Saturday, January 31, 2009

Local makes her addicted

I know these are tough times for all of you. I know I can get NPR on Sirius radio, but it's the local that makes me addicted. We have all enjoyed the home town touches, especially the 9AM shows, give the listeners. Those are the people and parts of WMUB which will be lost..........
Hopefully all your staff can find positions - somewhere..........
Thanks for all the good times..........

--Sue, MU '68

Hate the loss of local shows

I have supported public radio since I moved into the area 20 years ago. WVXU was my main station since I live in Loveland. I also sent contributions to WMUB, WYSO, and WNKU in order to support the local programming available in the tri-state area. However, when WVXU decided to go to a format of national show feeds and to drop the local programming, I switched over to WMUB as my main station. I really hate the idea of the loss of the local shows and the local perspective. The local perspective is what makes each station different and reflects the interests and concerns of the served community. A feed from WVXU does not serve the same purpose.

Needless to say, I will not be supporting WVXU. I shall have to switch my main support to WYSO or WNKU.

--Susan, University of Dayton

Greatly saddened to hear

I was a member and avid listener of WMUB and NPR when I was a doctoral student at Miami for 6 years. In my opinion, among all American media, NPR provided the most objective coverage of currernt affairs (not to mention great programs such as the Diane Rehm show) and WMUB was my favourite venue to listen to it. I have been living in London for the past year and half and am unable to listen to the station anymore but I haven't unsubscribed myself from the mailing list - I still like receiving regular updates about WMUB!

I was therefore greatly saddened to hear about the university's decision - one can understand the financial aspect of this decision but wonders why such immensely useful services fail to receive the highest priority. The financial shortfall is 1/500,000th of the bloated defence budget of the United States by my reckoning. And yet it would sadly be unthinkable for the US government (through public universities) to fund public radio stations across the nation at the cost of a new generation of fighter aircraft.

I want to thank all the WMUB staff for making my stay in Oxford that much more interesting and informative and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Best regards,

--Ninad, London

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sell the license to community radio

Why not just shut down WMUB and sell the license to somebody who cares about the community and public radio instead of inflicting us with a constant barrage of NPR programming rehashing the same stories all day long from the butchers who destroyed one of the best radio stations in the area? If WMUB were truly devoted to the local community, it would have dropped the NPR shows they constantly whined about in pledge drives as being soooo expensive and aired more local programming. Although I have a few NPR favorites, it was the local programming that had me foregoing the two public radio stations with stronger signals to listen through the static on my radio or constantly downloading podcasts. A true public radio station should be doing commentary, news and talk programming reflecting the values and interests of the listeners. Why wasn't the public's input considered in the decision? A news release and a fifteen minute broadcast trying to justify the decision after the fact was a slap in the face to your loyal listeners and financial supporters. Miami University doesn't deserve to keep their license for a public radio station nor should it expect any further financial contributions for it's support.

--Steve, Dayton

Very difficult to lose

As an area resident and loyal listener for decades and member of WMUB, I too am saddened by the recent announcement of changes at WMUB. As someone who has seen our greater Butler County community rapidly is very difficult to lose, yet something else, that has been a part of my life. I understand that there will still be NPR programming which I faithfully listen to....but I understand the loss of the local programming and loss of what has been an important part of the community and the university for almost sixty years.

I do understand the difficult economic conditions and that all things change,..... however, this particular change, ... this loss has really saddened me.

I will continue to listen to WMUB and will continue to support its individuality through CPR with the hopes that at some point in thefuture, the station will be able to return to what so many of us have loved and enjoyed.


--Judy, via email

Shocked, angry and sad

When I heard the news last Friday that WMUB was merging with Cincinnati Public Radio, I felt like I'd just heard a death sentence pronounced over a loved family member. I was shocked, disbelieving, in denial, angry, and indescribably sad. WMUB has been my friend, companion, source of inspiration and information, dependably available whose now packing up and moving on. A sense bereavement has come over me for the loss that is coming.

The first thing someone at Miami will say upon reading my letter is that she is in no position to understand what the university is up against in these challenging financial times. Yes, I'm not privy to all of the information in the school's budget, especially what programs will have life if WMUB is dies.

What really aroused my ire, however, was a comment by President Hodge that that the school was making the decision to concentrate on its core mission – educating its students. When did providing high quality news reporting, including BBC news broadcasts, become irrelevant to education? What could be more relevant to education in today's world than informing its citizens?

A few months ago, a student called into the WMUB Forum program complaining about the all news format, saying he especially disliked Diane Rehm and that he didn't need to hear another woman on the air with a lisp. I was both infuriated and saddened by the student. Comments like his are what cause those of us with a few more miles on our tires to arrive at conclusions about our education system and how it is failing our young people; also how unprepared the younger generation is to do or appreciate anything that is purposeful instead of mind-numbing. The student obviously hadn't taken the time to truly acquaint himself with the show or its host, who doesn't have a lisp, by the way. Education is supposed to be mind-opening and mind-expanding, not supportive of mere uninformed opinion. If Miami has many like this young man running around on its campuses, it needs to require students to listen to WMUB rather than to pull the plug on it.

How can Miami not see the most educational radio station in Ohio, perhaps even in the U.S., as part of its core mission? Is not providing information and education to the community as well as students related to its mission? What more important mission can there be than educating everyone it can reach with high quality news to make better informed citizens?

