Thursday, January 29, 2009

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.]


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