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.

A station underwriter, who shall remain nameless, sent us this: "…regarding the underwriting, it’s funny. We had to hire a marketing firm to help us and the first thing they did was cancel the agreement I had with Kate [Brandis] -saying it was a waste of money. So when Kate called me back and told me that, I of course instantly reinstated our agreement. (I think of everyone there as my friends for one and two I knew it was the audience I was after). Anyway, to make the story short, we get a LOT of calls from WHQR listeners, and I love pointing that out to [the marketeer]!"

Listener Beverly wrote on Monday: "Cokie Roberts is just the latest NPR commentator offending my husband and me. We listen to NPR for news. We do not listen for an individual commentator's personal assessment.

“To be biased without even realizing it...for example, in asking a leading question...is sometimes understandable. Cokie makes no excuses for imposing her opinions. Whatever happened to journalistic principles? Is she not a journalist? She seems to be a lifelong politician which is contrary to the Jeffersonian principle of public service by citizens across the board as citizen duty...not public/political careers.

Abby Saunders of Hampstead wrote: "After hearing Isabelle Shepherd's story on Trump's rally in Wilmington [last week], I feel compelled to share my disappointment with the use of the adjective "lighthearted" to describe Governor McCrory's inappropriate joke about bathrooms during his speech. Certainly, all who are negatively impacted by HB2, as well as all who are in marked disagreement with a bill that violates human rights, would disagree that a joke referencing the bill is cheerful or happy-go-lucky. Thank you for your time.”

We received some calls and messages on Monday when listeners heard Donald Trump’s full speech to the Detroit Economic Club on our air. Some pointed out that there were some odd moments, such as when our local announcement aired right on top of NPR. Some wondered why we decided to pre-empt Here and Now to carry it. In both cases, at the beginning of the day, we were not aware that NPR intended to preempt the entire noon hour (and beyond) of Here and Now to carry the speech. A communications snafu caused us to miss some of the normally scheduled program cues.

Well, it must be karma. Just as in the last couple of weeks we have been celebrating out new AudioVault control software, another problem reared its head. A couple of weeks ago we started noticing and receiving reports of poor performance on our Classical HQR signal (92.7 in Wilmington, 102.3 in Myrtle Beach). People heard distortion in loud music and overall weak signal resulting from our attempting to solve the problem by lowering the music volume. For example, Joanne Purnell wrote: "Makes me sad not to be able to listen to my classical music in the car.

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:

www.visitmyrtlebeach.com


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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?”

Today’s Feedback offers a peek behind the curtain of our recently-concluded fundraising drive. Let’s start with a strong dissent from listener Justin: “I would first like to express that my radio seldom changes from WHQR and that I am grateful for the amount of information imparted to me through your various news programs. I appreciate that you are a public station and rely on public funding for support and operational costs. However, I am deeply offended and dismayed by [your] recent plea during your pledge drive piggybacking on the Brussels tragedy." He continues:

First off…today is commentator Nan Graham’s birthday!

We will be fundraising next week in our Partnership Challenge, so there won’t be an official Friday Feedback. I expect some listeners will wonder what we mean by saying “92 is the new 96.” We now have two different signal for Classical HQR, 92.7 and 96.7. And we’d like your input. More on that in a moment. But first, the story of a pledge made good -- 22 years later.

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”

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