I've been curious over many years about why Miami hasn't made better use of the station to inform listeners about Miami and its educational opportunities. As a Miami alum, I don't know any more about the school after 25 years of listening to WMUB than I knew about it when I was graduated in 1966. Surely the school hasn't been frozen in a time capsule. Here it has had a golden platform for 59 years and it hasn't used it to full advantage. A while ago, I suggested that there be a monthly, or perhaps even weekly, program that could spotlight a different department or program each time. There could be a program about new findings in geology, the latest engineering research at Miami, a recommended reading list for English majors and why the selections are included, how the arts have evolved as part of the curriculum, how students are launching their careers -- the list could be extensive. Having professors, instructors and administrators from the departments as guest contributors could serve at least a dual mission of acquainting the public more fully with Miami while providing educational and entertaining information derived from Miami's resources. This missed opportunity is to be regretted.

It was said there was no money for internships at the station. To me that says that the students in the communications curriculum were not considered important enough to provide an avenue for utilizing the quality resource within walking distance to round out their educations with practical experience. And what about the experience engineering students could have gained with exposure to the broadcasting equipment and its operation. Again, a missed opportunities.

One suspects, is reasonably sure, that there are other programs and activities at Miami which are subsidized. WMUB has been such a feather in the university's cap with its awards, first class staff, leadership, and quality programming. Something of this caliber need not be ashamed or apologetic about the need for subsidy. What WMUB provides to the university and its reputation more than balances the required subsidy. From this listener's point of view, under the present leadership, everything that could be done to elevate the quality of the staff, the quality of the programming, and the advancements in technology have been vigorously pursued. Now this is the thanks for those efforts -- pulling the plug.

I so much want to submit a compelling argument because my feelings on the subject are so strong and I'm having to rein in my emotions to allow for any coherence in writing about it. I'm just at loss to see how Miami can devalue WMUB when its listeners gain so much from it and place such value on it. Yes, I hear it's a small market. With the web streaming, there's no reason for the market to be confined to this corner of the world. In my travels, I've not found another station that can approach it in quality. And its local programming is first rate.

February will be a sad, sad month in Miami's history. You built something up, not only to be proud of but to utilize, and now plan to throw it out. I wish I could attend the public forum, but it seems like an after-the-fact crumb to throw to listeners -- a cave to shout in -- since the decision to hand off the station has been presented as a done deal. I also wish I had deep pockets and could make a difference financially, but alas, I'm not in that category. But I am in the category of WMUB listeners and supporters who is not going to let go without making some noise.

If there is any chance the decision can be reversed, I'll pin some hope on that for now.

--Gail, MU grad, Dayton

Don't know Miami's core goals

I’m saddened by the news that after March there will no longer be local programing at WMUB. I’m sadden but not surprised; this seems to be inline with Miami’s practice of sacrificing substance and quality for showmanship and flash. I have been a member of the Miami famly for the last few years and have marveled at new buildings and class rooms. It is amazing how Miami can spend so much for such a small improvement. The side walk in front of Pearson Hall was ripped up for months wile large marble slabs were arbitrarily placed and bricks inlayed into the side walk that from a DNA dubla helix that is imperceptible until the helix is pointed out, and then only from the top floors of neighboring buildings. I do not know what Mimi’s core goals are, but it is disturbing to think they do not include WMUB but instead include large arbitrarily placed marble slabs.

--John, Miami University

Extremely upset

I was extremely upset when I heard the plans to reorganize WMUB and combine it's services with Cincinnati Public Radio. While I can understand that economic issues may make the station a heavy burden to the university. The value of the local talk shows to the area are hard to equate to a dollar value.

Public radio in the Dayton area seems to be in serious jeopardy. I have been told that Yellow Springs radio station WYSO is very much in limbo at this time. The campus in Yellow springs has closed, and it's future is not assured. The radio station license has been transferred to the "mother" campus in California. They are currently operating the station as a service to the Dayton area, but how long will a California University continue to support a radio station over a thousand miles away. They have made it quite clear that regardless of the future of the Antioch Campus in Yellow Springs, the Radio Station license will not be sold to whomever purchases the campus.

Besides WYSO and WMUB there are no other other public radio stations available in the Dayton area, with the exception of a few low-wattage stations. This means that there will be no outlet available for the locally produced shows which WMUB now produces.

Has anyone seriously attempted to find a way to keep the locally produced talk shows on the air? These shows, with the variety of guests and topics, provide a different prospective than any other talk shows available in the Dayton area.

Perhaps Miami University can partner with Wright State (which has media production classes), The University of Dayton, the University of Cincinnati, or another local college to produce the five hours per week of local talk shows. This would not be a first for Miami. They partnered with Wright State when Public Television Station 16 first went on the air.

Miami University could continue to provide appropriate, perhaps somewhat downsized studio which would could double as a video conferencing classroom. Cincinnati Public Radio would administer the transmission as currently planned. A block of 5 hours a week could be allocated to Oxford based local productions, while an additional 5 hours a week would be opened for the partner college's local productions from their facilities. Wright State and other local colleges and universities could help pay for the staff which produces the Oxford programs, in exchange for these staff members using some of their time teaching radio broadcast classes. These classes could be offered via video conferencing and the Internet, with advanced students working one or two terms "hands on" at the production facilities in Oxford, or their school's campus.

I believe that some way should be found to continue the local talk shows. These shows, with the variety of guests and topics, provide a different prospective than any other shows available in the Dayton area.

