Friday Feedback

Listener Margee Herring wrote: "As you consider programming to fill aging programs (enough with Car Talk!), or retired programs (Prairie Home) or repetitive programming … , please give thought to introducing a less-than-accessible perspective. Several years ago, NPR conducted its own "voice audit" and recognized that its voices-of-color were frequently less than ethnic-sounding, and thus, began its code-switch programming in earnest. As communities re-consider our country's progress, or lack thereof, in race relations, an authentic and accessible black perspective would valuable.

Thanks to the 549 generous donors who made our Stealth Campaign such a success. Together we were able to end the drive several days early, and over the goal. The final tally was $73,615, and contributions are still coming in over the transom, so to speak. What did you think of the drive? Here are some comments we’ve received. Paul Reinmann wrote:

As I predicted last week, we were at last able to get our new AudioVault computer automation system up and running – with thanks to a lot of people here, but especially consulting engineer Jobie Sprinkle of Charlotte, assisted by George Scheibner, Lan Nichols and others. The irony of systems like this is that ordinarily, listeners are aware of them only when they misbehave, as the old system did recently in a massive way. But the new system will give us extra capabilities for producing and distributing content in new ways, and provide extra backups in case of failure.

I’ll get to listener comments in a moment, but first this: after returning this week from vacation, I’m happy to report that there are strong signs of progress at WHQR – despite recent setbacks concerning our program automation. The system we use to run both HQR News and Classical HQR, called AudioVault, suffered a major failure in late June.

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Jake Thomason had this reaction to a recent interview on The State of Things from WUNC: “Why is there a Christian discussion on your broadcast right now? My coworkers and I are loyal listeners, but are very concerned and not interested in hearing this. Christians have their own stations. Thank you for your time.” I wrote to Jake that the show segment featured an interview with two people who are attempting to approach environmental activism from a religious perspective, much as Dr. Martin Luther King worked within both an activist and a religious framework in the battle for civil rights.

Here’s a Feedback question I expected to get but did not, as of press time: “What happened to the Midday Interview?” Well, it’s still around, but with several changes. Our daily in-depth look at art, culture and ideas, hosted by Gina Gambony, is now called Communique. It’s still heard at noon on Classical HQR, and now on HQR News twice a day, at 8:50 during Morning Edition and 4:45 during All Things Considered.

By Curr, Thomas (artist); McLagan and Cumming, Edinburgh (printer); Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (publisher/sponsor) -Photograph Art.IWM PST 12148 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org

Craig Stinson wrote: “Just wanted to say how much I appreciate the arts interviews conducted by Gina Gambony. We have a top tier arts community in Wilmington. Gina's interviews help give insight into the effort and creativity that go into bringing high quality arts events to the community.”

John Carnegie, a “native born Scot”, wrote:

Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Here’s kind of a bit of feedback in a different way. WHQR has been honored as one of ten winners of the Coastal Entrepreneur of the Year Award, in the non-profit category. The awards are co-sponsored by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UNCW. We’ll receive our award at a breakfast next Tuesday at the Burney Center on the UNCW campus.

Planting Peace / MFI

This came in from the WHQR Public Radio Facebook page: “Let me start by saying I enjoy your station however I am overly disturbed by your report on H.B. 2. Why [are] your correspondents failing to mention that the bill also includes a restriction on bringing race discrimination suits against employers in state prison ?....you continually mention the discrimination against the LGBT community but apparently refuse to acknowledge the bills discriminatory clause regarding people of color.....NOT good or thorough reporting”.

NC Parks

Here we go with some of my favorite messages, about pronunciation. Last week I remarked on the name K-E-R-R as it applied to a former governor. Listener John wrote: “According to NCpedia, both names are properly "kar" with double dots over the "a". I've heard the "kar" variation all my life (more than six decades) for both the street and the man, and also a lake in the northern part of NC.” Sounds good to me. Thanks for the correction, John.

And this from Anonymous:

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Today’s Friday Feedback comes with a request. A month or so ago we launched our Spring 2016 Listener Survey. Listeners could fill it out by paper or on the web. I want to thank everyone who has filled out the survey – about 200 of you have done so – but I’d love to have some more responses. We’ve extended the deadline until this Sunday April 24th at midnight, and you can find the link on our website. I’ll put it in the online version of this Friday Feedback also.

Here at the station we’re still basking in the reception NPR’s Don Gonyea received from the 500 or so at our annual fundraising luncheon on Wednesday. Here’s a comment we got from listener JC: “I’m amazed at the great support the WHQR team has built in a relatively small market like Wilmington. This crowd rivaled any I’ve experience in [my former home town] which has a rich public radio tradition and a population base over 4 times greater Wilmington’s. I enjoyed Don Gonyea’s unique perspective on this election cycle.

