Cleve Callison

Station Manager

Cleve Callison has been WHQR's station manager since September 2010. He is the former general manager of WMUB Public Radio, the NPR station at Miami University in Oxford. Prior to that he was station manager of WFDD Public Radio at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.

In Ohio, Cleve also served as the executive director of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light, a nonprofit working with houses of worship on energy efficiency and conservation projects. He worked on marketing communications projects for Miami University's School of Education, Health and Society, and taught public speaking at Miami's Hamilton campus.

Cleve describes himself as a boat person from academia. He moved over to public radio after four years of classroom teaching. He loves to work in public radio, to listen to it, and to be around people for whom public radio matters. "It's the best kind of teaching," he says. "It's life-long learning." Rarely having been able to teach his primary field (10th century English sermons), later in life he discovered adult education classes, where he has taught Anglo-Saxon England, History of the English Language, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Faulkner (notice kind of a progression here?) and Reading Poetry. He makes occasional contributions to his personal blog and his Twitter account (@clevecallison).

Cleve has a bachelor's degree in English from Duke, and a Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. His greatest claim to fame is that he once appeared on Jeopardy!, where he won a washer-dryer, a Hooked on Phonics set and a year's supply of flea powder.

Ways to Connect

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

When is the last time you picked up a book? I mean a real, honest to goodness book with a spine and a cover and maybe a few dog-eared pages inside. If it’s been too long, today’s CoastLine is for you. We’re going to go back to the days before smart phones and tablets, and talk about humankind’s greatest invention after fire and country ham, books.

An anonymous listener has left a couple of profanity-laced messages on our station line (not the Feedback line, so I don’t have permission to play it). But he objected, in a very angry tone, to at least 3 things: 1) Commercials, some apparently with with Pat Kobala (WRONG!); 2) Ads every 5 minutes on the classical station (WRONG!); 3) Ads every 2 minutes interrupting programming with messages that say we’re not going to interrupt programming (mostly WRONG!).

It’s been an interesting week. One person wrote to accuse me of being a ‘minion of Satan’. A more polite listener, Jeff, wrote: “After a long history of listening to WHQR at work, unfortunately today I changed the radio station. I did this because your programming has been way to anti-trump and liberal recently. It appears that WHQR is trying to make some point about how terrible conservatives are. I have a feeling I'm not the only one switching the dial, however I realize that you will continue to have a strong liberal listener following as long as you continue to program to their agendas. I just thought you might want to know. I sure am going to miss Smooth Landings!”

Taos County, New Mexico. Foreman of Talpa Ditch Commission.

Each spring, WHQR asks our listeners to participate in our annual Listener Survey. This is a valuable tool to help us determine program preferences, and to gather information about who our listeners are and how they listen to us. And the more listeners who participate, the more useful the results are.

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I’m going to start with a matter of personal privilege. You may have read in the papers or seen on our website or Facebook page that last week I notified the Board of Directors of Friends of Public Radio of my intention to retire later this summer. Since the word got out, I have been overwhelmed with comments from well-wishers, both from friends and listeners. (And I hope there’s overlap between these two groups).

Oh boy, this is a good one. Listener Dan had a reaction to Nan Graham’s commentary on language pet peeves: “I have never heard the word “forte” pronounced as "fort." This most likely has to do with my musical background. . . Although I realize that this may put me in the camp with the folks that pronounce nuclear as "nuke-u-lar," or library as "libary," I cannot follow you down the "forte is pronounced fort" road. Sorry.”

Last week I read the words of a voicemail we had received, criticizing us in, shall we say, colorful language over public radio’s coverage of Donald Trump. One person wrote: “I suppose you must take the syndicated programs but your first anonymous listener's feedback this morning was right on! Many of us are similarly frustrated. . .Can NPR "journalists" not see their bias...and if they can see it, please get by it!. . . And you know, I don't really need a BBC program commenting on USA aspects.

An anonymous caller left a message on our voice mail. We don’t have permission to play the actual recording, so I’ll do the best I can to capture the flavor of it. “There’s not a lot of talk radio, unless you’re going to listen to Christian, so unfortunately I have to listen to your station. I think it’s pathetic to put down the new president every morning, every angle you can. He’s done more in a week… At least he’s trying. And nobody’s done a weekly address since Franklin Roosevelt. I think you people are scum and maggots.

