As a longtime Pittsburgh jazz vocalist and lover of jazz I was quite saddened to hear of the decision of Duquesne University to sell WDUQ Radio. I have found their format of jazz and news to be a most wonderful mix for our city. Its ratings apparently show that I was not the only listener who felt that way. In that ‘DUQ’ has for many years been the leader in jazz in this market, any significant loss of jazz at 90.5 FM would, in so many ways, be a death knell for the life of jazz in the region.
Pittsburgh has already lost its only AM/FM R&B station, WAMO. To now have its major jazz station possibly on the precipice of extinction is yet another blow to the landscape of Pittsburgh music. Over the years WDUQ has provided a great public service to jazz fans and to jazz musicians by frequently informing its listeners with the location of clubs and restaurants which featured area jazz artists, along with the times of their performances, something which I’m sure was indeed beneficial to the Pittsburgh economy. Our city and WDUQ—90.5 FM have been blessed to have some of the most pleasant on-air personalities in Pittsburgh with the golden voices of Tony Mowod, Founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, and Bob Studebaker, and the warmth of Helen Wigger, all of whom I would hope the new 90.5 will retain!
(Tim Stevens is a vocalist and community activist.)