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Saving N. Korea concert for later

KCET viewers must wait until May to see the New York Philharmonic's performance.

February 27, 2008|Chris Pasles | Times Staff Writer

The New York Philharmonic's historic and controversial performance in North Korea on Tuesday night was seen by far more than the approximately 2,000 people in attendance.

The concert was broadcast live internationally by Korean Central Television, and a tape-delayed version was scheduled to air Tuesday night in the New York area on public TV channel Thirteen/WNET. Many other PBS affiliate stations across the county will broadcast it Thursday night.

Los Angeles viewers who rely on public TV station KCET, however, will have to wait until May.

According to a KCET executive, logistical problems simply precluded its being shown any earlier.

"Unfortunately, we didn't have any information until mid-February for this end-of-February broadcast, and our schedule was long set," Mary Mazur, KCET executive vice president of programming and production, said Tuesday.

"We don't have a big advertising budget," Mazur said. "That's one of the dilemmas I'm in. You have this fabulous show and you know it will not get the attention it deserves because you don't have the capacity to tell anyone to watch it.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, February 28, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 39 words Type of Material: Correction
New York Philharmonic concert: An article in Wednesday's Calendar section about the New York Philharmonic performing in North Korea said KUSC-FM (91.5) would broadcast the concert at 4 p.m. Saturday. The concert will be broadcast at 4 p.m. Sunday.

"People get very angry when we change our schedule. So I run the risk of angering viewers and having that anger translate over to the program that shows up instead of the one they were expecting -- and missing a large section of our audience who would have loved to see the program if they had known about it."

The station decided to air the concert in May, Mazur said, because it is devoting that month to Asian-Pacific heritage programming.

"This program would so beautifully complement that schedule," she said. "I felt I could really showcase the program, rather than just find the first available date."

The exact date has not been set yet, "but it will be a good one," she said.

The program will air at 4 p.m. Saturday on L.A. classical radio station KUSC-FM (91.5).

Led by music director Lorin Maazel in the East Pyongyang Grand Theater in the North Korean capital, it was part of a 48-hour visit by the New York orchestra -- the first by an American cultural organization since the Korean peninsula was divided in 1948.


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