Wilmington Faith and Values

Listener Andrea wrote: “I have moved from NY to Wilmington in the past few years, and absolutely love having a radio station that makes me feel connected to the community I have transplanted into. I especially like Communique and the Writers Almanac, and love preparing dinner in the evenings listening to jazz. Thanks for making a 20-something Northerner feel right at home!”

Listener Martyn wrote:

This message came in this week for our emPowering Our Future campaign, whose last official day was New Year’s Eve. It comes from listener Reed, and it encapsulates a sentiment which I’ve heard from many people: “Congratulations on your success with the emPowering Our Future campaign! Enclosed is a small — and belated — gift to that campaign. I’ll go out on a limb and speculate that there will be an even greater need for public radio in the next four years. Now I have Classical HQR too for those times when I can’t take any more of current events. Best wishes for the continuing success of WHQR!”

By the way, that drive is now $13,000 over the goal of $1.5 million. Together with listener commitments to make future planned gifts such as memorials and bequests, the grand total is approaching an amazing $1.9 million. We are humbled by the response from this incredibly generous community.

Shortly after 5 pm Monday evening January 2, WHQR's George Scheibner and John McHarry, working with engineer Jobie Sprinkle and a tower crew, restored full power to both HQR News (91.3 in Wilmington, 98.9 in Myrtle Beach) and Classical HQR (92.7 in Wilmington, 102.3 in Myrtle Beach).

A Powerful Vision. An Empowering Mission.
Help WHQR emPower Our Future

You’ve heard and read about this effort since last March, but it’s actually been going on for over four years. And the idea for it was in the mind of visionary Board members even before that. Now we can officially announce that as of Friday morning December 30th, just one day before the official end, we went over the $1.5 million goal.

Sunday, January 1, 2017 @ 11 a.m. on 91.3 & 92.7
New Year's Day From Vienna 2017

One of the most celebrated of all Christmas traditions comes to HQR News and Classical HQR on Christmas Eve, Saturday at 10 am: The annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, live from King's College in Cambridge, England. Please join us for this joyous celebration, heard on both stations at 10 am, and repeated on Classical HQR at 5 pm.


Allen Latham wrote: “Why is it that the announcer of the weekday time check/ station breaks announces that it is "almost X o'clock" if it is in fact 10:59 or 10:58. Would that not be a little bit more accurate?” I wrote to Allen that this is an interesting question, but the answer may be more than he bargained for. And it depends on which station you’re listening to.

Today's Friday Feedback is going to be a little bit different. I'm recording this on Thursday afternoon before our one-day drive is over and so I don't have any final totals to give you for it. I hope our announcers will be able to give you that. I'm going to just take a look at some of the comments that were made and read them, kind of at random :-)

James Papile and Kay Evans of Wilmington said:

We recently moved and are enjoying your station.

Opportunity: The Reporter position at WHQR Public Radio will focus on local news content, primarily material for use in Morning Edition, All Things Considered, with corresponding links to web stories and podcasts. Under the supervision of the News Director, the Reporter will follow News Department policy in light of the station’s overall mission, and produce offerings that reflect the standards of audio production, journalistic ethics and public service using NPR’s best practices as a model.

You know, sometime you have one of those weeks when everyone thinks you're just swell. . . Yeah, this is not one of those weeks. Listener Len in Ocean Isle Beach wrote: "I will never contribute to NPR again. . . Your news reporting for the past year never revealed the facts of the sources of the stalemates on Capitol Hill, of the depth and breadth of the Obama successes, and the sources of his oppositions, and of the depth and breadth of Hillary Rodham Clinton's proposed programs. You only reported Trump's proclamations, and on Clinton's emails, a trumped-up year of falsehood.

Listener Patti enjoyed reading about all the awards WHQR received last week from the Associated Press and from the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas: “Congratulations for the awards and thanks to the news team for all their good work. It's great to see others recognize just how good you all are!” Thank you, Patti.
Commentator Peggy Porter’s remarks this week on bad behavior from people in the aftermath of last week’s election drew several reactions. For instance, listener Verena wrote:

Wednesday, November 9:

If you stayed up until about 2:30 last Tuesday morning, or learned of the results of the elections later, you know that nationally at least, a number of people were very surprised by both the victory of Donald Trump and to a lesser extent, the composition of the US Senate.

