Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Very disappointed by this move

My wife and I have been day sponsors of WMUB for many years, but I doubt that we will continue. We are very disappointed by the move to all informational programming in the evening. We have always listened to more radio then we have watched television, and for years your evening jazz programming has been a welcome alternative to classical public radio (WGUC & WDPR) and the commercial stations. I guess we will now need to do without.

Unfortunately, the shift of jazz programming to an HD feed does little good. Stand alone HD radio tuners for in home use with an established audio system are extremely difficult to find, and only a handful are on the market. Many are quite expensive. Streaming audio is not a consideration.

Hopefully, the station has done the necessary research before the program switch. WYSO experimented with the same type of evening informational programming and ultimately returned to a rather eclectic mix of musical genres for its evening programming. Even WVXU, which is supposed to be news and information, continues to broadcast old radio shows and music in the evenings.

I understand that nothing is static and that things change over time. However, we've given to WMUB over the years because it chose to be different from other public radio stations. Now with a switch to an entirely syndicated format, I fail to see any real difference between WMUB and the other public stations in the area. We will more than likely be reassessing our gift to the station at renewal time.

Thanks for the many years of enjoyable evening radio!

--Steve, Centerville, OH


At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I echo Steve's concerns. I also live in Centerville and for years have enjoyed WMUB's jazz programming via a flawless FM signal. I've also been a loyal contributor (despite being out of work for 3+ years). Despite my disappointment with the format change, I envision continuing my financial support.

My concerns with the format change are as follows:

(a) The abrupt nature of the move. With no present HD capability and with such short notice, I won't have enough time to properly evaluate how best to continue receiving WMUB's evening/night jazz programming;

(b) While streaming jazz programming is wonderful and I do appreciate its availability, there is no computer where I sleep. Streaming will be of NO help to me at all unless I invest $1,000+ in a brand-new A/V receiver with built-in Wi-Fi capability;

(c) Stand-alone HD radios simply do not offer the fidelity of component systems and do not offer an acceptable alternative to me. Plus, there is no "guarantee" that I will even receive a usable HD signal in Centerville!

d) Assuming I will receive WMUB's over-the-air HD signal, in order to maintain the current level of fidelity I enjoy with my somewhat "upscale" component system, I must buy either (1) a new HD-capable tuner to attach to my current receiver or (2) replace my current Yamaha receiver with a new HD-capable receiver (a $1,000+ proposition).

At present, there are relatively few "stand-alone" HD tuner components on the market. While new receivers with built-in HD-capability are more widely available now, they can be costly.

e) Lastly, whether I purchase (1) a stand-alone HD radio, (2) an HD-radio tuner to attach to my current receiver or (3) a new receiver with built-in HD radio capability, your comments suggest I may not even be able to obtain an over-the-air HD signal. Should this be the case, all 3 options referenced above are rendered moot.

So, in the event WMUB's over-the-air HD signal does not reach Centerville, my SOLE option to continue enjoying WMUB's jazz programming after August would be to purchase a new Wi-Fi capable receiver ("the "streaming/Wi-Fi" option"). While this will definitely yield a very high-fidelity listening experience, it will also be the most expensive option of all for me and for anyone else with a similar profile.

I understand that change is inevitable and would love to see HD radio gain much more popularity.

However, I wonder whether the station considered the impact on listeners living outside of the Oxford/Cincinnati areas - i.e., those of us in "fringe" over-the-air HD reception areas who wish to retain their high-fidelity listening experience, since a relatively expensive conversion to Wi-Fi streaming audio component technology offers the only practical option.


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