[JPL] Excellent current discussion

Linda Yohn lyohn at emich.edu
Sat Aug 9 11:09:41 EDT 2008


I thank the good doctor for starting this thread with his posting
regarding the WMUB program changes.  The follow up responses from Eric
and Miles with both good and timely.

I agree with Miles that talks and community outreach programs on jazz
work wonders for listenership for a jazz station.  So, the individual
that checks you out after an outreach event is a new listener.  That
listener is curious about jazz and should be welcomed to the fold with
the best quality music and the warmest, most professional announcer

Outreach programs get someone to the table, but good programming makes
the eating appetizing.  I agree with Eric that jazz shows must include a
good variety of music to keep the listener intrigued.  Blues, Brazilian,
Afro-Cuban, jazz-classical crossover and other forms can provide "spice"
for the meat and potatoes of jazz music in a program.   A sensitive host
can quickly explain the ways these musical forms intersect and make
sense for the listener.  And a sensitive host can be a real friend to
the listener.

Jazz can survive on the radio, but we have to program to today's
listener  We have to visualize listeners who are different than we
are...even say 30 years younger...and talk honestly to them.  We have to
abandon old "announcer-speak" and be real.  We have to abandon
programming with all intellectual or factual connections and try to make
connections with the sound, feeling and emotion of the music.  We can
mix sets that have a 2008 piece of music back to one from 1953.  If we,
as music hosts, do our show prep properly we can produce compelling
programs and keep jazz on the radio.  We can bring the past in to the

If you were to listen to WEMU today, you would hear a station that
sounds different from two years ago.  We have made a conscious decision
to really mix up the music.  Our last ratings book showed a decline in
cume listening, but huge jumps in AQH and TSL as well as the amount of
listening done by the core listener.  Our primary age range has changed
from 60+ to 45 to 52.  More African Americans are listening to us as are
more women.  This is what we wanted to accomplish.  Our next challenge
will be to increase the cume.  So, we'll get back out in to the
community with more presentations and host appearances to attract the
new listener.  Full circle.

Gotta fight the good fight...but with smarts.


Linda Yohn
WEMU Music Director
lyohn at emich.edu

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