Paula Myrick Short, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Houston
Dear Vice President Short,
The actions of Lisa Shumate yesterday are causing a backlash against Houston Public Media, as you are no doubt aware. I and untold numbers of others have cancelled our memberships due to the unceremonious dismissals of people that just made extraordinary efforts in the fundraising campaign. Promises of continued, improved multi-modal support for the Houston arts community ring hollow on the back of canceling The Front Row and instead relaying music programmed elsewhere.
Classical music fans are extremely spoiled today: three dedicated satellite radio channels; almost limitless options online via internet radio stations and services like Spotify and Pandora; cars that can play anything from an iPod…virtually the entire classical catalog is available instantly. To differentiate itself in this consumer paradise, KUHA has a golden opportunity: offering 24/7 access to the Houston arts scene. Live and recorded music from the Moores School alone could fill several hours each day without repeating. Add in The Front Row and programming the Shepherd School, HGO, HSO, and the many professional ensembles and choral groups that call Houston home, and you have a complete schedule that will never run dry.
Houston Public Media, as demonstrated by Lisa Shumate yesterday, is neither Houston nor Public. I urge you to replace her with someone that understands the true potential of 91.7, and to restore the employees she has let go.
Joe Carl White
former KUHA member and listener