MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 62.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, Music That Doesn't Rawk, Overture issues, etc.

A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby brentron909 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:10 am

I am more than a little fed up.

As I currently listen to Kathleen Dunn giggle her way through an interview like a drunken aunt, I am struck by how continually old and out of touch I find the on-air personalities at Wisconsin Public Radio. Hey, wow, the guys at Zorba Pastor On Your Health know a good homeopathic remedy for my boil? OMG! Oh, and Jean Feraca can relate to geopolitical issues because, you know, she was totally at Woodstock? Please.

Its obvious there is a shortage of young talent at WPR. I mean, Michael Feldman is the young Turk of the bunch, and his show has been on the air since the Regan administration. I can't help but assume that this has something to do with the fact that they are all state employees. Perhaps they need to work in some sort of quality-control review to promote some younger voices on the air?

Its not that fresh radio isn't happening anywhere. Everybody knows about Ira Glass (he's getting up there in age, anyway) but there is plenty else to enjoy like NY Public Radio's RadioLab, and any number of great podcasts.

But I live in Wisconsin, and I believe in WISCONSIN Public Radio. I would like to turn on my radio and not feel ashamed and embarrassed for the AARP club that passes for our on-air talent.

/rant
brentron909
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 9:15 am
Location: East Side

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby Mean Scenester » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:13 pm

Well said.

Kathleen Dunn was a hack when she took over that spot and her "skill" as a journalist has not developed in the least. I gave up listening to WPR talk in the morning about the third time I heard her treating some GOP tool with kid gloves as though she were on the Fox payroll. She's so ill equipped an interviewer that anyone with a bit of conversational dexterity can sandbag her in a heartbeat.

Oh, and her voice is like sandpaper on this listener's scrotum.
Mean Scenester
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1301
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:56 pm

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby wallrock » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:37 pm

I don't listen to many of the call-in shows because I can't stand the format - one would think that the time spent on hold would give the caller time to form a cogent argument but I've never heard it happen. That said, I don't mind Cardin, Meiller or Merens during the interview segments and I never thought Kathleen Dunn was that bad. There's only one show I actively hate and that's fucking Radio Lab. Something about that show drives me up the fucking wall. I'll even turn off Morning Edition if those fuckers get a segment at the end of the hour.
wallrock
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:11 am
Location: Middleton

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:53 pm

All of these reason are why I don't listen to WIsconsin NPR. I've listened to Minnesota's and they have some great programs. They are also geared to people under 60.

*no offense to those over 60*
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4837
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby brentron909 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:56 pm

wallrock wrote:I don't listen to many of the call-in shows because I can't stand the format - one would think that the time spent on hold would give the caller time to form a cogent argument but I've never heard it happen.


A good reason to integrate twitter and facebook comments into the fold, which at least have to be typed out, not extemperaneously mumbled into a telephone receiver. Unfortunately, the call-in shows usually only use a comment or 2 for every 10 calls they take. Another jab at younger listeners for sure.

Mean Scenester wrote:Oh, and her voice is like sandpaper on this listener's scrotum.

Cardin and Feraca have similarly, uh, scratchy voices in my opinion.
brentron909
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 9:15 am
Location: East Side

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:14 pm

I'm over 60 and I also think the talk side at WPR is fossilized, with some programs close to un-listenable. One part of the the problem is their more-generous contributors, who tend to be on the old side. That's where the money is, unfortunately, and the programming is following the money.

Some of the better national shows are expensive for the station to carry -- again, it's a money thing and in this case they're presenting the cheapest programming. So it cuts both ways, and the result is not moving the station forward.

I miss hearing Ira Glass in his old time slot.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11495
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby Bad Gradger » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:18 pm

WPR (and WPT) aren't going to change until their audience finishes dying off and the money from their dead listeners' (and viewers') estates runs out. Let's call that 15 years.
Stebben84 wrote:All of these reason are why I don't listen to WIsconsin NPR. I've listened to Minnesota's and they have some great programs. They are also geared to people under 60.

*no offense to those over 60*

Strangely enough, Minnesota Public Radio is the most successful public radio station/network in the country, with the largest number of members and healthiest level of fundraising.
Bad Gradger
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 800
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby Stomach » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:29 pm

I have similar feelings about a few shows on WORT but I don't want to hijack your thread. Not call in/interview shows, but programs that have been running for a long time and the host has not infused anything fresh into their time slot.
Stomach
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1329
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:28 pm

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby jjoyce » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:35 pm

I listen to TAL weekly, but on my ipod. I donate direct to the show, because I got sick of trying to find out where WPR stuck it after a couple schedule shifts. I have absolutely no idea what time it's on anymore. Haven't even stumbled on it.

