Thursday, January 25, 2007

It May Be Cold in DC, But the Heat's On at WETA
WETA's change to all classical has rubbed some station supporters the wrong way, causing some electricity. The controversy is profiled in today's Washington Post. In "WETA Hears Some Static Over Switch To Classical" the public broadcasting station even admits to putting the listener somewhere, but Not First.

"[WETA general manager] DeVany said the station was under no obligation to inform listeners. "We're allowed to do this" under WETA's bylaws, he said. "There are certain circumstances when we have private or closed meetings." One such circumstance, he said, is when changes "could affect employees, and a change in format could affect employees."

While the switch is going to save the station tons of bucks (in not having to air expensive programming like "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Car Talk"), not informing current listeners of the big change has understandably made a number of people angry - and I feel for them! Listener Tim Potter of Frederick has the last say in the article:

"I'm pretty disappointed, and I can see how contributors feel betrayed," Potter said by phone. "You expect this sort of thing from a for-profit company, but not from public radio. "It's a bit like advertising a product and then doing a bait-and-switch."

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