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This week, a couple of calls to the Listener Comment Line.  First up, this one from listener Kendall, “I love WEKU and all the local NPR radio stations because they are typically so non-biased when it comes to reporting political events around the country. However, today I have heard several stories broadcast on WEKU about the violence at the Nevada Democratic Convention over the weekend but no comments as to what started them.” 

We have a couple of comments in reaction to last month’s Eastern Standard show with presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.  Both, by the way, are from a website visitor self-identifying as “Annie on the Trail.” 

She wrote, “This was a FASCINATING show! Thanks!”

A listener from Frankfort emailed us with what she called some “observations about the WEKU stream vs. other Kentucky public radio streams.” 

She says, “The broadcast volume is about 30% of what some other stations broadcast. For example, to hear WEKU at the same volume as other stations, I have to put my speakers at 20-30% volume vs. 5-10% for others.” 

We begin with a call to the listener comment line from Phyllis from Prestonsburg.  She's responding to a request for comments about the changes underway with A Prairie Home Companion now that Garrison Keillor is getting ready to retire, “I'm heartbroken that Garrison Keillor is leaving.  My opinion on the replacement is still not formed yet but, when I heard the replacement host and program, it just wasn’t the same.   

We start with a call to the WEKU Listener Comment Line, “I have been listening to public radio for over 25 years and I’ve listened to a lot of great stations.  But, I wanted to tell you that WEKU is my favorite public radio station, actually any radio station ever.” 

The caller continues, “I love the thoughtful and interesting talk you have on all day.  I learn things all the time and I am so grateful that you are a presence in our community.”

Here’s a note by email from listener Virginia, “I just made a contribution and commented that I love the station.  I did not say ‘…all but one thing - Dinner Party Download.’  I just turn it off. Thanks for making my life more interesting.” 

From the Listener Comment Line, “Whoever the gentleman was that just made a reference to the Spoonbread Festival controversy in Berea, accidentally referred to it in the first phrase of the All Things Considered report that it was a decision made by the Berea City Council. That’s not correct. "

Here’s a message from listener Dave, who tells us he enjoys the station, especially while exercising every day, but he has a suggestion for announcers, “Ask your people to quit saying ‘First ever.’ First means it never happened before. ‘First ever’ means you don’t know what the word first means.” 

Here’s an email from Alan, presumably in the Prestonsburg area,  “My wife and I have been consistent and faithful listeners and supporters of WEKU since our daughters attended EKU several years ago. WEKU, at 90.9 Hazard, has been part of our daily regimen for all that time."  

  

  

Alan continues, "As of late however, we have been unable to listen to the station because of poor reception. Has your Hazard transmitter gone down or is there some other problem? We would like to regain the channel and to once again become donating partners with the station.”

Dozens of listeners posted on Facebook or Twitter in reaction to the news of the passing of NPR newsman Craig Windham.   

Meg tweeted, “I’ll miss Craig reading the news in the morning. #RIPCraig.”

Rebecca commented on Facebook, “So sad to hear this.”

We’ve had a number of contacts regarding an apparent problem with one of the programs on our sister station, Classic 102.1. We’re told that the Sunday afternoon program Classical Guitar Alive has been repeating for a number of weeks.  We apologize for that and will check it out and…most importantly…get it fixed.

Last week, a listener wrote in about my personal choice to go on the air before my voice had completely recovered from a sinus infection. I continue to stand by my apology for coming back a bit too soon. 

Meanwhile, I want to acknowledge the messages of listeners reacting to Linda. At risk of seeming self-serving, here are a few excerpts:

Listener Linda wrote in at the end of last week,  “It's unbelievable to me that you continue to go on air when you don't have the ability to read the news in a fluent or conversational manner. But the last few days subjecting us to your voice is in its current condition shows your inconsideration for the audience. Is there no one to fill in for hosts when they are clearly too sick to go on?."

All of our comments this week came along with donations to the station.  For example, April from Lexington, wrote, “I love your morning line up! Morning edition to BBC news hour. Thank you for keeping me connected.”

Christie, from Orlando, tells us, she listens to 88.9 to 88.5 to 90.1 as she travels for work.

Harry, from Lexington, writes, “Love NPR especially WEKU, BBC, News, Tom Ashbrook On Point. Only complaint is classical music station doesn't have enough power to reach south Lexington.”

Here’s a Thursday call to our Listener Comment Line from a listener choosing to remain anonymous,

“Your news broadcasts are skipping. The same thing has happened a couple of times in the last couple of days. I don’t know if you listen to your own stations or not but, it was very obvious that something was interfering with the broadcasting of the news. ”

Following Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s announcement of his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Rand Paul, listener Tracey wrote to us on Facebook, “I would like to ask that the reference to Mayor Gray as Lexington's first openly gay mayor be stopped. It's irrelevant to his campaign. If the descriptor remains, then all the candidates should be described by their sexual identity also.”

