Radio Wars--How A Baltimore Public Station Plans to Crush Washington's Last College Voice
Public radio's genteel, mellifluous image masks the sometimes vicious battles that are waged off the air. Today's Listener column explores the ongoing attempt by Baltimore's WYPR to expand its signal into Washington's Maryland suburbs, where the radio station run by students at the University of Maryland happens to use the same space on the dial where WYPR resides.
The students at WMUC appear to be plain out of luck; they're unprotected by the FCC. Their only appeal is to public pressure, and they're supported in that effort by an impressively loyal group of station alumni, from NPR's Jay Kernis to Comcast Sports' Chick Hernandez to TV talk host Connie Chung. But the Baltimore station is intent on reaching into the Washington area, and the fact that its programming would largely duplicate (triplicate, really) that of WAMU and WETA is just one more sign of the sickness at the heart of public radio--an increasingly thorough and self-destructive trend toward putting the same, often-excellent National Public Radio and Public Radio International programming on stations that formerly offered distinctive local programming.
Public radio's decision by and large to move into news and talk programming instead of the jazz, classical, bluegrass and other locally-produced music programs that had been the primary reason for such stations to exist has come at exactly the worst possible moment for the future of public radio. The more public stations turn into a relay for All Things Considered and Morning Edition, the more listeners are driven to pay, satellite radio, where they can find the many forms of music that no longer exist on free, broadcast radio.
By Marc Fisher |
March 5, 2006; 8:55 AM ET
Previous: Farewell to Suds--Foggy Bottom Bottoms Out | Next: Hearts Are Light, Men Are Laughing, Little Children Shout
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Too Conservative | March 6, 2006 11:38 PM
Posted by: Bigg | March 8, 2006 9:33 AM
Posted by: Ben | March 9, 2006 8:50 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.