Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sad time

It is a sad time for me because WMUB is/has been my favorite station for years and it has slipped into financial trouble.

Although a discussion of how this has occurred would help me vent some pent up frustrations, basically the station and management are not at fault.  Overall you should feel no guilt and I place no blame on anyone there now or before.  The ones to blame are at far higher levels, way beyond the university itself.

But the problem of the money must be faced.

First, even though I have praised the news department from time to time with e-mails and other comments, I want to say that news on WMUB is presented at a far higher level than anywhere else, bar none.  The in-depth stories provide a real service to the community, while local radio and television stations have really let the public down.  For instance, much of television reports accident and crime investigations with fill-ins of sensational nonsense.  So my first request is to keep all of the news operation in tact.

Second, as many of you know, I am a long-time contributor to the station and really appreciate both Mama Jazz and the music she plays.  (I even go back to the days when jazz was on the air all day.  And when you first started, wasn't it classical?)

While I hated to learn that those shows were replaced, I recognize that you can't get what you want all of the time.  So my contributions have actually increased at the same time that the shows that were enjoyed have been cut back.  As an example, the afternoon shows, for the most part fail to catch my interest, however, the morning shows that rotate from day to day and the Diane Rehm Show are exceptions to the rule.

So, what I would like to hear is more music, but I am not sure that a majority of listeners would agree.  That is for you to sort out.

And I am not sure of what the cost of all of these programs are.  While national programs cost money, so do local ones.

Third, even though I do not own any high definition equipment, how can that part of your operation be cut?  Aren't universities supposed to be on the cutting edge of everything?

Fourth, I am personally not in favor of merging operations with other stations, especially when those under consideration are operating in Montgomery County, which is where I live.  And without naming names, some other stations start programs for as much as 30 minutes without indicating what songs are playing or even the name of the program.

Fifth, selling the station cannot be an option.  This is one of the last bastions of reasonable music and information left.  Commercial radio is not listenable.

Regarding listener support: Many people are not able to provide much more in terms of money.  For instance, once a member sends in $100.00, for the most part, that is all they are able to give.  It would seem that once a limit is reached, not much more can come in from current members.

Am I offering you solutions?  Probably not.

As a final thought, if more contributions are needed, then maybe more fund raising is needed other than the two big ones per year.

Thanks for the opportunity for my comments because that is not often permitted.

--Grant Wadsworth, Centerville, OH


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