Friday Feedback

We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback. WHQR takes comments on all aspects of its programming and operations. Leave feedback by calling the station at 910-292-9477 or by emailing feedback@whqr.org. Your comments may be read on air during Friday's Morning Edition at 7:45 and 8:49 am, and during All Things Considered at 5:44 pm. As always, thanks for your feedback.

Friday Feedback for July 21, 2017

Jul 21, 2017

Well, today is my last full day in the office before retirement, so Friday Feedback is heading for the last transmission. It will be bleedin’ demised and pushin’ up daisies after today. I’ve had a great time reading these little messages each week for the last seven years, and I’ve learned a lot. Thanks to all of you for making it possible. I’m very happy to report that the future looks bright for WHQR. The new manager, Michelle Rhinesmith, will be moving from public radio service in Florida soon and will assume her duties on August 14th. She and I have been in daily touch, and I’m confident that the station will continue to grow under her strong leadership. Please welcome her to the coast and to WHQR.

Friday Feedback for July 14, 2017

Jul 14, 2017

Listener Jeff wrote this week about several things: “Sorry to hear of your retirement. WHQR listeners will miss you (in a good way).” I imagine that by now some listeners may be saying “How can we miss you if you won’t go away?” Never fear, campers: next Friday will be my last day in the office. I hope to hear from you by then. Jeff went on to add; "1) I think WHQR should emphasize sustainer memberships (monthly donations by credit card) during all fundraising drives. All major NPR [member stations] have started emphasizing this approach, as it presumably smooths out their cash inflow and makes it more predictable. Since so many people come to Wilmington and stay, particularly people who are used to subscribing to a local NPR station elsewhere, it would make sense for WHQR to make donating easy for them.

Friday Feedback for July 7, 2017

Jul 7, 2017

I mentioned last week that I’ll be retiring soon, and my last Friday Feedback will now be two weeks from today. I’d love to hear from a lot of listeners about your likes and dislikes of the station. Fortunately, a Stealth Drive campaign such as is now going is a great way to hear from listeners in the form of comments on whqr.org. Here are some comments from the very earliest days of the campaign. Peggy wrote: “Best station on the radio. I listen mornings and any time I'm in my car. Saturday and Sunday's are dedicated to WHQR. Thank you for getting the Pharmacy Hour. They have some great information.”

Friday Feedback for June 30, 2017

Jun 30, 2017

[AUDIO CLIP]

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.

Friday Feedback for June 23, 2017

Jun 23, 2017

OK, this is what my week has been like. I got an email message from someone who had found one of our news stories on the GenX situation in the Cape Fear. Describing himself as an "environmental activist", he had tried to repost it on Facebook but Facebook would not let him do so, and he wondered if we could fix that. I told him that we were all scratching our heads about this, though now I think I have a better idea. Then I started getting more, and lengthier, communications from him. I wrote to him, as I have done with many groups, “I do not participate in decisions about what goes into our news coverage. Please remove me from your mailing list. Thank you.” Well, as the crummy paid ads on the web say, you won’t believe what happened next.

Friday Feedback for June 16, 2017

Jun 16, 2017
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hammarlund.png

Listener Wayne wrote: “Decline of American societal values is led, in part, by the trend-setting broadcast of vulgar language by the media. My long and appreciative listening to WHQR finds that it is a media outlet which does maintain a good level of broadcast quality. Yet from time to time a little cuss word manages to find its way onto WHQR's airwaves. . . a case in point is the recent announcement of some material to be aired entitled "Getting Paid to Be a Smart <expletive deleted>." . . it appears to me that our WHQR is in a position to assist in reversing the use of this improper language. . . I appeal to WHQR to exert a little more positive influence over the vocabulary used by its own staff and local contributors.

Friday Feedback for June 9, 2017

Jun 9, 2017
By Photograph by en:User:Stijn Ghesquiere 2004., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=295333

Last week I wrote about our effort to restore our HQR News signal to full power. A few days afterwards, I received this email from an HD2 listener in Brunswick County:

The restoration of beautiful music is always a good thing.

Thank you so much.

It has been sorely missed.

Friday Feedback for June 2, 2017

Jun 2, 2017

As members on our email distribution list know, HQR News (that’s this channel) operated at low power for a day or so earlier this week. Thanks to George Scheibner, John McHarry and our consulting engineer Jobie Sprinkle, we identified the problem as a failed power supply for the main transmitter. The team went back to the wilds of Brunswick County to take us back to full power, [which was restored shortly after 1 pm Thursday].

Friday Feedback for May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017

Scott Relan wrote on Tuesday: “I watch an awful lot of movies, coming from my previous career as well as occasional festival judge, but [The Sense of an Ending at Cinematique] really stuck with me. Kimberly and I both left Thalian [Monday] night with our jaws dropped. It was quite beautiful and sad. The audience was lighter than normal, and that is a disappointment as I think the regular Cinematique crowd won't know what they're missing. . . You all always pick the best movies for the Cinematique screenings. I try never to miss any.” Thanks, Scott.
I’m going to depart a bit from the usual content of Friday Feedback to step back for some context. . .