--Scott, Dayton

Concerned about staff, school closings

[From WMUB Forum 1/23/09:]

Could you please address as directly and honestly as possible what will happen to the people who work for WMUB? These are hard working journalists, engineers and producers, whose voices have become part of our daily lives. They have performed a remarkable service to the community, however small this community is according to your business model. Will they stay on board under the new regime? Will they be let go?

Also, what will happen to the announcements about school closings?

--Mila, Oxford

[Ed.: All WMUB staff have been notified that their jobs will cease to exist on June 30th, 2009.]

What a waste

[From WMUB Forum 1/23/09:]

What a shock to hear this morning that WMUB is "going out of business"! As a member of WMUB, I am greatly disappointed and wondering what's going to happen now. We're out here 10 miles North of Greenville and sometimes have difficulty getting your signal already. What will it be like when you broadcast from Cinti, which is much further South from us? Furthermore, which of your local programming broadcasts will be affected? The weekday, 9a.m to 10a.m, slots are some of my favorites and Diane Rehm is essential to top out the morning.

I will be listening to your 9 a.m. broadcast today for further info, but if all the rest of my questions are not answered, be aware that I intend to continue seeking explanations for this quite controversial decision on the part of your "suits".

FYI: Over the last several years, we've had more and more trouble getting a clear signal from WMUB. Have you lowered the power periodically and/or would atmospheric conditions be causing this? Secondly, there are several "religious" broadcasts located very near 88.5 on the dial (been there probably about 5 years or so) and I'm guessing they bump up their signal, especially on weekends. It's been a struggle to get your very informative NPR and local programming. Now, one can only guess what's going to happen. Just this past November I contributed $100 to WMUB (after the pledge drive) and, although I'm not asking for a refund, I would like to have a darned good explanation for this most depressing decision you've made.

TO THE WMUB BROADCAST STAFF: Thank you so much your professional demeanor as you've brought all of us out here the news, views, and listener input. Having listened to several other NPR fares (in San Francisco, Naples, FL, Richmond, VA, OSU-Columbus, Toledo, OH, and WYSO; all of you there at WMUB have gone above and beyond to make our days brighter and more informed. Wish I could say, "KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK", but looks like those decision makers have pulled the plug. --- WHAT A WASTE!!! WHAT A LOSS!!!

Best of luck to all of you,

--Betty, via email

Which contributes more to the core?

[From WMUB Forum 1/23/09:]

Could you ask your guests how much the new football coach is costing the university: salary, bonuses, expense account(s), and other support funds, including the salaries and support costs of the assistant coaches he is bringing in, and how football contributes to the core mission of the university more or better than a radio station that provides information, news, and cultural content?

--name withheld, Miami professor

Distorted priorities

This seems to be a matter of the administration's distorted priorities. They find it too expensive, in this bicentennial year, to help preserve WMUB, something that has been a tremendous part of Miami's history, culture and student experience. Yet at the same time, the administration wants to build a massive and expensive new student center that will cost more than 80 times as much as something like WMUB. How can the administration justify this?

--Gary, via email

Let me see if I understand this

So let me see if I understand this. According to the Hodge interview, around two-thirds of MUB's programming overlaps with CPR. The solution: eliminate the one-third (local?) that doesn't. Got it.

Thank you.

--Jim, via email

Losing a prize possession

Miami and our community are losing one of its prize possessions. I do not know how else to express it. I have never cared for or felt like I have been a part of a radio station before and I probably never will again. I believe it's a mistake on the part of Miami. I am sure it is devastating for all of the employees of WMUB and their families.

I am a member of your station. I love your station. Will you please explain to me exactly what is happening with Cincinnati Public Radio? Everyone we know at WMUB will no longer be there any longer? What can we do to stop this, anything?

--Susan, via email

Will signal to Dayton be stronger?

Hopefully, your signal to Dayton residents will be stronger. While I can obtain WMUB signal in my car, getting an adequate signal at my home in the southeast corner of Dayton is problemmatic most days. I have to stream your station's signal through my computer to get your programs. While, WYSO's signal from Yellow Springs (91.3) is strong in the Dayton area, they do not carry NPR shows between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. during the week but instead carries music during that time. Is there a problem with your station competing with WYSO? Anyway, most of us in the Dayton area would love to receive WMUB's signal in our homes, since the only choice we have for talk radio in Dayton is WHIO's conservative talk radio.

--Ken, via email

[Ed.: We don't know what changes if any CPR will make to the current programming on WVXU. As far as we know no changes can be made to the existing WMUB signal.]

Will be a sad day

WMUB was my first favorite radio station. Primarily because of mama jazz. Will they still broadcast her show? It will be a sad day if her show is gone. How much does the university need to keep it in operation?

--Wade, via email

[Ed.: We don't know what Cincinnati Public Radio's plans are for Mama or other local shows (there have been no original Mama shows for a couple of years on WMUB). As for the Miami support, cash support is over $500,000 annually; in addition the value of rent, services and other in-kind is valued at $300,000.]

Sorry local programming will end

I am saddened by the news of changes at WMUB. I understand the economy probably hastened this decision.

I am thankful there will still be NPR programming available for listening. I am very sorry that the local programming will most likely end. I commute by car and have enjoyed many of the 9-10 am shows from Interconnect, Help Desk, Wednesday health issues, the Thursday shows on gardening, books, cars, Forum, and on and on. Local programming with local people has been great. I am sad to hear it will cease.

WMUB is the only public radio station I can hear in my neighborhood. I listen to it all the way west on 44 as far as Shelbyville, IN and on US 40 or I70 it always lasts until Greenfield. So, I am grateful I will be able to hear NPR but saddened that all the local 'flavor' will be lost and sorry for jobs that will be lost.

