21 October 2008

Dualing Fundraisers in Rochester

I have repeatedly complained that Rochester has the single most boring npr affiliate in the country. Despite one fairly recent reason for pause, I stand by that assessment. With nearly no local programming on either band, WXXI gives over its FM broadcasts exclusively to classical music, while their AM station devotes hours and hours to more or less insipid talk programming.

This is pledge week on npr. I do not support WXXI (I once did, but gave up in despair). Instead, I give to a local member-supported, mostly jazz station WGMC.* I will say that while the WGMC programming is a bit too conventional for my tastes it is nonetheless considerably better than the fare served on npr. This is their pledge period too. Indeed, this morning I violated the law and used my cell phone to call in my pledge while I was driving in to the University. But they are having a difficult time making their fund-raising goal. If you live in the area and have to choose, send your money to the folks at WGMC. And, if you live out of the area, you can get the station via a live internet feed. Geography is no barrier. Dig deep, find some cash and pledge it.
* I say "mostly" because, as their web page announces: "Jazz90.1 is also an important outlet for music and voices that don’t make it onto commercial radio. Our longest-running show is Polka Bandstand. We also feature the Lithuanian-language program Dainos Aidas; The German Radio Program; and Esencia Latina, a four-hour program of Latin music (broadcast in Spanish)."

One of my lasting childhood memories is of the Sunday morning 'Polish-American Hour' on WBRK in the Berkshires where I grew up, so 'Polka Bandstand' weirdly resonates with me.

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