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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GutBucketeer Mary Cliff 'Traditions' dropped from WETA FM (119* d) RE: Folklore: Mary Cliff Fired - WETA FM 'Traditions' 23 Jan 07

Both public and private radio stations operate over the public airwaves and are granted the rights to use the public airwaves (a scarce resource) in return for providing something back to the community. I believe this is especially true of public not-for-profit stations. They operate within the bounds of their stated mission and have either explicit or implicit agreements to serve their listeners. WETA broke their agreement with their classical audience two years ago, when they abandoned the format. This is an indication of their "committment" to their public and their requirement to serve.

Anytime a private for profit corporation goes out of its way conduct conversations behind the scenes with a public entity it is suspect. Bonneville Corporation showed its colors and committment to its Classical listeners already by switching WGMS from a strong signal to a weaker signal location (104.?) on the dial, and now is eliminating classical programming entirely. Clearly Bonneville gained by shedding its classical audience at virtually no cost in order to seek what it thinks will be more profitable markets. They hoped to avoid a backlash by initiating their negotiations with WETA.

I don't know what the exact laws and requirements are, but I do know each station has to live up to their stated committments, and that these are periodically reviewed by the FCC. IMHO there is cause for concern because local programming and community content has now been sigficantly reduced, and unique "Traditions" have been cancelled through smoke filled back room negotiations.


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