On The End of WTMI 93.1 Classical FM in Miami

Miami’s beloved WTMI 93.1 Classical FM goes… techno-dance?! Yes. I heard it with my own ears. The last classical music work broadcast on 93.1 was Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony: a great choice to close 30 years (less the Cox years) of great broadcast music.

At noon some idiotic pre-taped announcement making light of the speculation of the format change was broadcast. When the “dance” music started (no, not Weber, Tchaikovsky, Delibes or even Stravinsky), I shook my head in disgust and promptly removed EVERY pre-set on EVERY radio in the house and in my cars that read “93.1”.

WTMI was a formidable friend and ally in my discovery and love of classical music. I heard my first opera on WTMI in 1973 — almost 30 years ago! It was La Boheme with Freni, Pavarotti, Karajan and the BPO when the set was released by Decca; it’s still my favorite version.

I am glad Alan Corbett a/k/a Alvis Sherouse is not with us to see this abomination.

In my heart of hearts I always knew that it would be a matter of time before Cox Broadcasting dropped the classical format. The current owners know nothing about classical music, nor do they care one whit about it. I stopped listening almost as soon as the change took place: WTMI became the “Johann Strauss” station, playing “light classics,” bad Broadway, and insipid jazz. Do you all remember the great jazz they broadcast after Midnight with my friend China Valles in the good old days? At least Marlin Broadcasting knew how to program the stuff.

My biggest concern is where to listen to the Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. That really ticks me off. I guess I will have to find an Internet stream and give their advertisers my dollars. I certainly hope that another classical station will appear (Woody Tanger, take note!) or that WLRN 91.3 picks up the slack and adds some of the excellent classical programming that National Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio produce.

Finally, a message to the folks at Cox Broadcasting. While you have every right as owners of this radio property to do what you will with it, you have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you are liliputian music programmers and gargantuan idiots. Your lack of taste and culture, as well as your disdain of the loyal, dedicated — almost rabid — classical music fan base in South Florida, proves the adage that making a lot of money doesn’t necessarily make you smarter. Your greed for more profits from the “ecstasy” and “crystal meth” crowd shows how morally, culturally and capitalistically bankrupt you truly are. I will begin to stream as many broadcasts as I can that I enjoy that are carried locally by Cox Broadcasting. I will never listen to any of the stations you have in South Florida again. You are the Taliban of music radio in South Florida.

And, if you are offended by the comparison… good!

Requiescat in pacem, WTMI 93.1. You will be missed.

About The Mighty Thunderer

We write about music, audio, and technology. Like the namesake of this blog, Ludwig van Beethoven, we are hammer of polite society. We will point out the absurd and educate on the sublime...
This entry was posted in Classical Music, Recordings. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On The End of WTMI 93.1 Classical FM in Miami

  1. On Saturday 11PM in the Boston area, WBUR plays “Con Salsa”. It's a great collection of Afro/Latin/Caribbean Jazz. The first time I heard it, I thought immediately of China Valles and his “China Gate” show on WTMI back in the '90s. I used to live in Ft. Lauderdale and would often be up on my 8th floor tiled unfurnished apartment overlooking the intracoastal and would turn it up just before midnight. When that song started up, with the voices singing “China Gaaaaaaate”, it sounded SO GOOD echoing throughout the apartment. Anyway, it had been a year since I thought about those days but tonight I remembered it again while listening to a local station playing some good jazz. I decided: MUST SEE IF WTMI AND CHINA GATE IS STILL AROUND. I was really hoping to find maybe a podcast of it in this day and age so I could listen to it up here. Sadly, I discovered it's gone. I found your blog and your entry about it. Very sad. I'm depressed. I'm afraid I'll never hear China Valles' raspy voice and that great intro song. I wonder if Beebop Bob Rebowski is still playing tunes somewhere as well? Do you know where i can hear great stuff like the stuff that was played on China Gate? And another thing… what WAS that song for China Gate? I can't find it…


  2. Joe Cutroni says:

    I was living in South Florida at the time WTMI “went off the air” with their classical format, and I listened to it until the bery moment it ended. The moment I heard dance music, I shut it off and I too removed it from my presets.

    What a sad day that was!


  3. Pingback: Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) – The Mighty Thunderer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s