Jun 30, 2010
Uproar in Charlottesville over pubradio format change
A change in format at WTJU, the University of Virginia pubradio station in Charlottesville, is the subject of dueling forums, a walkout by a longtime DJ and an upcoming town hall meeting. The furor began, according to the C-Ville arts and news site, when new g.m. Burr Beard sent an internal e-mail describing “The All New Consistent and Reliable WTJU." The station currently plays an eclectic mixture of music selected by DJs. The proposal would drop the number of weekly hours for rock and jazz and institute a rotation of four songs per hour, chosen by department directors from 20 releases and electronically placed on a DJ’s program log for airplay each hour. All this has not gone over well with DJ's, notes C-Ville. WTJU’s former Rock Music Director Nick Rubin told Radio Survivor that station staffers and fans were “shocked and appalled” about the short notice and little debate over the change. But as Burr said in the internal email, obtained by C-Ville: "It’s not enough to expose people to new music when it’s just a smattering of all kinds of music." He added that the overhaul is a response to a downturn in fundraising and low station listenership—"7,500 weekly, the smallest of any noncomm station serving Charlottesville." In addition to his previous work as g.m. and program director of WXLV-FM at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Beard is "one of the great hammer dulcimer players of the late 20th and early 21st centuries," according to his website.
Posted by Dru at 9:57 AM