Friday Feedback for May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

Listener Anna wrote concerning reporter Vince Winkel’s story about the dedication of a plaque on Confederate Memorial Day. I’ll quote it at some length: “…as I was driving my car this week, I am quite sure that the drivers around me were wondering who this mad woman was who was yelling back at the radio. I yelled because I was incensed by what I heard, in particular by [the] lack of follow up questioning to the assertions made by the members of the Daughters of the Confederacy. 

Friday Feedback for May 5, 2017

May 5, 2017

I’m going to deal today with an issue worthy of serious attention. This past Monday Pat Marriott, on his Evening Concert program on Classical HQR, played music by Felix Draeseke. That’s an unfamiliar name in music, and Pat explained on Monday morning that the works of Draeseke were favored by “the cultural authorities of the Third Reich”, then largely disappeared after World War II, but are now coming to public attention again. We immediately heard from listener E: “I find [Pat’s] choice, his timing, and his words to be particularly scary, alarming, and distressing."

Friday Feedback for April 28, 2017

Apr 28, 2017

This week I published results from our Spring Survey on whqr.org, and included a chart of all our programs from most popular to least. When we shared this story on Facebook, Jonathan Trunz posted this question: “Any trends in the comment box like “Please bring back Prairie Home Companion?” I found some support for that. Out of 417 respondents, 7 people voiced support for either Garrison Keillor or Prairie Home. It’s difficult to tell when people say “Bring back Prairie Home” whether they mean the old show with Garrison or the new show. For example, Nina wrote: “I miss Prairie Home Companion.” We know that Garrison is gone and not coming back. Anonymous specified that he or she specifically means the current show. We’ll continue to monitor the reaction. Some samples:

Friday Feedback for April 21, 2017

Apr 21, 2017

Penny Schmitt wrote: “Not kidding. Tuesday afternoon just after 4:00 p.m. Lynne Warfel actually introduced William Walton's "Orb and Sceptre" march as having been "played at every Coronation since it was written." Since this march was written for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, and this is the one and only coronation that has taken place in the United Kingdom since, that certainly stopped me in my tracks while putting away the clean laundry! I know Lynn is not a local staffer, but could not resist reacting to this whopper!!!!" And this is Cleve speaking: I don’t know Lynne either, but I wonder if it’s possible that she knew what she was saying, and said it tongue-in-cheek.

Friday Feedback for April 14, 2017

Apr 14, 2017
CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=682157

Today is the last day for our Spring Listener Survey. We’ll give away a Smooth Landing or Classical Guest DJ-ship to one respondent, drawn at random. See whqr.org for details. Here are some nuggets from the Survey so far. Anonymous wrote: “Coastline is unremarkable, needs some life breathed in. . .1A is a terrible successor to Dianne Rheem. Josh the host is ateurish, sometimes unnecessarily combative, and rudely uninformed. (Opinionated tone and insterted noise does not substitute for intelligence).” A different Anonymous wrote: “CoastLine has an excellent moderator.”

Friday Feedback for April 7, 2017

Apr 7, 2017

Starting late Tuesday night and on into Wednesday afternoon we experienced a problem at our 91.3 transmitter in Winnabow, resulting in diminished signal strength and the complete loss of HD2 (though our web streams continued without issues). Anonymous from Supply wrote: “. . . as you leave, could you see [for] people like me who have given to the station religiously for many years that the station’s serious music is preserved and operational, hopefully for years to come (in fact, the station was started by people like me who wanted to hear the opera and other serious music)?"

Friday Feedback for March 31, 2017

Mar 31, 2017

One of the great things about our fundraising campaigns is hearing directly from listeners about what they like (or don’t). I’m touched and appreciative for the comments made about me on my retirement later this summer. Here are some other samples from last week’s Take A Day Off drive. Laura Dean of Wilmington said: “Thank you for consistently bringing excellent programming to Wilmington." Donna Giles and Sue Sneddon of Shallotte said: “WHQR is more important than ever in our current political climate. We need voices of reason news that is just the opposite of "fake”speakers who can discuss opinions in thoughtful clear ways without histrionics and vitriol. Thanks WHQR!”

Friday Feedback for March 24, 2017

Mar 24, 2017
Ben Newton from Australia - 24, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10462693

Anonymous wrote: “[The] pledge drive is sooo... demeaning and embarrassing. it must be terribly inefficient at raising money, terribly efficient at raising hackles. thanks for ruining "Science Friday". name withheld because of gossip.” And listener Jerry said “Why do you spend two weeks telling us that your pledge drive is shorter than ever?”

Friday Feedback for March 10, 2017

Mar 10, 2017

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!).

Friday Feedback for March 3, 2017

Mar 3, 2017

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!”

Friday Feedback for February 24, 2017

Feb 24, 2017
By Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=282390

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).

Friday Feedback for February 17, 2017

Feb 17, 2017

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.”

Friday Feedback for February 10, 2017

Feb 9, 2017

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.

Friday Feedback for February 3, 2017

Feb 3, 2017

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.

Friday Feedback for January 27, 2017

Jan 27, 2017
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:

Friday Feedback for January 13, 2017

Jan 13, 2017

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.

Friday Feedback for December 23, 2016

Dec 23, 2016


Friday Feedback for December 16, 2016

Dec 16, 2016

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.

Friday Feedback for December 9, 2016

Dec 9, 2016

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.

Friday Feedback for December 2, 2016

Dec 2, 2016

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.

Friday Feedback for November 18, 2016

Nov 18, 2016

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:

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