Listener John wrote after our Partnership Challenge drive: “I know you are pleased to have the recent pledge drive completed and so am I. While I usually only listen to the station while driving around town I find the unrelenting clownish theatrics employed by your staff and volunteers during pledge week to be quite annoying and offensive. I would double my annual contribution if you would cease these annoying tactics. I realize that funding is essential for your operations but isn't there a better way?”

I’ve noticed a pattern in Friday Feedback lately, and perhaps you have too. Either lots of complaints (like two weeks ago), lots of praise (like last week), or else zero, zip, nada.

NPR

Here are a couple of thank-yous that really belong to NPR, but I thought our listeners might like to hear them. Listener Anne Van Slyke wrote:

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Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images



MichaelKatzengreis74


Somasundaram rino via Wikimedia Commons

Happy New Year to all our listeners! We hope you had a wonderful holiday and we look forward to bringing you great radio in 2016. Just like the old Mickey Mouse Club, we have different days here on Friday Feedback, and today, Mouseketeers, is another Gripe Day!

Listener Jack called in during Wednesday’s Coastline to ask that our guests not use the word “suck” as a term of disapproval. He felt it cheapens our language to use it as a word for something ugly, and suggest the guests use “stink” instead.

Listener Bill wrote:

I’m Cleve Callison, Station Manager of WHQR, here with a special holiday edition of Friday Feedback.

[AUDIO CLIP: Feedback from “I Feel Fine”]

Today’s Christmas Day edition of Friday Feedback consists of a single letter. This actually arrived in the mail – yes, the snail mail – earlier this week, and its from Norman Sprinthall in Caswell Beach. He writes:

“All is forgiven”

Pat Marriott

Last week’s 1-day December drive continues to have good repercussions. I’ll get to some some comments in a minute, but here’s a message from Food Bank Executive Director Beth Gaglione:

I heard Cleve’s on-air message on Sunday thanking the community for their support of the one-day drive and mentioning the food bank. We are so happy to have been able to partner with you on this drive. It was wonderful exposure for the Food Bank and the work we do every day to provide food to people in need.

Here’s a comment from listener Darrel in Southport:

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Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday’s 1-Day December Drive. We’re pleased to support the work of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, and we join with them in thanking Food Lion for donating 4 pounds of food for every pledge received. Here’s a typical reaction from the drive. James Jones of Wilmington wrote:

It’s great to see the station & Food Lion helping feed the hungry at this time of year.

We couldn’t agree more. Thank you, everyone.

[AUDIO CLIP]

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Listener Wendy wrote to Mary Bradley:

Thanks for all you do to keep listeners on top of things. I look forward to receiving the [station’s] emails regularly. What’s happened to Friday Feedback? It hasn’t been on air for several weeks. Happy Holidays, to everyone at WHQR.

I wrote to Wendy:

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Hunter Hatcher wrote:

I just wanted to tell you guys how much WHQR means to me. You guys have become a part of my life since I started listening 2 years ago. It makes me so happy, every day that I listen, knowing that there is a news source out there that cares about my (and my neighbors) well-being and knowledge. I would also like to send appreciation to all of the financial supporters to WHQR who make it possible for a broke college student like me to get solid, unbiased news. Forever indebted to you!

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A couple of weeks ago I read a message from Marilyn in Wilmington, saying that she was unable to work the programmable controls on a new radio. She wondered if a listener had an unused radio they’d like to part with. Listener Corinne responded to that request:

[AUDIO CLIP]

Listener Beth wrote:

Thank you for doing the no interruption fund raising. It made me want to donate again.

Listener RA agreed, but added,

Just don’t spend days telling us how you are not going to interrupt programming!

That’s our hope, RA, but it depends on how the pledges come in – when we hit the goal, we’ll stop. Thanks for writing.

Listener Helen wrote:

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Several days ago, listener Mackie wrote:

Listener Jonathan wrote:

I’m just 'shootin' you guys [some money] because I'm loving the night time music schedule. The Jazz has kept me from too much tv watching during the week, and Soup to Nuts, Smooth Landings etc have been so awesome lately too. Thanks for your sliver of sanity on a cluttered radio dial!!

Listen Yvonne wrote:

I found that by tuning my car radio to your music station while I was in Wilmington, I can still get it in/around Southport (smiley face).  I had been unable to tune into it from Southport.

Listener John wrote:

I have heard a couple of NPR segments lately devoted to music theory but only with examples from pop music or blues. However, I don't recall similar theoretical analyses of classical music, which in general is more complex. If NPR wants to explain music theory it should devote at least as much attention to classical music genres.

Listener Roger wrote to us on Saturday morning:

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