The New Geography

Aug 28, 2015

Everywhere I go, people stop to tell me how much they love this radio station. I really appreciate those on-air testimonials that people volunteer to record, attesting to their “WAMC-hood.” Now that we are all “apped” up and you can hear the station anywhere in the world (I heard it as clear as a bell in Colombia S.A, and in Italy), people listen all over.

We are increasingly hearing from faraway places on Vox Pop and on The Roundtable. That is so cool. It also points out that we are no longer a system of geographically competing radio stations. Rather, it has become a matter ofwhat we are playing. In other words, it’s all about WAMC’s amazing content. More and more, we will see people identifying with a station because of what it plays rather than where it is. That’s where you come in. The more you are able to tell people in other places about WAMC, the more listeners and, of course, potential members we will have. You’ve all heard me talk about the WAMC community but as the geographers will tell you, the new geography is not about location but about common interests.

Once people listen to The Roundtable in the morning they are likely to become regular listeners since there is nothing like our morning panel and the next two hours of extraordinary talent. People will be amazed at the top-flight authors and public personalities who join Joe Donahue and his able producer, Sarah LaDuke, to keep the mornings exciting and vibrant.

Of course, not everybody understands that voices intellectually contesting with one another are what democracy is all about. Our incredible morning panel, under Joe’s guidance, is so much fun precisely because we know that we all love one another. We had a recent phone call from someone who said, “I love that you fight and I also love the respect and love that is evidenced in the room.” Now there is a person who gets what it’s all about.

During a recent Roundtable we heard from a regular listener and contributor who wrote, “I’m waiting to see [on our video streaming] Rosemary haul off and belt Alan in one of the breaks. I just hope you guys are recording.” Now there’s a guy who gets it and wants in on the action.

I couldn’t write this without mentioning that we have an early October fund drive coming up. Nothing, but nothing, frightens me more.  Will we be able to continue on our roll of successful million dollar fund drives? This is when we all really come together as a community and do our best to keep it all going. I’m always scared to death that we won’t make it. Now we are in the middle of a great fiscal crisis, starting in China and crossing the Pacific, and there is certain to be concern in each of our households and businesses. The good news is that we’ve been through this before and amazingly things went just like they always do -- well.

The thought of the station going under is just too much for people to deal with. The beauty of a WAMC fund drive has always been that whatever you put into the pot is just fine. Each person according to their ability to do what they can is what this is all about. I can’t tell you how many times what started out as a five dollar contribution, ended up many years later with a note that said, “You took my five dollars, now take my thousand.”

So for all of you who get it, I say, we love you and we hope that you’ll be there day one of the October fund drive. We need you and you know that.