Friday Feedback for June 30, 2017

Jun 30, 2017

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This is Janice. . . Regarding your promo for Mrs. Rivenbark, where she brags that she is paid to be a smartass: the choice would be better to be “smart-aleck”. If she chooses to be common and trashy that is her choice, but it is not in profile with WHQR. Thank you very much.

Listener Caroline wrote last week:

Our area experienced outages today that affected internet, cable tv and cell phones. It was very disconcerting to be completely out of touch with the rest of the world for several hours. . . As a regular listener to WHQR I was very disappointed that the station made no public service announcements or addressed it any way.

I wrote to Caroline that normally our small news staff is working on story priorities and is not able to produce material during the middle of the day. There was a notice posted on our website about area outages — but of course that’s of no help if you can’t access the internet. We did cover this story, twice, in our local newscasts during Monday’s All Things Considered.

You’ve probably heard about our Summer Stealth Drive. For the third year, we’re hoping to get pledges toward our goal without interrupting programming. Listener Jane wrote:

I will pledge again when Prairie Home Companion comes back. And as much as I love The Car Guys, the show has gotten a little long in the tooth. Love you guys.

Lynne wrote:

The station really does FOUR fundraising drives a year, despite the ever accumulating drive and sign ups of commercial sponsors? Both are out of control. I keep meaning to tally the number of minutes left in actual NPR programming after tallying all the WHQR commercial sponsor minutes. . . All I know now is that programming minutes are dwindling. Very disappointing. Whenever does the station think it has “enough” sponsors, and stop recruiting more?

I thanked Lynne for writing, and wrote that we always want to be careful not to wear out listeners’ patience with fundraising. I would not make the mistake of telling that they SHOULD like fundraising. But I would ask listeners to consider that we have had great success over the years in actually reducing the amount of days spent fundraising, from 26 to just 14 (assuming our Summer Stealth Drives are successful.)

I hope listeners will remember that the station was nearly bankrupt in 2008-09. We have recovered — thanks to fundraising, including more efficient ways to raise on-air what we need to keep the station strong and healthy, and growth in our underwriting (not advertising) revenue. Clearly, our listeners want us to succeed. And their support has meant that we have been able to grow smartly, adding more local talk, local news, and of course classical music.

Elaine Eubanks wrote:

[My husband Jim and I] bought a house in Wilmington 4 years ago with the hopes that we can move from the hectic bustle of the Washington, DC area. This summer will be that move. My biggest worry was that I would no longer receive NPR on my car radio. Being a long-time listener to WAMU, imagine my delight to see that your station will make me less homesick. Thank you. . . NPR is the best thing in our country.

It will come as no surprise, I think, that the stories on our Facebook page that are drawing the most attention – by far – are ones about the community’s concerns about GenX and the safety of our water supply. We’re please to have partnered with The StarNews and WWAY for this past Wednesday’s public forum.

On a personal note, I’ll be retiring soon, and my last Friday Feedback will be three weeks from today. I’d love to hear from a lot of listeners about your likes and dislikes of the station. You can send an email message to feedback-at-whqr-dot-org, or you can leave a call at 910-292-9477. Try the new WHQR smartphone app. And as always, thanks for your Feedback.