Last Sunday evening, we aired the pilot episode of a new public radio program called, “The Unconventionals” featuring, among other businesses, Lexington’s Big Ass Fans.
(sound from the program)
We solicited comments both for the producers and for our use and here’s what Mary had to say, “I love this show. I always like hearing how companies got started and what they do to survive and grow. Thinking out of the box as it were. It's great advice for anyone thinking about starting their own business. I hope you are able to keep this show on the air."
One of our listeners who made a donation near the end of the year added an anonymous comment that’s worth sharing, “I decided after years of being put off with NPR over the firing of Bob Edwards, for the excessive Zionist reporting, and your station for failing to deliver on a poster from Star Date that I would come off my high horse and say thank you for the new wonderful programming. I listen almost all day now when not working. Thank you for the classical station, too.”
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve aired comments in reaction to a listener who does not like NPR’s new announcer, Sabrina Farhi. Sabrina is the new voice of underwriting credits for most of the NPR shows, especially the hourly newscasts, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Phyllis wrote, “Please give my support to the new announcer that the woman listener complained about. Everybody is new some time, and I felt the woman’s comments were overdone.”
Last week, we devoted out entire segment to comments in reaction to a listener who was very unhappy with a Day Sponsorship announcement that mentioned God. Most of the comments came down on the side of allowing such messages in the interest of free speech.
Here is one final remark that came in last weekend, “I appreciate all the news that NPR brings and I think all the news includes all kinds of religious information, whether or not I agree with it. Thank you for doing a great job.”
It’s time for Listener Feedback. I’m John Hingsbergen, WEKU Program Director. You may recall the caller last week who was unhappy with a Day Sponsorship announcement that mentioned God, “Please don’t do that again.”
We’ve had a number of calls this week, including this one from a gentleman who was listening to Q with Jian Ghomeshi on Tuesday. “The announcer decided he was going to sneak in a little comment about praising God. This is a public radio station. We don’t need any religious commentary like that from announcers. So, please don’t do that again.”
Last Tuesday night, we received a curious, if not mystifying message on the Listener Comment Line. A listener who didn’t want to be identified, let alone heard on the air, commented that she was enjoying the classical music around 10 o'clock but that she could do without the sound of snoring in the middle of the music.
Jonathon, from Lexington, Posted on our Facebook page “NPR has spent so many hours discussing who won the recent political fight, yet we have not offered up our own solutions or presented solutions offered by think tanks. Lets start compiling a list of cuttable items in the budget that make sense to normal people."
Sharee, from Corbin, writes, “I travel through Knox, Clay and Jackson counties at least once a week. I always end up playing "Spin the dial---Find the WEKU station." Transmission goes in and out and I am unable to keep it on a consistent station. Are there plans in the works to up the transmission signal?”
Our just-ended Fall Fund Drive is the subject of this Thursday email from listener Joan. “You are hurting your supporters. How can you justify to interrupt the middle of a show like On Point where it is important to hear the whole topic. I just have to turn it off and turn it on after your interference."
Joan continues, "On news shows you should only break in at the start and end of the program. I have contributed but do not want to be punished by having you continually interrupt a show.”
In our continuing dialogue over an hour of BBC news that we added a few weeks ago, Charlotte from Danville weighs in, “I love the BBC at 4:00 am in the morning. I’ll always learn something quite interesting. I also love the classical music during the night."
Last week we shared some comments from listeners unhappy with the recent addition of an hour of the BBC World Service weekday mornings at 4:00. This week, Frank wrote to us, “My wife and I are BBC loyalists and are grateful to WEKU for the programs you play, from 4 AM onwards. I suppose we could listen to the BBC on the web, but we are old-fashioned radio addicts.”
Jean e-mailed us from Houston, Texas with the following question, “What is wrong with your listener app? It keeps cutting out. Trying to stay with the times the more cumbersome streaming sign-on works better on my iPhone.”
Several of you notified us of a problem with our signal on our sister station Classic 102.1. Luckily we were able to fix the problem by the afternoon – we appreciate the heads-up via Facebook and our listener comment line.
John, from Pikeville, wrote about an On Point show he heard this week. “I listened with disgust to the interview yesterday of Rand Paul by John Harwood. The interviewer seemed to have a preconceived opinion of Mr. Paul.
On the Listener Comment Line, a gentleman called who didn’t leave a name or callback information. As a result, we can’t use his voice on the air but we can say that he is in general a fan and supporter of WEKU but not of our Friday or Saturday night programming or of Radio Lab. In fact, he says he tuned in to the show once and thought he had gotten another station. He described Radiolab as “so far out, he thought he was on another planet.”
Last week, we passed along a comment from Richard in Lexington who advised us to not waste our money on future Capitol Steps specials. We’ve had just one reply to a request for others to weigh in. Samantha wrote, “I have to say that I agree. I thought I was a little late tuning in to The World but was unpleasantly surprised when I heard a song about the upcoming royal baby instead.”
A writer identifying as “Lydia” posted the following, using the Disqus feature on our website. Beginning by referring to the retirements of WEKU employees Carol Siler and Michael Carter, “Thank you for all that you brought to the station and all the enjoyment your listeners got from your work. May your metaphorical fund drives be short, your programming schedule full, and your listener feedback above average. (So to speak.)”
In a budget-cutting effort, Eastern Kentucky University has eliminated over 180 staff positions. Among those were two well-known WEKU employees who opted for early retirement, Development Coordinator Carol Siler and Music Director/Classic 102.1 host Michael Carter.
A listener, choosing to remain anonymous, sent us a note following last week’s coverage of The Best of Bluegrass activities, “I really enjoyed the Gangstagrass and Appalatin music tonight. Thank you for incorporating those two shows. I have enjoyed all the bluegrass coverage this week.”
Brad, from Wilmore, e-mailed us, “I have not, do not, and probably will not listen to the new game show programs airing on WEKU. Except for 'Wait, Wait . . .' I find these programs, silly, corny, frivolous, and vacuous (without substance)."
Let's see, Ed from Lexington called station manager Roger Duvall. Karen emailed from London, Kentucky. Another Karen posted on Facebook, as did Terry. Meanwhile Chad tweeted about it. And this all happened Saturday evening.
We begin this week with a brief follow-up to the technical difficulties that virtually destroyed the 6 – 7 am hour of Morning Edition last Monday. The outage was a result of an equipment failure at NPR’s pristine new studios in our nation’s capital city.