In 2011, when WDUQ transformed into WESA, a group of WDUQ employees got together and formed PubMusic under the leadership and direction of Chuck Leavens. Their Pittsburgh Jazz Channel has taken off attracting former ‘DUQ listeners to the web to hear their beloved jazz format.
Leavens told the Post-Gazette, “We were a work family. There was no turnover. It wasn’t just a job. It was something that we all believed in deeply. Sticking together like this has been a tremendous opportunity to take it further.”
The format, which is programmed by former ‘DUQ GM Dave Becker is designed to attract both the jazz aficionado and the casual listener.
PubMusic is working on developing other formats including jazz vocals and blues. Several public stations have started using the programming to complement NPR news or classical music formats. Meanwhile, WESA continues the use of JazzWorks which it acquired when it purchased the station. But some of JazzWorks’ affiliates have plans to switch to PubMusic when their contracts run out.
Right now many of the air staffers are working for nothing but will begin to be paid as the service grows. The project is made possible exclusively by listener support.