Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WGBH update - feedback reply

 I did send in feedback via the WGBH website and received this email in reply:

Dear Mr. Sherlock,

Operating a multi-format station like 89.7 is very challenging in today’s media environment. While many of our loyal supporters may understand our programming schedule and what genres air when, most other radio listeners follow single formats: talk radio, rock, oldies, etc. Sustaining the mixed format we’ve had in place on 89.7 has become financially difficult. We are confident that running a more focused service will help 89.7 grow and strengthen into the future.

We recognize that this is a disappointment to the followers of the folk and blues programs that will move off our air when the schedule changes on 89.7, and we value the comments you have shared with us. We are very proud of the many contributions that WGBH and our hosts have made to folk and blues in Boston and New England. The Boston audience for folk and blues will continue to be served by other stations, like WUMB 91.9FM Boston, WNEF 91.7FM Newburyport, WFPB 1170AM Orleans, WICN 90.5FM Worcester, WOMR 92.1FM Provincetown, New Hampshire Public Radio, WHRB 95.3FM, WZLX 100.7FM Boston and WUML 91.5FM Lowell, and elements of folk and blues will continue to be heard as part of our Celtic and jazz programming on 89.7.

We hope that you will find other programs and services of value on WGBH that are worthy of support.


WGBH Member Development and Services

Produced in Boston — shared with the world.
So when the phone rang this evening (at dinner time) and it was WGBH calling for me to renew my support that I had done so well over the years, I was glad that she had my history right in front of her. It made my point all the more effective.

Sorry, but since you have changed your programing, I have therefore changed my support model. I'll go provide some financial support to stations that appreciate the folk market place.

She wanted to know if I had sent in my feedback, I let her know I had.
She wanted to know if I had received a response. Well, I really don't call that a response. It looks as some one cut and paste from the prior notification and didn't even bother to sign it. It could have been an automated reply.

I asked her to record my comments and refusal to contribute as due to the program change. She acknowledged she would.


  1. Interesting response! I had something happen recently (similiar to this) - one of my favorite Christian stations used to feature some talk shows as well as great contemporary Christian music. On my morning drive into work (5:20ish am) I got to listen to my fav program "Focus on the Family" with Dr Dobson. It got my morning off to a perfect start. They recently changed the format to be all music - no more talk shows of any kind. I was very sad and emailed them. I too got back a "canned" response. When they have their fund raiser drive in early 2010, I will NOT be a supporter any longer.

  2. That's the same boilerplate we've been seeing since 11/6.

    The WGBH spin machine is doing its best to paint a rosy picture the WCRB acquisition, read today's Allston-Brighton "Wicked Local" story - http://www.wickedlocal.com/allston/fun/x730410639/WGBH-taking-over-WCRB

    Commenting with a copy of the WGBH response would be enlightening.

    Anyone interested in reading more and sharing views with others in the folk and blues communities are welcome at....

    Information - http://notlobmusic.blogspot.com/2009/11/wgbh-drops-folk-and-blues-programs.html

    Cause ~ http://apps.facebook.com/causes/395481/34485837

    Discussion group ~ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201481030324&ref=ts

    Attend the board of directors meeting ~ http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=174621907156&ref=ts

  3. “That's the same boilerplate we've been seeing since 11/6.”

    Yes, and your response is the same boilerplate you have been using as well. Large and small organizations rely on such response policies for the same reason: They are efficient.

    Please, irony aside, spare the faux indignation and the charges that WGBH is somehow morally deficient. Steve’s decision to withhold his contribution is understandable and justifiable. It also validates the rationale for WGBH’s decision: Radio listeners like narrow formats. Steve likes blues. WGBH drops blues. WGBH loses Steve’s support.

    Sounds like you’re making their case.

  4. Steve,
    Have you listened to Whole Wheat Radio?

    It's a very unpretentious, interactive Internet station that operates on a shoestring with a passion for folk and blues.

  5. @DianeTaylor, that's the only way we have any control is via the money.

    @notloB, thanks good links

    @Peter, good point except you missed a crucial fact, it is not Blues I am missing, it is Folk. But yes, my money will go elsewhere for folk.

    @Charles Adler, thanks, I wasn't aware of that one but will give it a try.