radio in Milwaukee, as long as it's an HD radio. Wisconsin Public Radio is offering a second channel of programming at WHAD-FM (90.7) if you buy one of the new radios. 

I've always been hesitant to recommend HD radio, although the prices have come down dramatically. The radio business (including the public radio side of the business) continue to embrace it as a way of competing with satellite radio, but the public hasn't embraced it. Still, it's an alternative.

But millions of serious radio listeners have embraced satellite radio.

And the merged Sirius/XM satellite radio seems to have overcome the economic woes connected with the long-delayed merger. Whether you have Sirius or XM programming, there are multiple choices of classical programming.

If you're already a monthly subscriber to Time Warner Cable's digital service, you have access to "Classical Masterpieces" on Channel 940 and "Light Classical" on Channel 941, as part of the Music Choice array of audio programming.

Of course, if you're reading, you're already hooked up with a programming source: the Internet. Google "classical music radio" and you'll find countless choices, from local stations around the world to Internet-only sites.

No, none of these is a traditional local radio station. But with the changes rocking all levels of media, that shouldn't be a surprise.

This isn't about Milwaukee and any supposed lack of culture around here. Both jazz and classical radio are niche formats with small, but loyal audiences. As the business model for radio changes, they become harder to support -- even on public radio.

Despite that gloomy situation,  the varying forms of "radio" make it easier than ever to find what you're looking for.

Goin' down to Austin: WYMS-FM (89.9) is focusing like a laser beam on the South by Southwest music festival, sending deejay Tarik Moody and producer Adam Carr to follow the 11 Milwaukee bands and artists performing there.

Recorded pieces from the pair are airing every other hour through Friday on the station that calls itself 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. They're live on the phone today and tomorrow at 4 p.m. And you can find their pieces at the station's South-By-Southwest blog.

As long as we're talking about the quirky non-commercial station, it starts its spring on-air fund drive on Monday. The drive runs through March 26, with premiums for donors. Regular music programming continues, despite those pleas for cash.

On TV: reports Jim Gaffigan is leaving TBS' "My Boys," and concentrate on his stand-up comedy career. The comedian is a Hoosier, but he has strong local ties, thanks to his Milwaukee-born wife, Jeannie Noth.

  • NBC says it will air a traditional non-celeb version of "The Apprentice" next fall, in case you were wondering.
  • Fox has ordered a third season of Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares."
  • Some interesting numbers from Nielsen Media Research show 14.5 percent of Super Bowl viewers were on-line at the same time, and 13.3 percent of Academy Awards viewers were simultaneously on their computers. Not surprisingly, those percentages are up from last year.
  • The New York Times' Bill Carter is reporting that ABC is near to a deal with CNN's Christiane Amanpour to take the main chair on "This Week."

The president and Fox News: You know the full-court press is on when Barack Obama sits down with Fox News Channel to push his health-care plan.

Here's a good chunk of the president's contentious interview with Bret Baier, which aired on Wednesday. 

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.