--Kris, via email

Oh, no!

[From WMUB Forum 1/23/09:]

Oh no! This is awful news for me and my family. We live in Franklin County IN and consider WMUB to be our local station. We listen every day. Apparently, the funds aren't there and nothing can be done about that. Is there any chance the station might be resuscitated when the economic situation improves? Good luck to the staff with finding new positions. It will be tough.

--Monica, via email

Removing one more independent voice

The transfer of control of WMUB to CPB will remove yet one more independent voice from the region. As was true when the same organization took control of WVXU from Xavier University about four years ago, the big loser will be the local listening audience. President Hodge is wrong to assert that the station does not directly advance the university's cause, as the station projects a positive image for the university across a wide swath of Ohio and Indiana. That doesn't even count all of those who have come to enjoy the station through on-line listenership and the recent HD radio channels. Many people who would otherwise have no knowledge of Miami University have learned about it through listening to WMUB.

Radio, particularly public radio, is chrged by the FCC to operate in the public interest, convenience and necessity, and this decision will precipitate the opposite of all of those.

--Steve, Connersville IN

There are better solutions

[From WMUB Forum 1/23/09]

Informing, local news, educating, emotionally stimulating, and entertaining have been always reasons to listen to Miami University Public Radio. I'm facing with dismay knowing that the operation of this excellent station will be turned over to CPR. Financial reasons? I'll question that considering the importance of what it is a part of the University. Are you going to close the library or eliminate other University public services? I'm sure there are better solutions.

--David, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine faculty

Emergency information?

How does the new arrangement allow for local emergency information, like WIND storm or Ice conditions ?

--Chris, Oxford

We need an informed electorate

I am in Florida with my brother and learned of the news about WMUB through [a friend].

I am so saddened by this turn of events. You are all outstanding professionals and I will keep you in my thoughts.

I believe the university's $800,000 investment in public radio was much more important than investments in many college athletic programs. We need an informed electorate, and public radio is one of the best contributors to that in this nation.

Take care, and land with both feet in your next challenge.

--Nancy, Richmond

Taking the easy way out

[Submitted to WMUB Forum 1/23/09]

I think Miami is taking the easy way out. I do not believe the people making this decision are taking into account the community at all. I am guessing they do not consider us ‘customer’s’ of Miami. Miami, you owe us, the community and alumni, some consideration in this decision also.

--Susan, via email

Could WMUB have become a different kind of station?

[Submitted to WMUB Forum 1/23/09:]

This morning I asked some students if they knew Miami had a radio station and only 1 knew. The student who knew about the station did not know the name or that it was at 88.5.

I ask myself:
Why would a student listen to the station?
How many student programs are on WMUB?

I guess we would need a larger signal footprint if we immediately exclude 17,000+ potential donors or fund raisers....

What about the community radio model ala WMNF Tampa? Would a more student friendly operation work in Oxford?

A little disappointed,

Former listener because of reception

As a former WMUB listener, I regret to learn that the station will be shuttered after 59 years on the air. At the outset, I should explain the reason I am a former listener, which is linked to my earlier disappointment at the disappearance of WVXU, another small, independent station.

For a long time I regularly tuned to WMUB, and I contributed to the annual pledge drive. Then, at some point, reception became problematic, and I switched to WVXU, which began offering similar programming. The change to WVXU was not a desirable one, but at least I could hear the same shows and it was a nice small station. Reception was fine for a while, until soon after WVXU was taken over by Cincinnati Public Radio, which I've learned is part of a multi-station conglomerate. I was absolutely opposed to WVXU being absorbed by CPR, and I've always associated the subsequent poor reception with the CPR takeover--just as I've always suspected WMUB began fading out when WVXU adopted the same programming format. But there's probably no technical basis for my there?

At any rate, last year I decided that a HD radio might improve reception of WVXU, and possibly of WMUB. (By the way, my "regular" radio is a Bose, which is no slouch as radios go.) So I made a contribution to the "new" WVXU and received a HD radio as a thank-you gift. My problem was not solved--WVXU reception remains unreliable at best. I've tried tuning in WMUB, too, with even less success. Incidentally, I've stopped contributing to WVXU.

I'm an unhappy listener as a result of the current state of affairs. I live in Yellow Springs, so I could tune to WYSO, another NPR station, but I do not like the programming. One alternative is to listen to WVXU--WMUB online, yet that's not always convenient. In the end I may just boycott WVXU/CPR--to my mind, bigger is never better. I can find news elsewhere: I subscribe to The New York Times daily, and I'll continue watching programs on PBS. There are also lots of interesting books to read, and there's classical music to listen to on the Dayton public radio station...until it's also taken over by some conglomerate!

My best wishes to you and the staff of WMUB.

--Peggy, Yellow Springs

[Ed.: listeners in the Yellow Springs area have been affected negatively by the presence of a religious station at 88.3 near Columbus. We regret that we were unable to provide a better solution in time, but it's unclear if this kind of receeption problem could ever have been solved.]

"In Memory of WMUB"

I'm sorry I will not be able to attend the open meeting in Oxford. Thank you so much for having the [January 24th Day Sponsor] reception, it was VERY important for all of us to be able to mourn together.