Here in North Carolina, the results may not have been as surprising, but they did reinforce the strength of the overall Republican gains. On this edition of Coastline, we'll talk about the reasons for those gains, and why they did surprise many people.

Listener Bill wrote: "Where is "Prairie Home Companion?!? PLEASE tell me there is technical problems and not a decision to drop it from your schedule. I've heard nothing about it being dropped, and as a long-time supporter I would be very unhappy about that decision. Please explain." And listener John wrote an actual and graceful-worded snail-mail letter along the same lines. I wrote to them that:

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Last week I played a call by a fan of our on-air campaign, and got this email in response: "I really like WHQR. I'm a long time listener .. & I do contribute to your support. But I *HATE* your awful begging for money (on-air). Yes, I know someone called in & said he thought it was well done. I'm on the other side of that coin; it is awful. I find another station to listen to when you start & continue to run your terrible begging for financial support. Why can't you do it quietly, like other charities?. . .

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I've been out this week, so mostly it's listeners who will do the talking this week. Wendy Lewis wrote on our WHQR Public Radio Facebook page: "I am appalled at this stations partisan rhetoric. It's obvious this station is run by left wing nuts. Maybe you should try to be more in touch with the community that you are supposed to be serving." I thank Wendy for her comment. We do try to be more in touch with the community. Which is why we published an article about early voting, poll locations and same day registration, to which Wendy so strenuously objected.

So now it's time for some community voices:

Listener Donna wrote: “As a long time member, I am very glad that the goal for the pledge drive was met yesterday, but I a very disappointed that the pledge drive did NOT end when the goal was met. Early in the pledge drive, you told listeners that the pledge drive would end when the goal was met. We as listeners should have received 2 more hours without pledge banter. 

Repeated power outages related to Hurricane Matthew caused damage to WHQR's main transmitter on Saturday October 8th, but we are now operating at full power. Here are the specifics:

Listener Marilyn sent us this: "I cannot believe I did not listen to NPR until I arrived in Wilmington, became a Luddite and gave away all my electronics devices except my radio and new Jitterbug cell phone. Now, NPR is on all day and into the night. I refer to NPR Wilmington as the Rachel Lewis Hilburn station. . . She has the best radio voice I have ever heard plus intelligent and interesting comments in each setting."

This came from Anonymous:

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Listener David wrote: “If the uninterrupted drives have been successful, why do you do these [Fall pledge drives]?” It’s a good question, and one that we have examined in depth. We’re been very pleased with the success of our summer “Stealth” drives. We think listeners appreciate the fact that over the years we have reduced the number of fundraising days from 26 down to 15. But the Summer drive is different from Fall or Spring in that the goal is so much lower — typically, less than half of the big ones. Still, it took three weeks of fairly intense messages, several per hour in the last few days, to reach those goals. We don’t think our listeners would be in favor of a Fall drive that took six weeks of messages, even if none disrupts regular programming.

Sara Jarvis wrote:

I’ve been happily listening to WHQR via my SONOS system for several months. I access the station via Radio by TuneIn — a program that came loaded on my system. During that time, I’ve had several experiences in which the WHQR signal simply disappeared. . . For the past week, WHQR is totally inaccessible via the Radio by Tunein program.

Anonymous from Oak Island wrote, in part: “It seems that every day on virtually every program you air the topic is LGBTQs… 3.8 % of the population are LGBT and yet 85% of the programs seem to involve the LGBTs.”

Listener Susan wrote on our website after a recent commentary by Shane Fernando: “Beautiful memories, Shane. Thank you for sharing this. It reminds me that we are a multi-cultural nation of immigrants- some who came willingly and some forced. Our country has a rich and varied heritage... which we often forget in our attempt to make everyone 'the same'. For some reason, we assume that will make us feel safer and more accepted or more comfortable, but actually, embracing our differences and the richness of our ancestors, is what makes life interesting, teaches us respect, and gives us stories to tell.... stories that bring us into community to celebrate our lives and memories. Please keep on telling your story! Thank you.”

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