Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Legendary commercial Triple A station WDST, Woodstock, New York, known as Radio Woodstock [link], has changed its business model. WDST announced they are lowering the number of commercials each hour and rebranding the station as “listener supported.”

Radio Woodstock’s first on-air pledge-drive ended on Friday (3/3).  Over 300 people pledged their support during a five-day drive. The amount of money raised was not disclosed. WDST is planning two fund drives a year. Because of the direct support from its listeners, Radio Woodstock is promising its listeners that no commercial break will last longer than two-and-a-half minutes.

WDST owner Gary Chetkof told local reporters:

“[We are] breaking new ground for commercial radio. We are no longer ratings-driven programming. Our focus is now on super­-serving the listeners who support us.”  

The move is coming at a good time for Radio Woodstock, which competes in the Poughkeepsie market (Nielsen Audio metro #169).  In the Fall 2016 ratings, WDST had a 1.7 average-quarter-hour share, the lowest in recent memory.


VuHaus, the public media music video site, announced that six Colorado noncommercial stations are part of a new statewide collaboration to promote Colorado music. The initiative, Colorado Music Strategy, includes 105.5 The Colorado Sound (KJAC); KRCC, Colorado Springs; KSJD, Cortez; KSUT, Durango; KVNF, Paonia and KRFC, Fort Collins. Other music-oriented Colorado noncoms have been invited to join.

According to Benji McPhail, PD of KJAC, Colorado Music Strategy is a non-profit organization committed to benefiting local and emerging Colorado artists. VuHaus has created a page that will feature videos from participating stations.


Congratulations to Bill Drake, the new GM at WRVO, Syracuse. For many years Drake programed News WNIJ and Classical WNIU in Rockford, Illinois. Drake is a proud graduate of the late-great Tim Emmons School of Broadcasting and Reality.

Drake is not related to the historic “Boss Jock” consultant with the same name. I don’t know if the two “radio Bill Drakes” ever met but both can hit a hard post from a mile away.

Drake said in a message on the WRVO website:

"As a long-time public radio program director, I have always felt that when I'm in that role, my primary responsibility is to be an advocate for the listener. WRVO gives me the opportunity to do that. It's my privilege to serve as the listeners' representative within the radio station."


Steve Bannon’s campaign to end “the administrative state” will have public broadcasting (and many other federal programs) in the crosshairs this Thursday according to a report in Monday’s (3/13) Washington Post:

The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research.

The plan appears to be similar to the current effort to zap Obamacare: Propose cutting a long list of items, to assure none of them can muster enough individual support. Then move like a blitzkrieg before folks figure out what is happening.

As I’ve in earlier post, this one is personal.  Bannon and his buddy failed-public radio host David Horowitz, have been pushing for an end to CPB for years based on an old grudge against former KCRW GM Ruth Seymour. 

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