Classical radio gets abolished in New Zealand

Classical radio gets abolished in New Zealand


norman lebrecht

February 06, 2020

Radio New Zealand’s excellent Concert Program has been reduced to a recorded AM broadcast in a swinge of budget cuts.  All the station’s presenters, interviews and live programmes are to be abolished.

One musician hailed the NZ sbroadcaster as ‘a beacon of excellence’ and ‘a model of interesting programming.’

No more.


  • Will Duffay says:

    Just wait: when the Tories hobble the BBC and flog bits of it off, Radio 3 will die. It surely cannot survive as a commercial station (except by sounding like Classic FM).

  • Non-antiquated says:

    What’s the “radio” you speak of? Is it something from the 20th Century?

    • Brettermeier says:

      “What’s the “radio” you speak of? Is it something from the 20th Century?”

      There’s a difference between content and the way it is distributed, you know. The 20th Century radio will still be around, even if the 21th Century content is cut (which cannot be streamed either, as it’s no longer being produced.)

    • Tanya says:

      Yes, it’s served many people well for about a century. It’s something that, for example, lets you know when you and your house are in danger from an extreme weather event when mobile transmission towers have been destroyed by fire, wind or ice and your mobile is flat because there’s no power to charge it. Oldie but goodie.

    • fflambeau says:

      “What’s the “radio” you speak of? Is it something from the 20th Century?”

      I listen to several classical FM stations that now have their product on the Internet and can be heard world-wide. The fact is, that most radio stations have kept up with the times and present wonderful information.

      One such station: WFMT from Chicago: available world-wide on the Internet. Another is Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) also online. Another is the American Radio Network (online) Lots of people support these stations for good reasons. They are not dinosaurs unlike your dinosaur dropping.

  • Helen Baumer says:

    What a shame! The Concert Programme was excellent!

  • Loraine says:

    It’s not gone yet; we’re fighting it ❤️

  • Drazen says:

    It is not about “budget cuts” this time. Please read how RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson and music content director Willy Macalister “explain the move”

    I find the attitude: “Genre is no longer relevant to the audience” dangerously close to “Entartete Musik”
    Anything even percieved as valued by so-called baby-boomers is despised.

    Sadly, this is not limited to “Kulturwüste Neuseeland”. We are just “World leaders introducing game changing disruptional paradigm-shift”.

    Nikolaus Harnoncourt saw it coming and persistently kept warning us abut this pattern of cultural degradation.

    Yes, some of us are trying to reverse this “move”. Helen Clark among us.

  • Jenny Hughes says:

    As an expatriate Kiwi, I am shocked that RNZ has abolished the Concert program.

    We have an excellent national classical music station in Australia and it’s really sad that NZ has one no longer.

  • Fiddlist says:

    It’s actually not even budget cuts – RNZ is planning on replacing the Concert channel with something more “youth-oriented” on the FM band.

    The changes are said to begin in May, and a lot of people are fighting it, so one can hold out a bit of hope, however slim..