- Copy of my letter to the Dayton Peace Museum:
On January 24th, 2009, WMUB had a Day Sponsor Party. As you might know, last week Miami Univ. announced that WMUB would be dissolved at the end of February. So instead of the intended joyous occasion it was a very sad occasion for all WMUB fans. Prior to the decision, the staff had planned an auction to raise money for WMUB. The auction took place and Cleve Callison requested money raised be given to a favorite charity. Enclosed is a check for $140 to the Peace Museum in memory of WMUB, for items I obtained.
--Louise, Dayton

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Devastated by the news now

I am devastated by the news, especially following what I had taken as genuine substantive discussions by the University last year. You and your staff clearly demonstrate more poise and professionalism than is demonstrated by Miami's abrupt announcement.

For what it is worth, the window decals that you sent me recently will serve as lasting symbols of the fine programming and local support indicative of WMUB.

With most sincere regards,

--Sam, via email

Devastated by the news

I am so devastated as WMUB is my favorite and only radio station when I am in Ohio. I am now without public radio in Wildwood, Fl. although Sat. night found Prarie Home companion, but not a good signal. I always marveled at what a strong signal you had as I could get it until I got to Columbus and got Ohio State and far down into Ky when I was headed south. I feel a great loss of friends as you all had such great personalities. I'm sure these will help you thru the next months until you find new career pursuits. We never know where life will lead us. But it sure makes life interesting and keeps us from getting stale. I wish you all the best of luck and I will miss you so much. I was not aware of this as I have been gone from Oxford since end of Oct. It came as a great shock. The last thing I thought would ever happen as WMUB is an "institution". Get that?

--Linda, via email

A loss to listeners

I am saddened by the announcement that WMUB will cease local operations. As a former member of both WVXU and WGUC, I will tell you that I appreciated the jazz and local programming WMUB offered. It will be a loss to the listeners in this area.

My thanks to you and your staff for providing the best in public radio and I wish you the best. (I wish Miami University would change its mind!)

--Cherie, via email

Local emergency information?

[Sent to the 1/23/09 WMUB Forum]:

How does the new arrangement, allow for local emergency information, like WIND storm or Ice conditions ?

--Chris, Oxford

The easy way out

[Sent to the 1/23/09 WMUB Forum]:

I think Miami is taking the easy way out. I do not believe the people making this decision are taking into account the community at all. I am guessing they do not consider us ‘customer’s’ of Miami. Miami, you owe us, the community and alumni, some consideration in this decision also.

--Susan, via email

What a pity

[From the 1/23/09 WMUB Forum:]

From what's been said today on WMUB Forum, I gather that we have to wait for however long to discover what will be the broadcast schedule which commences in March? (It appears that there IS NO PLAN! How annoying to listen to an information interview/forum where, as one guest confessed, there IS no information, and, "This won't be the first time I've spoken of things when I don't know what I'm talking about."

What a pity. No -- what a SHAME -- a shame for how this was, and is being (or NOT being) handled!

And what a shame to hear that WMUB's excellent staff was clearly blind- sided by this hard decision! After announcements at the end of the year that contribution goals had been met, I can but shake my head in wonder (and, given someone's earlier comment that contributor's donations might be "cheerfully refunded" upon request, I'm moved to wonder: what might be "the statute of limitations" regarding such requests......)

From the number of calls and e-mails from far away (Toledo and South Carolina to today's Forum, for example, and to local programs such as The Help Desk and others from Florida, Washington, and even Guam!) I wonder to what extent the "half-million listener 'footprint' is inaccurate....

My admiration and sympathies are with with the irreplaceable staff: you deserved better treatment, and you will be sorely missed.

--Michael, Oxford

I'm still angry

To President Hodge:

I'm still angry!

I live in rural Franklin Co. IN.

I am disabled with Parkinsons and used to be on facility at UD.

WMUB is the only intelligent thing I could listen to during the periods when I can't move. I'm angry when see broadcasting slowly becoming one dull homogeneous voice.

--John, via email

Miami is losing an invaluable marketing tool

Thank you so much for the day sponsorship event at Jungle Jim's. My husband and I enjoyed the chance to talk to Lynn Neary, WMUB staff and with fellow NPR supporters. Of course the unfortunate circumstances of the station's closing cast a long shadow over the event. We are deeply saddened to loose the best NPR station in the area. We hope the MUB staff will find suitable employment in the area so they can contribute their talents to keeping locals well informed.

We donated $500 specifically to WMUB in Dec. because we value what the station has done and because we listen every day. With the station's unexpected closing and with it being so close to the new year, we feel entitled to a refund. Our plan is to regift the money to another local NPR station (probably WYSO) and to several of our favorite programs: This American Life (WBUZ) and Radio Lab (WNYC). These stations are also suffering from the downturn in the economy, and since we regularly listen to their shows we think they deserve our support.

My husband and I understand that President Hodges has economic issues that demand his attention, and we've heard that a year has been spent looking for alternatives, but we don't believe that the university has taken a far-sighted interest in the problem. We think that Miami U. is going to lose an important presence in Southwest Ohio, an invaluable marketing tool, and its stature as an institution of higher learning.

We hope that Miami U's loss will not deprive the area of the skills of the WMUB staff. We look forward to seeing and hearing the good folks at WMUB in new jobs in our area.

--P and J, via email

[Ed.: Miami has said that payments on pledges made on or after July 1, 2008 may be refunded on request. Money committed prior to July has been spent.]

How lucky people in Oxford are

I just heard the news about WMUB and CPR. I don't know what exactly that means for WMUB, but i assume it means losing its autonomy and everyone working at the station. I'm sorry to hear all of this. Since moving here, I've really realized how lucky people around Oxford are to have a station as good as WMUB. I hope all goes well for you and everyone else at the station.

