A survey of 505 public radio stations from 2001 through 2010 indicates that a fifth of them abandoned classical music formats during those years. Many also let go of jazz, and even more discarded world music during the same time period. The statistics were submitted to the Federal Communications Commission by National Public Radio in October.
“During this time, we saw decreases in classical music (down 20%), jazz music (down 15%), and world music (down 30%) and increases in eclectic music programming (up 54%), popular music (19%) and news programming (up 27%),” NPR wrote to the FCC.
More recently the downturn in classical music on public radio has been less pronounced. Surveys in 2006 and 2010 of the full 1057 public radio stations in the United States indicate that the decline from mid-decade to the present has slowed down, dropping by three percentage points, from 27 to 24 percent.
But the basic trend continues: more news, more pop, less classical, world music, and jazz.