Saturday, June 09, 2007

The best I've found

I've been a member ($250 level) for several years now, after "discovering" one of Miami's better-kept secrets. The station has come a long way since my undergrad days, when it was the more typical all-classical, all-the-time station (as I recall - 35 years is a long time ago!)
The station completely engages me with its NPR offerings as well as some of the highest quality local programming I've heard. (I travel frequently throughout Ohio on business, and get a chance to compare to the relatively few other public radio stations that develop local programming.) WMUB is the best I've found, followed closely by Ohio University's WOUB. (My diploma would have been recalled had I classified OU as equal!!) Were the programming to change significantly during the day (say, more music with NPR news on the hour) I would almost certainly terminate my financial support, and quit listening.
There is one aspect of WOUB's broadcasting that, to me, seems worth exploring as you discuss WMUB's future. WOUB has several affiliates throughout southeast Ohio, broadcasting the same programming over a large geographic area. Could WMUB form an affiliation (or outright merger) with other local public radio stations? (I believe there are stations at least in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Yellow Springs.)
This would offer them the advantage of expanded programming (most offer at best a few hours of NPR a day), and would seem to offer an economy of scale that might handle costs more effectively. Since the other stations would become, in effect, "repeaters," many costs (principally payroll) that are now duplicated could be reduced or eliminated. Also, the larger geographic area covered would offer a larger potential financial support base. In short, the whole may very well be greater than the sum of the parts.
I wish you well in your deliberations. On a lighter note, might I jokingly add that it wasn't that long ago that the Redskins became Redhawks - can MU really handle the loss of more than one tradition a decade?
--Glenn Roberts, Eaton


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