--Craig, via email

This loss has saddened me

As an area resident and loyal listener for decades and member of WMUB, I too am saddened by the recent announcement of changes at WMUB. As someone who has seen our greater Butler County community rapidly is very difficult to lose, yet something else, that has been a part of my life. I understand that there will still be NPR programming which I faithfully listen to....but I understand the loss of the local programming and loss of what has been an important part of the community and the university for almost sixty years.

I do understand the difficult economic conditions and that all things change,..... however, this particular change, ... this loss has really saddened me.

I will continue to listen to WMUB and will continue to support its individuality through CPR with the hopes that at some point in the future, the station will be able to return to what so many of us have loved and enjoyed.


--Judy, via email

Every student deserves what I had

It’s fair to say I got a lot more from WMUB than I ever gave back to it. As a student employee and newscaster, I gained the technical, social and professional skills which prepared me for a very fulfilling career in broadcasting and, subsequently, media relations. I’m tempted to wax nostalgic here, but that would merely result in me tearing up and constructing a rambling email which may be cathartic for me, but tedious to readers. So I’ll simply thank WMUB and its employees for what they gave me:

· A great paid on-campus job. I was a board operator then chief board operator. The work was rewarding and educational and supplemented (in a few areas eclipsed) the education in broadcasting I was getting as a student in Miami’s then Mass Communications program.

· Friends/mentors. Jim Haskins, Darlene Chafin, Dave Walrod, Bob Long, Dan Conti and others exercised a great deal of patience with me and I never thanked them for it. They can’t possibly know how much they taught me.

· A chance to be a live, on-air broadcaster! As a mediocre student, and socially awkward in Oxford, I had a home at WMUB where I felt appreciated, competent and needed. Bob left me in charge of Morning Edition when he went on vacation one summer and Jim promoted me to chief board operator. Not bad for a shy kid and the first in his blue-collar family to go to college.

· Respect for the audience. I remember well the responsibilities of administering Emergency Broadcast System tones during a tornado warning for Oxford. Being made to write and rewrite a news story until it made sense and actually benefited the listener’s ear. I once did a local break while imitating the host of the national program which happened to be on the air at the time. The General Manager called me in the booth and set me straight. It was a good impression though. Also, live remotes challenged you technically and brought you face-to-face to your audience. Priceless experiences for budding broadcasters.

I was lucky to work there in the ‘90s when public radio stations still had a lot of diverse local programming and strong local identities. Eventually the homogenization of public radio resulted in overlapping NPR/PRI programming which could be heard on multiple stations in the same town. WMUB, perhaps because of its signal strength and geographic location, became a victim of its own gentrification. I’m not encumbered with the responsibility having to balance the books of any organization so I’ll resist the temptation to pass judgment on management decisions I’m not qualified to interpret. But every student deserves the opportunities I had in college. Miami fulfilled its obligation to me largely through WMUB. I’m very grateful for those years. I hope today’s students have something to take its place.

Thanks, friends. I miss you and wish you the best of luck in your next ventures.

--Scott, Columbia SC (former MU and WMUB student)

A lot of class

I did listen to part of the [January 23 Forum] program, and I think you guys did a marvelous job of getting the issue out there, while keeping your own distress out of it. Really shows a lot of class.

As another "multiple signal" community, I really feel your pain. While [my station] at least doesn't duplicate the other station's programming, our niche is small, and not getting any bigger. We have strong administrative support now, but you never know when that might change.

Good luck. You are a talented bunch of pros, and I'm confident you'll make it through this.

--Dennis, in Iowa

How sorry I am

[H]ow sorry I am to hear that Miami is getting rid of the station. It left me speechless for a while as I just kept re-reading the same news article. It's a horrible shame and I'm still not sure what to make of it. I've always had great memories of my time at WMUB and I credit you and the station for getting my career started and harnessing my passion for public radio. I still carry my WMUB cup around the office. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. I understand there's a community forum on Wednesday evening. I'm thinking of making the trek to Ohio to be a part of it, although it's tough to get away from work these days.

--Tony, former WMUB Board Operator

So very sorry

I am so very sorry, as a loyal listener and contributor, to hear that the staff of WMUB are being terminated and that WMUB will be a repeater for Cincinnati Public Radio.

--Will, via email

Sadly disappointed

[We] were hesitant at first to attend the Day Sponsor event at Jungle Jim's [recently], even though we had very early on returned our response indicating we would be present. We were glad we came. It felt right to be among other listeners for whom WMUB has been an important source of news and information, locally, regionally and nationally. It was also important to hear from all of you, to meet some new faces (for us) among the current staff, and to learn more about decisions that affect not only the listeners but also those of you who have committed years of service to the station. We are sadly disappointed by what we believe to be a huge loss to the regional community. We wish everyone at the station our best as you pursue your next steps. You will be missed.

--Nancy, Earlham College

Can't tell you how upset I am

I can't tell you how upset I am about Miami University bailing on WMUB. We have been listeners for more than 30 years, and we have been donors most of those years. We have been day sponsors the last few years. Our daughter, who is now a law student at Indiana University, was brought up on WMUB and listens online from Bloomington because she thinks it is so much better than the I.U. station. She, too, is a donor.

Here is my question to you: I heard Miami's president say that donors could receive refunds on their current year donation. I DO NOT want my donation to go to Cincinnati's public radio station or any organization related to them. Without putting you in a difficult position, would you suggest I ask for a refund or just let the Cincinnati station have it? I will continue to support public radio, probably through my other station, WBST at Ball State University, so it's not a matter of just getting my money back.

