Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

WNED had a public meeting last night to allow the public to comment on future programming on the its stations-- WNED-FM, WNED-AM, and WBFO. On the podium were Don Boswell, the CEO of WNED, the present station manager from WBFO, Mark Vogelzang, the present station manager from WBFO, and a representive from UB whose name presently escapes me. Joseph A. Brennan, UB’s associate vice president for communications. Turnout was not overwhelming, and although there were people there with different things to say, the overwhelming sentiment seemed to be that the Blues programing on WBFO is something that the people present want to see retained.

I doubt that it will be. In fact, although Mr. Boswell stopped short of saying it in so many words, what is likely to happen is that WBFO will become the FM outlet for the programing that is presently being carried by WNED-AM. WNED-FM is retaining its format-- Boswell was clear on that. The whole thing is a pity, as I have said before. WBFO is an important part of the history and tradition of public radio, and public radio has its roots in educational broadcasting, particularly the liberal arts. By abandoning the station the University at Buffalo is abandoning a significant and important part of its role in the community. Say what you will about Bill Greiner's time as president of the university, Greiner understood radio, and believed that part of the University's mission was to serve an educational role to the community at large. When Jennifer Roth left WBFO the GM seat was filled by a caretaker, then Greiner stepped down and was replaced by a guy with his eye on the bottom line who didn't have the same ties to the community. President Simpson flew home to LA every week, and it is no surprise that under his leadership UB asked,"what are we doing with a radio station?" instead of, "how can we use this great tool better?".

I get that times are tight. I understand why UB feels like it should be focusing more on other things-- but I disagree strongly with this move, and I believe that Western New York will suffer culturally with this move. Instead of jazz and blues we are going to be getting more Car Talk, because that's how Don Boswell thinks programing decisions get made-- with a view to what is the least expensive, with the greatest return. In part this is because Don Boswell is a Public Television guy. Whenever public television and public radio sit down at the table you can count on it being a bacon and eggs breakfast.

| Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?