Monday, February 19, 2007

In support of WMUB

My husband and I are longtime listeners and financial supporters of WMUB. We came here from Cornell University and were delighted to find that WMUB was actually far superior to the public radio stations in the Ithaca area due to the large amount of programming it carries. I also lived in Bloomington, IN for awhile, and again found their local public station considerably lacking as compared to WMUB. So why would Miami University, which aspires to be first in the nation and a nationally renowned university, consider eliminating funding for one of its jewels?
WMUB consistently has good programming and makes an effort to increase and change their lineup in responses to listeners' requests. While there are indeed other public radio stations in the area, none that I have heard carry anywhere near the amount of paid programming that WMUB does. This programming costs money.
As a librarian, I am familiar with the ever increasing costs of paid-subscription databases. These are increasingly important to the students and faculty but also increasingly expensive. Luckily, the university has realized the importance of the library and has continued to fund us at a level that enables us to add and maintain our level of resources. I hope the same will be true for WMUB.
WMUB is an excellent educational tool and is central to the mission of Miami University. Keeping WMUB as a great station with excellent programming is certainly worth the continuing investment. The funds we are talking about here (approximately $100,000) are relatively modest in relation to a 2006/07 budget of over $626 million.
There are many ways to save money rather than cutting the funding for WMUB. These include lowering the temperature in the dorms (so the students no longer have to open their windows in the winter to stay comfortable), raising the air conditioning temperature in the summer so that staff no longer wears sweaters indoors in July, turning off copiers and computers in the evenings, using less paper for internal documents, and less color copying and color printing overall, etc. These all are examples of small things that would result in consistent savings that would probably far outweigh any current expenditures for WMUB.
WMUB is a unique resource in Oxford and one that is sorely needed.  It is doing an excellent job and if anything should be given additional funding, not less. Every day it is on the air it is a testament to the culture of excellence we are always speaking about at Miami. Let's put our money where our mouth is.

--Susan Hurst, Business Librarian, Miami University

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What needs to be done?

What needs to be done to help WMUB? I wake up in the morning to morning edition and fall asleep to overnight jazz. I would hate to see any sort of degradation in the quality of the programming. Please let me know what I can do. You will never be alone in this fight.

--Phillip Hurst ('A concerned MU student and avid NPR listener')

Cleve Callison replies: Thank you for your concern. President Hodge in his charge to the WMUB review committee said 'I
ask that the committee consult widely with all the relevant stakeholders'. We will be forwarding comment such as this to the committee.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Don't let WMUB go away

...My two cents. Don't let WMUB go away. Universities around the country would give anything to have the quality news coverage and programming WMUB offers the university and the Miami Valley area. I graduated from Miami in 1988, and worked as a board op and chief board op from 1985-1988. Back then the programming may have been different, but the end results were the same. Students benefitted from working with WMUB staff, and were exposed to broadcasting's most professional and most revered radio network, NPR. I now work in commercial radio in Columbus, Ohio, but never a day goes by that I don't remember and reference something I took away from WMUB.

--Brett Johnson, Columbus

Need for this type of environment

I can't say that I have followed all the latest on what's going on with WMUB. But it saddens me to receive an email stating that financial problems are putting WMUB, and I assume related university courses and programs in jeopardy. My experience with the university radio-TV-film department, and WMUB shaped my college and future career. I was a fine arts major, and was talked into taking some radio-TV classes in my sophomore year. Because of those experiences, I switched my major to radio-TV-film, and truly found my niche. I went on to eventually become the senior producer of the Phil Donahue show, and worked with him for 15 years. I've since written a nationally syndicated column on talk shows for 11 years, stopping this fall to complete work on my first book, due early next year. All of these accomplishments would never have happened if WMUB had not existed and if my related experiences hadn't occurred. There is a definite need for this type of environment at Miami University, and I hope the community and the university recognizes it.

--Lorri Antosz Benson

Outreach to the community

I know as both a high school teacher and library trustee that funding is an issue for all educational and cultural institutions. As a Miami graduate and citizen of Ohio, I am pleased that the president is monitoring university spending diligently. I would hope that the committee evaluating university funding for WMUB would consider the wide audience the station reaches to provide in-depth news, local information, cultural issues and news, thought-provoking discussions (both NPR and local) in which listeners may participate, and entertainment. I feel this outreach to the community is a valid and important mission for a quality university, a seat of enlightenment and culture. I want my university to support such an educational and culltural extension. I agree that WMUB's internship opportunity for students is a strong link between univeristy and station. Some of my former students have been WMUB interns, an experience that has enriched their education.

--Mary Pearson

Friday, February 02, 2007

Committee to study WMUB

[Text of Miami University e-Report of 02/01/2007]

Miami President David Hodge has appointed a committee to review the future of WMUB and its relationship with the university.

The evolution in the public radio market caused by technological developments and the declining state support to the university were cited as forces making the review necessary.

The committee has been asked to:

* Examine the role, both current and potential, that WMUB plays at Miami.
* Provide a strategic perspective on WMUB's future in the context of the significant changes that will affect public radio in the next few years.
* Delineate the investment that Miami currently provides WMUB and examine the full range of alternatives to the current financial commitment.

"I ask that the committee consult widely with all the relevant stakeholders and bring in selected and appropriate expertise," Hodge said.

The committee is to report their findings no later than May 1.

Committee members are:

Richard Campbell (journalism), committee chair; Adolph Haislar (finance and business services); Howard Kleiman (communication); William McKenna (philosophy); Cathy McVey (IT services); Adrienne Rexroad, Kay Snavely (management); Peyton Stanforth (student); Justine Stokes (graduate student); Bill Triick, Allan Winkler (Distinguished Professor of History); Richard Little (university communications), ex-officio.

Harness that energy

Just a brief note to say how much we enjoyed meeting you and the staff of WMUB at the Day Sponsors reception last Saturday. You and your staff did an outstanding job on getting the venue, arrangements and the program for the afternoon. This was much energy in the room which could be sensed from brief chats wth the donors that were present. I hope you can find a way to harness that energy to make WMUB the best NPR station in the region. Thanks again.

--Name withheld by request