I wonder if Miami University realizes how important WMUB is in spreading the word about the university. I know of at least two Miami graduates from Indiana who attended the college primarily because their parents were very big WMUB supporters. I doubt either family would have considered the college had they not been familiar with it through the radio station.

I am mad. I am hurt. And I don't want to provide financial support to an organization that is taking over WMUB. Any advice about this would be appreciated.

Good luck to you and all the other staffers whose lives are being disrupted by this misguided decision. Know that all of you have made many of our lives better because of the programming you have provided all these years.

--Dan, Hagerstown, IN

[Ed.: Miami has said that money paid on pledges made after July 1, 2008 will be refunded upon request. Money prior to July 2008 has been spent.]

It's a shame

This is probably a non-issue after hearing about the station today. Sorry to hear this was the only option left to university. It's a shame there wasn't a way to work the communication department back into the plan, and make the station a valuable resource for that department. Now everyone will suffer the loss of a valuable and more often than not, non-replaceable resource.

--Ryan, MU Mass Comm grad and former WMUB Graduate Assistant

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saddened to think of Miami without WMUB

I'm saddened to think of a Miami without WMUB on site, but understand the university's circumstances.

WMUB was a formative part of my Miami experience. From 1997-2001, while a student, I was a board operator and on-air host at WMUB, and I was the founding student producer of WMUB Forum. The skills I learned at the station have proven invaluable in my professional career, and I'm sorry to know that other students won't have the same opportunity I had.

My thoughts are with Cleve, Darlene, and all the other fine folks who have made WMUB so special...


--Steve, via email

Wishes a refund of pledge

I wish to support LOCAL public radio and do not want my pledge to roll over to the new Cincinnati based station.

I have given a total of $200.00 in the last two pledges. I gave $100.00 in April and $100.00 in September.

Please let me know if this will be credited back to my credit card or I will receive a check in the mail.

--Rich, via email

[Ed.: Miami has announced that those who made pledges after July 1, 2008 will be entitled to a refund on request. Pledges made before July 1 have been spent.]

Disappointed to hear the news

I was disappointed to hear the news about WMUB yesterday. ... I’m truly sorry it has ended this way. Thanks for all you have done.

--anonymous, Miami U.

Don't understand why isn't this a priority

It’s terrible for ... your hard-working staff, terrible for Butler County, terrible for all of your listeners. I truly don’t understand why presenting thoughtful, in-depth news for people in the region is not a top priority for an institution of higher education. Much more mission central, in my opinion, than so many other things that have received funding in recent years.

--anonymous, Miami U.

Losing a necessary local voice

I just wanted you to know how sad and disappointed I am for all of you in the recent proposal about WXU / WMUB. I read about it this morning in the Enquirer. We have just loved WMUB and we’ve supported it both monetarily and through volunteering on the phone lines as long as we’ve been in Oxford. I feel as if we are losing a necessary local voice; one that met special, not-met-elsewhere needs. You are all in our prayers.

--Carol, Oxford

Sorry to hear of the changes

I'm sorry to hear of the changes that are impending on many levels, and the decision by Dr. Hodge is at least short-sighted.

I am sure I am not the only person who would not really have knowledge of Miami University except by reports from WMUB.

If the goal of Miami University is to educate their students, the diminishment of sources for information is counter productive.

If the goal is to increase attendance, again shutting down WMUB will remove hourly on-air advertisements for Miami and direct attention to Cincinnati.

All newspapers are reducing staffs and centralizing printing, and Richmond has lost significant local coverage from the Palladium-Item as they have moved their printing to Indianapolis.

With an occasional report on local news from WMUB we were able to get additional perspectives on our area, so in this case, East Central Indiana is also at a loss.

I haven't discussed the numerous awards WMUB has received and the value to every farmhouse in the broadcast area and also know that once the lights go out it will be nearly impossible to bring them back on.

I really hope that all efforts were made to consider how far reaching this decision will be, and that it was the only possible alternative.

Again, I am concerned that it may be expedient, but not in the best interests of the citizens of Ohio and Indiana at large, or the present and future students of Miami University, short or long term.

--Jim, Richmond

Shocked, saddened and sickened

I was shocked, saddened, and sickened to hear the news about WMUB today! This is such a short-sighted decision on the part of the administration, and it overlooks the worldwide network of loyal alums who listen on-line and those who got their starts right here. I know that times are tight, but I cannot see MUB as less than central to our mission.

--Susan, Oxford

Appalling news

This is appalling news and I am sorry to hear it. Will [the WMUB] staff be retained via the new arrangement? Does this mean that all local programming will originate in Cincinnati? Yuck.

--Curt, Oxford

[Ed.: All WMUB staff have been informed that their jobs will end on June 30th, 2009.]

Thanks and condolences

Economics preaches us to analyze choices in marginal amounts. In the case of WMUB and the ten people involved, the changes are radical.

I have had my differences with WMUB and its operation; I have expressed those to you. And you always responded in a professional way. I walked away at one point, but I came back quickly when the issues were resolved. I have been a day sponsor for many years, celebrating my partner's birthday. I was elated, as I expressed to you, when you changed to the all-news format.

Sadly, ten people have felt the pernicious blow of the budget crisis; thousands of others will have to suffer, too, with a deleterious decrease in local coverage.

... please express both my thanks and condolences to the staff of WMUB. On March 1, my mornings, late afternoons and nights will be greatly altered.

