[JPL] Good news from WEMU

Linda Yohn lyohn at emich.edu
Sun Apr 9 11:02:34 EDT 2006

Hello all,

I fell almost sheepish to report good news for WEMU in light of recent 
developments at WBEZ and the passing of Jackie McLean, but I will share 
with the group anyway.

We concluded our srping fund drive with a $7,000.00 surplus.  I know 
that does not seem like much for large stations, but for our 16,000 
watt service surrounded by behemoth public radio signals, we are 
pleased with this news.  We were going for $120,000.00 pledged in 9 
days and we did it.  

It may have seemed like negativity, but what we used the example of 
what has happened in other markets with the elimination of daytime 
music as a major pitch point.  We of course, talked up our integrity 
and musical breadth and depth.  Listeners understood.  They took care 
of us for the next 6 months.

I'm so sad about the situation in Chicago.  I seriously believe that 
local music radio has a place.  Yes, I know that there are gifted, 
inspired programmers on the satellite services.  But, can those 
programmers really serve the regional musicians, promoters, educators, 
and club-owners?  Methinks no.  I know that the proposition of "program 
ecomomics" says that it is much more economical to re-transmit network 
programs.  These programs can be quite good.  They can inform and 
entertain.  But, can they really deal with local issues and culture.  
Again, methinks no.  

I know public radio needs to stay on the air.  We try to be as frugal 
as we can.  We sacrifice.  But, abandoning local music programming in 
favor "the party line" seems to me, contrary to public radio's mission 
to fully serve their local community.  I count my lucky stars that I 
work for a General Manager who believes in local hosts on the air 
ministering to listeners in meaningful ways.  When I post to this list, 
I want you all to know that is through the deep comunity commitment of 
Arthur Timko, WEMU General Manager, that we continue to stay our jazz 
and related musics course.

Here are couple of other good news things for WEMU:  the readers 
of "Current". Ann Arbor's Arts and Entertainment monthly magazine, 
voted WEMU as "Best Radio Station".  They also voted "The Sunday Best" 
with Dr. Arwulf as "Best Radio Program".  (Arwulf's show of traditional 
jazz presented in a delightfully idiosyncratic manner airs from 10AM to 
1PM Sundays.)  

We are honored by this.  But it reflects hard work.  We kicked up 
feature production in our news department.  We added different local 
segments in the news magazines.  We brightened our music mix.  It is 
less conservative than it used to be.  I'm taking more risks with what 
I add.  Our late night groove and edge shows are becoming more 

I hope WBEZ's changes are not totally etched in stone.  It would be a 
tragedy not to serve Chicago's huge jazz community with good localized 
programming.  Perhaps someone else on the list can tell me what other 
jazz radio options are in the Windy City.

Everyone, keep swinging and as best you can, keep the faith!


Linda Yohn
WEMU Music Director
lyohn at emich.edu

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