From Joan, in Waco, Kentucky, Wednesday following a news update during Here and Now, “I must take exception to your brief account of school construction just reported.  The reporter stated that legislators would no longer set wages for school construction projects under a bill that would exempt such projects from prevailing wage laws. This is a misleading misstatement of prevailing wage law and does a disservice to construction workers and the labor organizations that represent them.  Please do a better job of explaining prevailing wage laws. That was not up to your standards.”

Via the WEKU Facebook page, Marcia wrote to us, “Sick of hearing about Trump. There are other candidates who deserve coverage.” 

We had an exchange of messages with Marcia, explaining that WEKU does not determine the coverage, or extent of it, within the national news shows such as Here and Now, Morning Edition and All Things Considered but that we will certainly make sure her concerns are shared with producers of those shows.

Here’s a note from one of our earliest donors of the year 2016.  Daniel writes from Jellico, Tennessee, “I am an alumnus of Eastern Kentucky University. I recently left central KY to move back home and pursue my PhD at the University of Tennessee. My time in Richmond will always be special to me, and WEKU was a big part of that. I'm still listening!.”

Here’s a note from one of our earliest donors of the year 2016.  Daniel writes from Jellico, Tennessee, “I am an alumnus of Eastern Kentucky University. I recently left central KY to move back home and pursue my PhD at the University of Tennessee. My time in Richmond will always be special to me, and WEKU was a big part of that. I'm still listening!.” 

From the Listener Comment Line regarding our sister station Classic 102., “I’m listening to the ‘Lessons and Carols from Kings College, Cambridge’ on Christmas Eve.  It’s a “live” broadcast and recordings of yours keep popping in. It would be nice if the broadcast were complete without updates or commercials for things coming up. For next year, that would be nice if you could rectify that problem.” 

And we had a follow-up email, from listener “MK,” “How dare you cut off the broadcast from King's College.  You  want people to listen and SUPPORT you and you do this???  Grinch”

From the WEKU Listener Comment Line, “It has made me laugh and it has made me cry.”  This listener, choosing to remain anonymous, says The Moth Radio Hour is “the most wonderful radio show” he’s ever listened to. “Hopefully, one day you can extend it longer than an hour because an hour is just not enough. I really, really like it,” he says.”


From David  in Danville,   “I am a long-time loyal listener of WEKU, and now that I am retired, my preferred listening device is my Android tablet.  I have noticed in recent months that the volume of the webcast has gotten lower and lower.  Even when I have turned up my tablet volume all the way, it is barely audible more than 2 feet away.  (I have switched to fellow KY station WFPL a few times and they are louder, so it's not my device.)

We received a call Monday from a listener choosing to remain anonymous. She told us, “I moved here in May of this year.  Your station is the only station I’ve found that I could listen to and enjoy and today is the first day I’ve had a complaint."


On Tuesday morning, John Mark left a message to register discontent over our disruption of the weekly broadcast of Kentucky Tonight and its discussion of the upcoming session of the General Assembly. We chose to do so because of what we were told was an impending news briefing by President Obama including the President of France.  

The interruption was especially disruptive since the President did not speak until well after the broadcast of Kentucky Tonight was scheduled to end.

Here’s an email we received from listener, Andrea, “I love getting my news and features from WEKU and NPR. I’ve noticed that when the local announcer gives the weather during station breaks many times the forecast is given but not the current temperature." 

  


On Friday evening, we chose to preempt some of our evening programming, namely the Dinner Party Download, This American Life and SNAP Judgment so we could carry special coverage of the Paris attacks.  We’ve had numerous comments from listeners endorsing that choice. 

Among them is a tweet from Joe who wrote, “Great choice. Thank you for your continued excellence.”

On Thursday morning, Facebook visitor Peter posted, “Eastern Standard is interviewing a homeopathic doctor about the flu and vaccinations. Are you kidding me? Why not interview a faith healer while you're at it?” To which, Erik commented, “Not just a homeopath, a quantum nutritionist, whatever the hell that means.”   

That entire show is of course available at WEKU dot fm or downloadable as a podcast.

Listener Lee, from Lexington, responded to Tuesday night’s election coverage…

As we mentioned last Monday, the six days and one hour of our fall fund drive served as a time of intense listener feedback.  I begin with a special message of thanks to all who supported the station during the drive, allowing us to reach our goal of $75,000 by the end of the drive last Tuesday evening.

Last week’s Eastern Standard show featuring EKU’s President and emergency officials discussing the school’s reaction a threat posted in graffiti in a campus restroom received a lot of interest and attention. 

On the station website at WEKU.fm, listener Don wrote a comment in response to a news story by reporter Stu Johnson, headlined Eastern Kentucky Residents Steadily Moving Forward Following Summer Floods,  Don wrote, “Wonderful writing Stu! Keep reporting on life and living!”

We begin this week with a comment from an anonymous listener about traffic reports, “Well, it’s 7:52 in the morning on the 21st of September and traffic is backed up from Versailles Rd. to the first Versailles exit on the Bluegrass Parkway, and the morning drive host is telling us there are no delays to be concerned about.  You don’t have anybody spotting for you or your head’s in the sand or something.” 

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