--Jerry, Oxford

Worst news of the downturn

This has to be the worst news of the economic downturn - not only is everybody losing their jobs, but now we are losing our radio. WVXU is a nice station but doesn't cover those of us up here in Dayton.

My heart goes out to those of you losing your positions, and all of the listeners who wanted to, but weren't able to save this station.

My question is... what does "no longer covering local programming," mean? I assume no more 9am shows like Forum, but will there not be local news, no Miami Valley traffic and school closings.


--Kirsten, Kettering

The sound of my daily life

WMUB has been the sound of my daily life for more than a decade. My contact with the station began more than 40 years ago when I took a course in "announcing" and was the Saturday news voice for a semester on a station with a reach that then didn't extend beyond the limits of Oxford.

Today's announcement came as a sadness for me. WMUB has been my link to a university I love. I hope the change won't interrupt my day sponsor's birthday tribute to my granddaughter on Sept. 1. It's been a part of her growing up. She'll be 12 this year.

Best wishes to the friends I've made at WMUB on the air and in person.

--Don, Richmond


I only recently discovered WMUB. While I enjoy the network news and information programming, I thoroughly enjoy the locally produced programs that relate to me, the local listener. WMUB’s broadcast staff are voices I’ve come to know as personal friends. From my early morning commute, during my work day (don’t tell my boss) and into the night, WMUB is practically a constant companion. My biggest regret is that I missed most of the 58 years WMUB has served our area. I wish all of my dear friends at WMUB well. I shall miss you.

--Kerry, Springboro

Devastating news

This is devastating news. My heart goes out to you & all those who’ve given their professional lives to WMUB.

--anonymous former public radio colleague in Ohio

Shocking news

This is shocking news, and I know I speak for all of us [when] I tell how sorry we are to hear of this. I know this is a hectic time, but we would certainly like to know more about how this has transpired. The implications for public radio in Ohio are quite serious, not to mention the public relations impact of this announcement.

Please convey to your staff our admiration for their work and that they are in our thoughts as we learn of this announcement.

--anonymous General Manager of another Ohio public station

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why not save WMUB?

It was obvious to me that during this morning's [Forum] show on the closure of WMUB that a lot of people listen on the internet. The "listening " audience is larger than just those who can get the traditional radio signal. That should be taken into consideration, I think. But, why not have a " Save WMUB " campaign now that the general public is aware of the crisis ? I am confident that many more people would step up to help keep MUB local than do in normal fundraising. Please, please think " out of the box" on this one. Decisions such as this shouldn't just be about the bottom line.

--Stefi, via email

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Interested in Miami Bicentennial Minutes

I am very interested in this new series that WMUB has developed for Miami’s Bicentennial, however, I anticipate that there will be many times when I miss an installment as I am not typically listening to the radio during the scheduled air times (with the perhaps exception of 5:44 pm). Will these be available either in a text or audio archive or perhaps a podcast on the WMUB web site?

--Elissa, via email

[Each week’s program will be available via our Miami Bicentennial Minutes page in both audio and text form. The link will take you to our online news page that includes a folder containing the Bicentennial Minutes and a list of podcasts to which you can subscribe, including the Bicentennial Minutes. -- Ed.]

Make payments automatic

[sent to WMUB, WYSO, and ThinkTV:]

I’ve been a member of all your stations for several years, or at least I’ve tried to. I’d like to contribute $10/month to each automatically on my credit card until I cancel it or increase it. This minimizes my hassle of renewal, I need not recall when last I pledged each, I don’t have to call/ email in every year requesting a MemberCard, and dig into which ones haven’t been paid and why (as I’m doing tonight). I suspect there are others out there like myself. So I propose you offer this option, and maybe even suggest this deal to everyone whom pledges -- Sign up for on-going automatic payments via checking debit, PayPal, credit card, or other means with an indefinite end date and you’ll be mailed your selected gift automatically each year OR be sent an email listing the items you’re eligible for each year.

You may also want to steer donors to the highest margin payment method (doesn’t credit cards cost you a few percent?). This would provide your station with a more stable income, allows you to better target your direct marketing efforts (only sending the occasional increase-donation request not the renewal and other mass mailings), be a bit more green, and help you minimize pledge drives’ duration. I think you’ll also loose fewer paying members and have fewer downgrades since payments will become almost invisible.

--Kevin in Beavercreek

Stop SoundWords

Stop SOUND WORDS to any member who says "THIS IS TOO EXPENSIVE"…As the news from you is saying....1931 was the last time [the] stock market was that bad. So is this 1931 all over out, WMUB will be the next donation I will drop.....THIRTY BUCKS per year, down the drain. Waste not, want not. I will give you a few weeks to come up with a better solution about how to STOP destroying the generous cash we send you …. You got the brains, but not the right to spend so much cash for copies of SOUND WORDS which usually are "JUNK MAIL" and not essential reading, of course a few listeners will demand the mail, but many will tell you to SAVE THE BUCKS before we all go into the TANK…I do not even want the reduced costs of bulk mailings....I can always listen FOR FREE, with no more bucks to you in any "fund drives".

--Rick in Richmond

[Except for the part about “always” listening for free – if everyone thought that, there would be no “always” -- Rick’s idea is a good one. It’s been possible to request an electronic-only SoundWords for some time, but we haven’t publicized this as much as we should. We’ll start putting an Email notice in future issues of SoundWords (see the February 2009 issue as a PDF, and see how we can most effectively distribute it electronically to those who request it. -- Ed.]