NPR Bait and Switch

They’re not happy in Ohio in one ploy that’s turned up in regards to NPR: moving the news-talk shows to an HD channel. Usually, it’s the other way around, a gambit to force acceptance of the beleaguered HD channels by moving the beloved music or local shows onto IBOC and forcing listeners to spring for the godforsaken HD radios. This post on the Coshocton Tribune website by John Laaper bemoans this development at WOSU:

Contrary to a recent report in this newspaper, which said that more programs would be available from WOSU, listeners in Coshocton actually have fewer options available on their radio dials since WOSU in Columbus acquired Channel 101 and made it an all-classical music station. This is transmitted to Coshocton and relayed as Channel 91.1, while Channel 89.7 now is an all-news station but not sent to the outlying stations such as WOSE Coshocton. WOSU said they can neither beam both channels to Coshocton nor mix programming as before. Therefore, we have only all-classical music available and no longer can receive the National Public Radio programming we had for a good number of years.

WOSU mistakenly thought NPR reception also was available in Coshocton from WOUB and eliminated its NPR transmission to us. They were wrong, and I, and probably almost everyone else in the city of Coshocton, cannot receive WOUB on my home radios and therefore have no NPR available at this time. I think this is a mistake and that WOSU should have talked to its members before making this switch.

Now, instead of news, I get classical music early in the morning. Does anyone really want to listen to Bach or Stravinsky at 6 a.m.? No more waking up to one of the best stations in the nation. Good-bye to “Morning Edition,” “Afternoon Edition” and “All Things Considered.” No more “Car Talk,” “Fresh Air” and all those other great programs of general interest. We, in the hinterlands, too, want to hear NPR’s uniquely comprehensive programming to learn what is going on in the country and the world. We find it to be thoughtful, smart and objective.

My wife and I enjoy classical music as well as NPR, are longtime members of the friends of WOSU and are really upset NPR was taken off the air, shortly after we sent in our latest contribution.

WOSU’s solution to this dilemma is to advise listeners to buy a new digital HD radio (hard to find and not cheap) with which we presumably can receive both of their stations in Coshocton. This is nice, but you’d have to buy a new HD alarm clock radio for the bedroom, an HD radio for the kitchen, as well as one to integrate with your A/V receiver. You would also have to buy a new car if you want to listen to WOSU on the road.

Are there other WOSU listeners who share our thoughts? Should programming return to the mix of NPR and classical music as before? If that is not possible, should it be all classical music or all NPR?


One Response

  1. “More and more stations have upgraded to HD radio broadcasting, bringing higher quality digital audio to consumers, said iBiquity’s CEO Bob Struble. He said there are more than 2,100 HD radio stations in operation with more than 1,300 new HD2/HD3 channels. Kudos to KTRU, Rice University and KPFT/Pacifica for working together to bring KTRU’s programming to the public via HD radio technology, Struble said.”

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