TOPIC ONE: PACIFICA ON THE EDGE OF OBLIVION
We have received several comments and/or questions about our coverage of the Pacifica Foundation, it’s new Interim Executive Director Tom Livingston and the future of its five stations. This comment from an anonymous reader is typical:
Is there any chance Pacifica will switch WPFW, their Washington, DC station, to full-time Jazz music? This market needs a full-time Jazz Station? Also, is there any chance WAMU will acquire WPFW?
KEN SAYS: It is too soon to answer these questions because the future of Pacifica in unknown. There has been little new news about Pacifica this week. Our understanding that Tom Livingston did site visits last week and is considering a range of options to present to Pacifica’s national board.
A comment on one of the Pacifica blogs sums it up the best:
Livingston really needs to set the tone right away with some big move. Something to show that things are going to change.
In other words, will Livingston’s proposed changes “go big” or “rearrange the furniture.”
“Going big” might include scrapping Pacifica’s dysfunctional governance system and consolidate everything under one board, ending the autonomy of individual stations or liquidate all of the assets and build a new venture online. In an earlier post [link], we recommended making Pacifica a national voice by simulcasting programming to all five stations from one common studio.
On the other hand, “rearranging the furniture” means putting band aids on some of the current problems and hope for the best.
In our opinion Livingston should “go big” and redefine the entire organization. This way Pacifica can stay true to its mission and move away from what clearly HAS not worked.
TOPIC TWO: PLEASE EXPLAIN THE CHANGES AT WVTF
Regarding our post about WCVE, Richmond, Virginia and WVTF, Lee Costic of Richmond, a FM DX Enthusiast, wrote:
Great coverage of WCVE’s expansion! But I am curious where you got that Nielsen data. WVTF does have a translator on 92.5 in Richmond that carries their NPR/news service, branded as “RadioIQ.”
But WVTF’s Classical music service, branded as “WVTF Music” is not available over the air in Richmond. In Roanoke, “WVTF Music” is on WWVT, which used to be WFFC, a station with very small coverage. No WWVT translator stations reach Richmond, correct?
KEN SAYS: Our Nielsen Audio data comes from RRC – the Radio Research Consortium [link], an organization set up over 30 years ago to provide ratings data to noncommercial radio stations. Occasionally we get data directly from Nielsen or StationRatings.com.
I need some help from readers in the Roanoke area. I thought I knew what happened when WVTF rearranged their two programming stream in July 2017. How ever now I am even more confused. You can reach me at email@example.com.
On the left is our Nielsen Audio ratings chart for Roanoke. Can someone tell me if I have the correct stations with the actual formats?
WVTF has only added to the confusion with their poor choice of names for their two program channels. As I understand it, NPR News is now on 89.1 FM, WVTF, but is called Radio IQ. Classical music is on 89.9 FM, WWVT, but it is called WVTF Music. I recommend give each program service an easier to understand name.
TOPIC THREE: NBC’S NEWS & INFORMATION SERVICE 24/7 NEWS CHANNEL – NIS
Our post about NBC Radio’s short-lived 24/7 news channel in the 1970s [link] continues to get reader comments. Our story concerned the failure of the channel because, in our opinion, it lack a vision and sounded dated, just at a time when FM stations were taking off.
We received a comment from Gil Gross, the former host of a talk show at KKSF in San Francisco, and before that a network news host at ABC and CBS radio networks. To put it kindly, Gross didn’t like the angle of our story:
|NIS did not live up to its hype|
There is a lot here to chew on and much of it is ridiculous. The quality of NIS, where I was a weekend and substitute anchor, was amazing. Describing [NBC executive] Alan Walden as “old school” is disingenuous.
The idea that “going young” would have been better is just ignorant. NIS was not a “turd” as you called it. Who the hell writes something like that?
KEN SAYS: I wrote the story and I stand by my description of NIS,
TOPIC FOUR: LEGIT SCHOOL FOR BROADCAST SKILLS? TRAINING
In January 2015 we posted an article about a company called The Radio Connection [link], a LA-based company that charges big bucks arrange internships at stations. The plan seemed like a scam to us. A reader using the initials “GR” wrote to us:
Can you guide to me a legit school for broadcasting in the Los Angeles area?
KEN SAYS: Readers, can you help? You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.