I stumble across Garrison Keillor all the time, for some reason. Wonder why that is, that WPR would play Prairie Home Companion multiple times a week, but TAL just once. The programming defies logic when it comes to trying to build an audience.

I really like Jonathon Overby's show on Saturday. When we're home and maybe cooking/eating, we always turn it on. Fun, informative and likely to get the blood circulating during the cold months.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby brentron909 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:06 pm

snoqueen wrote:I'm over 60 and I also think the talk side at WPR is fossilized, with some programs close to un-listenable. One part of the the problem is their more-generous contributors, who tend to be on the old side. That's where the money is, unfortunately, and the programming is following the money.


So, their programming decisions are based on money, which mostly comes from old people, but doesn't that mean...

Bad Gradger wrote:WPR (and WPT) aren't going to change until their audience finishes dying off and the money from their dead listeners' (and viewers') estates runs out. Let's call that 15 years.


This is the core of what I don't get. It's understandable that they would want to please their most generous donors, but it comes at the expense of losing a younger audience, who you'll need in a few years when the oldies start dying off. Which brings us to...

jjoyce wrote:The programming defies logic when it comes to trying to build an audience.


Unsustainable AND misguided. Well played, WPR.
brentron909
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 9:15 am
Location: East Side

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby scratch » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:04 pm

WPR and WPT both resolutely strive to avoid using audience size as a deciding factor in their programming. They serve what they see as their audience's interests by being non-commercial, sometimes to extremes. A few years ago there was a movement to cut back on the amount of classical music programming on WPR, and during the discussion it was mentioned that the classical music shows don't even pay their own way in funding. Perhaps not surprisingly, NPR shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered are among the shows that bring the big pledges, but WPR thought and apparently still thinks it's vital to maximize the amount of classical music programming available whether the shows pay for themselves or not. I remember Jacob Stockinger wrote an opinion piece for the Cap Times about the incredible and vital cultural good that having classical music available on the radio did for us all, apparently whether anybody is listening or not. This is not intended to merely deride classical music on the radio, but I doubt if they're interested in maximizing their audience, and I think that's a shame. However, if Market Place is your kind of scintillating radio, things are looking up! It's apparently the new head of WPR's favorite show.
scratch
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 741
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:00 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby Mean Scenester » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:15 pm

You know, I think I may have confused Dunn and Cardin in my original post.

Aw, fuck it ... just serves to prove the point even further.
Mean Scenester
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1301
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:56 pm

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby Crockett » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:35 pm

scratch wrote:...but WPR thought and apparently still thinks it's vital to maximize the amount of classical music programming available whether the shows pay for themselves or not.


Pandora.com
Crockett
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:37 am

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby c02 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:58 pm

Scenester, I don't think you confused the two in your original post. I'll never forget the first night I heard Dunn (commuting is the only time I hear the radio and I catch the re-play). She had some blowhard of a guest who wouldn't let any caller complete a sentence without smugly cutting them off. When one caller in particular took offense to it, Dunn CUT THE CALLER off rather than actually guide the show through honest and professional dialog. Not once did she politely ask her guest to allow her listeners to say what they had on their minds without his interruption. He did it time and time again. She had no control or meaningful presence on her own show. That made my first time listening to her show, the last for a very long period. I gave it another chance. Still don't like it but mostly because she simply doesn't come across as very articulate and frankly, her lack of professionalism (my perception) from that show will never leave my head.

Jean Faraca bores me to no end. When I hear her I can't help but think of Miss Prissy; Foghorn Leghorns adoring widowed hen. It's not just her voice, it's everything about the show. Look, I enjoy Chinese history, Marine Life and long strolls to the kitchen so it's not like I'm paving the road of excitement with sterno and a book of matches. If I find it boring, it's freaking BORING.

I like much of what I hear on WPR but I agree that a more diverse range of hosts would make it better. Preferably a voice that can think a sentence ahead and can refrain from commenting on answers with fawning hyperbole. What I really respect about Ben Merens is his ability to not only keep the conversation on task, but employ some Socratic method and continue to drill down through answers or create a natural segue into a slightly different direction. It's not folksy but it's not entirely impersonal, either. It's smart and it just works the way he delivers it.
c02
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:50 pm

Re: A Call For Term Limits- Are You Listening, WPR?

Postby snoqueen » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:09 am

I agree about Jonathan Overby -- I never turn him off in the middle. Same with Marketplace, and All Things Considered, and I'll add To the Best of Our Knowledge when the topic suits me.

But that's the classical music side -- the talk side is going down the drain.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11495
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Next

Return to The Arts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar