For the many years that I have produced this website, I have often been the target of angry e-mails from people who think I was solely responsible for the format change of their favorite station. I’m just here to report the facts, and have nothing to do with the change of formats… or imaging… or personnel.
Thursday afternoon PBRTV reported that WESA-FM (90.5) was re-imaging itself and adding some new programming after one year on the air. The changes – more so to the programming – might upset some listeners, but I never expected it to be quite to the extreme that is taking place.
Earlier today (Monday) I checked my e-mail and found two e-mails titled, “Keep On Point, Tell Me More and The Takeaway”. Normally my eyes would see something like that as “spam”, but it was not in my spam box. I opened it and read:
I just signed the following petition addressed to: DeAnne Hamilton, WESA Pittsburgh General Manager.
Keep On Point, Tell Me More and the Takeaway
Taking away three fast moving, intelligent news talk shows that highlight regional perceptions on diverse issues and replacing them with an extended hour of regurgitated news and the Diane Rehm show is assuming the worst of southwestern PA public radio listeners and rolling talk news programming in our area back decades (http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/tv-radio/wesa-shakes-up-programming-lineup-648320/).
Tom Ashbrook is an incredibly skilled moderator and Michel Martin is fantastic at educating regarding minority issues/stances. John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee make a great team and focus on issues not always covered by mainstream media. You truly learn something new every day.
To replace these three shows with an extra hour of Morning Edition, and two hours of The Diane Rehm show (an incredibly slow moving, stale program with little caller feedback) is putting the breaks on what appeared to have been an exciting new trend in local public radio, affording listeners quality programming without having to go online. It’s disappointing and will surely perpetuate the negative opinion of local public radio.
WESA can and MUST do better!
Fill in your name…
As of this writing, only three people have signed the petition started by Dana from Pittsburgh at change.org. Other than PBRTV, receiving these petitions are WESA’s general Manager DeAnne Hamilton; WBUR Radio, producers of On Point; Jennifer Houlihan, host of “Take Away”; and Anya Sostek of the Post-Gazette who wrote about the imaging/programming change for the paper.
I invite both WESA management and those behind the petition to send a comment to PBRTV. However, I must reiterate that there is little that a one-man website can do to make a programming change. But that’s okay…