"I cross-referenced them with the complaints I got for adding it," he said. "I was getting complaints from some of the same people."
He said WVPR has tried to strike a balance between carrying classical music and carrying what appeals to the average public radio listener.
"We've actually increased our local classical music content," Muhammad said. "We're playing more things that are appealing to a broader base of listeners, fewer harder-to-listen-to contemporary works and we're not shying away from popular works.
"That's helping. Jim Lange is doing a great job with that."
Lange is the host of WVPR's "Music in the Afternoon."
Muhammad said that while other public radio stations around the country are abandoning classical music in favor of more news and talk programming, he believes WVPR needed to hold onto classical music for now. In other states and other radio markets, radio listeners have greater access to classical music. In West Virginia they don't.
However, with the opera, Muhammad said he couldn't justify continuing to broadcast a full year of opera programming --at least, not with the same schedule.
Muhammad said WVPR would add the Houston Grand Opera from the American Opera Series, beginning in October. The show would be broadcast Tuesday evenings.
"Also, we are working to bring back the West Virginia Symphony series this fall."
Still, Muhammad was unsure as to what the fate would be for the Metropolitan Opera Series on WVPR, which finishes May 5th and usually returns in December.
"I've made no decision on the Met," he said. "But the audience for the Met -- it's not doing well."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.