Friday, August 24

Radio Waa Waa

KCSU apparently has an issue with the story I wrote about their programming for the Chronicle's back-to-school issue, "Radio Ca Ca," on stands now. Here is an internal memo we obtained:

Subject: please read
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 15:55:11 -0600

Attention all

Yesterday, a Rocky Mountain Chronicle (another paper) article was published yesterday, with a few choice things to say about our station. I am asking you to please NOT TALK about this on the radio. We hold ourslves with a certain level of integrity, and lowering ourselves to the level of a d-rate, mudslingging, free circular is quite below us.

Any concerns, talk to myself or tina


Steven Hendriksen
KCSU Program Drector

Not surprising. The piece took KCSU to task for dropping the ball on college radio and instead operating similarly to a commercial station. The criticism is something commonly heard in the community, but apparently protected from KCSU. I did say they were a successful station and complimented the music directors. But this memo's top-down mandate of silence about speaking of the article on-air only seems to confirm the complaints: No free-form programming during prime time; no free speech anytime.

KCSU, like the Collegian, is a state-subsidized media outlet that also draw advertising dollars (in KCSU's case, underwriting dollars) from the community, in competition with other, non-state-subsidized media outlets. Unfair competition? Maybe. But at least take advantage of the opportunities provided by not worrying about the bottom line, and take more risks; provide something counter to the mainstream.

Mainstream radio is dead. It drank the Kool-Aid. So, music fans depend on community radio stations like KRFC and college radio like KCSU to treat music with the regard it deserves, as a true art form, and the most popular one at that. KCSU could be a bastion of music knowledge and a truly diverse station representing all the niches of musicdom. Instead, it's more of the same. I'd hoped they'd take the criticism to heart, think about it and consider opening up their prime-time programming. This is not just the "mudslinging" of a "d-rate free circular." This is common public opinion.

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