Former Jazz DJ Jim Clark Thanks Listeners, Mum on Reasons for Leaving SDPB

Jim Clark quit South Dakota Public Broadcasting on August 8, leaving South Dakota without his uniquely informative and thoughtful jazz programming. Clark now takes to the editorial pages of papers around the state to formally sign off:

I regret to inform my listeners that I resigned as host of “Jazz Nightly” on South Dakota Public Broadcasting Radio on Aug. 6. I would have liked to have said goodbye on the air but the circumstances of my abrupt resignation on that day made it impossible.

I had contemplated resigning for a long time. While I could publicly disclose at length the reasons for my resignation and the issues and conflicts involved, I have concluded that it would serve no useful purpose at this time.

To all my loyal listeners and supporters over the past 14 1/2 years, I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget you [Jim Clark, letter to the editor, Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2015.08.20].

Something had to be wrong for a radio professional to leave the air with no notice. But Clark himself is telling us “the reasons… issues and conflicts” are none of our beeswax for now.


15 Responses to Former Jazz DJ Jim Clark Thanks Listeners, Mum on Reasons for Leaving SDPB

  1. I was a guest on Jim’s show just a couple weeks ago on Aug 5. He gave me almost a full hour and was gracious, well-prepared and funny/entertaining. I was even looking at booking some Jazz shows in SD because of him & his show. What a huge bummer for me, SD, his listeners, and Jazz.

  2. Richard Schriever

    2nd time Jimmo’s left SDPB.
    Last time was a couple years ago.

  3. Jimmo’s gone. Maybe he couldn’t follow the rules at work or something. Perhaps we will never know. Jazz people need to move on. There are other disc jockeys out there that can soothe your furrowed brow.

  4. Deb Geelsdottir

    Now there goes a classy guy. Sorry for your loss, SD music lovers.

  5. “don’t know whatchu got ’till its gone”

  6. Well, I personally think it was about the money. About a year ago in an email exchange we talked about how everybody is in it for the money and when I said there were some exceptions, and that people like him were in it for the music, he came back with, It IS about the money, and for him it must be that way.

    I was surprised at that. If he wanted to make more money he could be working for a commercial station. I guess he finally sold out.

    I really hope SDPB finds a good jazz DJ to replace him but even if they don’t, I’ve been enjoying the music they have been filling in with.

  7. larry kurtz

    Driving under a red sun through the panhandle of Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota last night switching through NET Nebraska, Wyoming Public Radio, KILI and Bill Janklow’s idea of public radio it became abundantly clear why Jim Clark is far better off where he is than to be trapped in this chemical toilet.

  8. Listener, without knowing exactly what was in Jim Clark’s head during that conversation or this month when he quit, I can say there’s a difference between “being in it for the money”—i.e., doing a job just because it makes you rich—and expecting to get a decent wage for doing a job and leaving when you can’t get that decent wage. I think of our teachers: no one I know is in teaching for the money, but a lot of people can’t afford to stay in teaching. Young single teachers may sacrifice certain opportunities for the joy of the classroom, but it gets harder to ask a spouse and children to make sacrifices for one’s love of teaching.

    If you love a job, but your employer takes advantage of that love and doesn’t respect you with a competitive wage, it doesn’t make you a selfish bastard to quit and seek more profitable employment.

    Again, we have no idea whether money had anything to do with Clark’s abrupt resignation. I’m just expanding on the thought that Listener raises.

  9. Breakfasting at Dale’s Family Restaurant in the morn, Lar?

  10. Caheidelberger, I never meant to imply that he is “a selfish bastard”. We all have to make a living. I’m just surprised he didn’t seek employment at a commercial station sooner if money was the issue. But no matter what caused him to quit, it was very unprofessional for him to walk out with no notice, no warning. I have had a few jobs over my lifetime that drove me to quit in anger, but I never just walked out. I always gave a notice, if not out of respect for my employer, then out of respect for myself and my work ethic.

  11. Richard Schriever

    The previous time he left, it was about the money. SDPB made budget cuts and his show was one of them. Evidently a year or so later – they found more $$ (donor?). So I will do the dastardly act of assuming that that found money has now run out – again.

  12. Oh, Listener, not at all—my use of that phrase is my own pursuit of a thought you raised, not a portrayal of what you were saying.

    I do agree that leaving so abruptly is drastic and excusable only in extreme circumstances (a standard I would hold employers to as well in laying off employees). But we just don’t know the circumstances, so judgment in any direction is impossible.

  13. “Right to work” state. circle o’ life, right?!

    good, ole’ midwestern work ethic on full display above… for citibanks to use up. “pay’em nuthin…when they leave-f**K’em” (but they better give 2 wks notice-unless we escort em’ out the same day);

    or else we SHAME them (C) jeb bush, Profiles in co…cou…coura…”CHARACTER”

  14. Well, Karl Gehrke is taking over on JN. I had hoped that’s what would happen. Karl has filled in before and in my opinion he plays the very BEST jazz. He tends to lean toward 60’s jazz and he also plays more instrumental than vocal. I could do with less Mary Stallings (who to me, seems more pop than jazz), and more true jazz – Brubeck, Miles, Monk, and I bet we’ll be hearing more big band (love it) and Dixieland too.

    Karl knows so much about the artists too. He doesn’t read verbatim off of Wikipedia (which is often wrong), the way the former host did. I know a lot of you will hate me for this but I think this is the best thing that has happened on SDPB in a long time.

  15. Interesting choice. I wonder—does that mean Karl will step away from Dakota Midday? Doing both programs would make for an awfully long day. I look forward to hearing Karl’s style and knowledge put to work on the jazz program.

    Now I wish they would move Jazz Nightly back to 7-10 p.m., then start World Café at 10 p.m. so we can hear more of it before bedtime.