Shuck and Jive

Saturday, January 30, 2010

WETS Changes Programming

Beginning Monday, our local NPR affiliate, WETS is changing its programing. It is adding some new programs and moving some others. Here is the story in Johnson City Press:
WETS, the East Tennessee State University public radio station, will stop airing music in favor of news shows on weekdays beginning next month, a major change for the 36-year-old station.
One of my favorite programs, Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman is moving to 1 p.m. from 6 p.m. That kind of stinks. From drivetime to middays is a major demotion, but at least it is staying on the air. It is on the air in this bright red state in part because progressives in our area advocate for it. Check out Democracy Now! Tri-Cities.

Now in the afternoons we will have four hours of (as one of my Facebook friends put it) "All Things Repeated."

Additional programming include BBC World Service, The Diane Rehm Show, and Talk of the Nation. Here is the WETS programming schedule:

Glad to have WETS and kudos to Wayne Winkler for his innovative work bringing a variety of perspectives to the Tri-Cities!


  1. There is some controversy with this decision. A petition is being circulated to protest the changes in favor of music and local programming.

  2. I was looking over that petition. I know a lot of the people who have signed it, and I can very much appreciate their concerns. I have them too. But, I am such that I have no interest in commercial radio, so there isn't much WETS can do to make me listen to any other radio station in this area.

    I also know that if people in this area want WETS to run certain programs, it will hep to be supportive of the station in general, and be respectful of the management and the very difficult choices that must be made. There is room for change.

  3. I can empathize with all the viewpoints. I do feel for my musician friends and as a former dj I know how it sucks when local programming is replaced by syndicated programs.

    In the end, I don't personally have much at stake either way and like you I would listen to it and support it regardless.

    For now, I'll watch and see what happens. Perhaps a creative compromise can result from public feedback.

  4. Yet another reason to up our pledges to public radio.

    WV Pubcast has managed to hang onto locally programmed classical music from 11 to 3 p.m., but the rest of the day is BBC news and repeats of All Things Considered. Evening programming is almost all local, however, which is good -- although I don't listen in the evening. Too busy attending meetings and watching MSNBC . . .

    We also do not get the Diane Rehm show. I only can hear that one when I'm driving to the Baltimore-Washington airport . . . (WAMU)

  5. A number of my church members and other friends and progressive allies have signed the petition regarding WETS. I empathize with their concern. No one likes their favorite program to go off the air. I have been invited to sign the petition. I have not and will not do so. I think the text is far too aggressive. I would hope that people who have signed it are expressing frustration and opinion and not the intent of the petition to never give money to WETS or to force ETSU not to support the station. Maybe there can be some adjustments to the programming. Maybe not. But you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.