Stepping back a bit …

I just had a very long and what I think is a productive conversation with Amy Dwyer at KRCL 90.9FM. I explained my (and what I believe to be “our”) point of view about what is happening at the station. She explained the station’s point of view.

I do believe that the station does care about those of us who are currently paying listeners, but also need to balance that with what is, unfortunately, inevitable change and the need to grow the listenership, especially amongst those who are willing to pay for radio.

For example, Amy pointed out that there have been complaints in the past that there has not been a lot of music by women artists played during Brad Wheeler’s show. I had to admit that I hadn’t really noticed that before, and agreed that women should be better represented, HOWEVER, Brad’s show has a certain style, a certain energy, a certain flow, and that shouldn’t be destroyed in the process.

So for me, I would agree that women need better representation, but instead of Brandi Carlisle and Adele, how about more Kristin Hersh (and 50FOOTWAVE or Throwing Muses), The Kills, Donita Sparks, Wanda Jackson, etc.

We talked about “The Selector”, and that what the station is growing through now, to some extent, is growing pains while importing more music into their library, and fine-tuning how it will work to to help the DJs curate their music; that the station is not happy with the current sound either, and is actively working to try to improve it … I’m going to withhold judgment.

We talked about how (to me) the station sounds more singles-oriented; I mentioned that when I buy an album, there are 10-15 songs on it … why are we only hearing one or two of them on the radio? I mean, unless I have multiple copies of a song because of it being on different albums I’ve purchased, my iTunes can go a month or more without playing the same track twice; there’s absolutely no reason why we should be hearing the same 30-year old REM track during the same show twice in a week.

I feel like I was heard, and I’m inclined to give the station a chance. This does not mean that I’m caving in however. I have every intention of keeping pressure on the station and voicing my opinion so that they know where I’m coming from, and where anyone who feels as strongly about KRCL as I do and expresses it to me.

That being said, I know I’m not the be-all and end-all when it comes to music, and others may have different ideas about how the music should be played; and if you feel as passionately about KRCL as I do and disagree with me (as well as with the station), I definitely encourage you to voice your opinions, both to me and to the station … and I especially encourage you to do it with respect and courtesy, and keeping invective and vitriol out of the conversation, because that won’t solve anything.

This advice which I should have heeded myself earlier this week. I posted some really harsh statements about Vicki Mann and Ebay Jamil Hamilton, and I went too far. I do think that people making decisions need to be held accountable for those decisions, and I have no intention of stopping.

But by the same token I essentially resorted to name-calling, and I need to be held accountable for that. I understand why the station blocked me from posting on their Facebook. I don’t like it, I hope that eventually we can get back to a place of mutual trust where they will re-open the page to me, but I understand where they’re coming from … and I’d like to apologize to both Vicki and Ebay.

I disagree with what I perceive as their methods. I should not have jumped to calling them disgusting slimy, dishonest and unethical. A number of people feel that we got played last Friday during the community fund drive after the playlists on Monday & Tuesday … but the past few days, the playlists have been getting better from what I’ve heard, which means that maybe the fine-tuning they’re doing is beginning to work.

The station still has a long way to go, and I fully intend to keep letting them know what I feel they’re doing wrong, and also what I feel they’re doing right. I also have every intention of doing so with the courtesy and respect that I tried to do from the beginning of the process, and which failed me on Tuesday.

If you made it all the way to the end of this, thanks for reading, and thanks for caring about KRCL as much as I do.

2 Comments

  1. Steven,

    Thanks for taking the time to detail your interaction with Amy. I’m still terribly disappointed with with the way KRCL is handling the situation and the feelings of being blindsided and, as you allude to, having the bait and switch pulled on us last Friday still have me wondering why?.

    Regarding Brad’s playlists specifically, I actually feel that he has previously done a good job at representing female artists. Wanda Jackson, Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders, Mr. Airplane Man, The Kills, Fleetwood Mac, Bonnie Raitt, Loretta Lynn .. the list goes on, are all well-represented on his show. What doesn’t make sense and feels awkward and contrived is hearing the likes of Brandie Carlisle, Norah Jones and other artists, male included (Delta Spirit, Elvis Costello. The Breeders, etc.) on his show. It doesn’t flow right and I find myself constantly getting frustrated and turning off the radio and listening to Spotify, KEXP or Devilsnightrado instead. This frustrates, saddens and, yes, angers me.
    I’m mad as hell, actually and growing more so by the day. My patience for their “work in progress” is growing thin. Why reinvent the wheel when the one before was rolling quite well, thank you?

    Preaching to the choir, I know, but I have voiced my opinions on 2 separate occasions with concise, civil and lengthy emails to Amy and Vicki and only to receive the same canned “copy and paste” response back that it appears many others have.
    I don’t want to call the station and talk to Amy or anybody else on the phone. I convey myself better in a written form than orally, but apparently a written dialogue holds no value.

    Anyhow, I’m about done raising any more stink about this. I’ll simply vote with my wallet next radiothon by not opening it.

  2. Since my listening is typically confined to early morning (when I now “get” to listen to World Cafe) and in the late afternoon when Brad’s show is on, rather than all day, our perceptions of the flow are very likely different … I’m definitely not saying it’s good now, but in the 30-60 minute chunks that I hear, it has seemed better.

    Of course, as bad as it has been, better is definitely a relative term. It’s definitely not what it was prior to the changes, and it’s not what it could ideally be …

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