ASK THE ADVOCATE: Classical music

Why is there no FM radio station dedicated to playing only classical music in the Baton Rouge metro area?

Response from WRKF-FM 89.3 President David Gordon:

As our listeners know, WRKF is an ardent supporter of classical music, as well as several other genres like jazz, blues, zydeco, folk and big band that fall outside of what our industry considers commercial formats. Indeed, we take great pride in the fact that publicly supported radio is one of the few remaining places to hear those musical styles.

The Baton Rouge area’s loyalty to classical music is impressive. Even so, the appeal is very narrow, especially when compared to the entire market. It’s difficult from both a logistical and financial standpoint for broadcasters to dedicate themselves entirely to a format with a rather limited demand. WRKF has tried to provide large weekday blocks of classical music programming over the years, so we’re familiar with those difficulties firsthand. In fact, since we made news and information our driving format in 2010, we have seen local support for WRKF

increase by 25 percent.

That said, public radio still offers access to classical music, along with the other styles I mentioned. Every Sunday WRKF offers NPR’s ‘From the Top’ and our locally produced programs featuring live performances by the LSU School of Music, the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Louisiana Sinfonietta. And every Saturday WRKF’s programs span a wide range of musical styles with ‘American Routes’ with Nick Spitzer and our own ‘Hootenanny Power’ with Taylor Caffery.

License plates

In what year did the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles start issuing the current license plates with three alpha and three numeric characters and what happens when we get to ZZZ 999? Is there an estimate when that will happen?

Response from Michelle Rayburn of the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles

In 1993, Louisiana started issuing the current alpha numeric plates. We have approximately two years left of the current license plates. The plan is to change the format to three numeric and three alpha characters.