More responses to Richmond Radio 

"What's the Frequency, Richmond?"

Thank you for running a salient article for the need for good quality radio in Richmond. There were however some inaccuracies. Firstly, I am indeed employed. Secondly, the "radio for blue hairs" quotation was troublesome because I have no qualms with radio directed toward a classical audience. To the contrary, my suggestion was to dedicate WCVE's 88.9FM frequency exclusively to the classical audience. To this point, I provided WCVE with research they would need to apply for a second frequency at 89.7 FM. This would allow for both a full-time classical station and a full-time eclectic station. In closing, it is unfortunate that some people find themselves uncomfortable with Richmond's desire for more diverse programming. — Christopher Maxwell . . . Regarding Chris Maxwell: Although I have little sympathy with the apparent take-over of local radio stations by the larger radio barons, I fail to see why WCVE becomes the whipping post for alternative music. I do not have "blue-hair," but do prefer classical music. When more than 30 stations are out there dealing with pop, rock, country, etc., why does Mr. Maxwell feel the need to denigrate the hours of classical music, in order to present us with his own impeccable music taste? — George Bridgman . . . Thank you for finally exposing a sad reality of living in Richmond — the radio stations suck ('scuse my French). My experience, plus what Dave McCormack exposes, convinces me that the whole radio system is rigged. And it's the advertisers who are getting stuck with the static. When Steve McCall suggested we only listen to radio for background music, I knew I needed to make plans to go out of town for the weekend. It's not a hard choice — both D.C. and Tidewater have much better stations. In short, the radio stations are completely out of tune with their audience. I'm not the only one anxiously waiting for a call from Amazon.com offering music over my cell phone. You can already call across country without long distance charges — it's only a matter of time. The people running the radio stations in Richmond need to tune in. They're about to be unplugged. — David Shea . . . Yes, Richmond radio does suck out loud. I think the only solution is in the neighborhood of what Chris Maxwell is attempting to do, and I think the support for such ventures would be overwhelming, but the "radio mafia" does not want to see it happen and has the resources to lavish upon our so-called elected representatives to prevent it. I vote, like I'm sure many Richmonders do, by simply not listening to their corporate rock garbage. I don't think the Arbitron ratings have yet to be able to gauge how much of the "market" has simply given up on the truly dismal Pablum these self-appointed molders of mouldy taste are trying to ram down our throats. — Al Simons . . . Thank you for your pages-long explanation of what's wrong with Richmond radio. As a recent transplant, I have been enamored of this city's charm, history, cuisine, and even its disputes, but I've been nothing short of disgusted with what it offers discerning radio listeners. You might then be surprised to learn that I relocated from Salt Lake City, Utah. Yep. Home of polygamists and crazy liquor laws, green Jello and vast expanses of nothing, Salt Lake has something a lot of cities — Richmond included — can't boast: a thriving and enriching community radio station. "The Mighty" 91FM KRCL has, for 20 years this December, been providing an alternative voice in what others would consider a desolate part of this country, all without a single commercial dollar. Imagine, in a given week, being able to listen to a fledgling folk artist from New England, a lesbian high school activist, a debate between two candidates for a U.S. House seat, and a national author talk about her bestseller. Imagine radio audiences so large that folk and alternative concerts are almost always sold out. Imagine being able to support local musicians as they build their audiences and then go on to make it big. Imagine a group almost entirely made up of volunteers being recognized by the cutting edge as well as the establishment as a critical part of the fabric of local society. Well, then you'd better move to Utah, because nothing I've heard in this part of the country can make that claim. Utah is an amazing place and I miss it to death, but I see so much beauty and integrity in this city that it surprises me that Richmond really doesn't have a voice. Classical music, NPR and supposedly "alternative" music don't reflect what this city is. It's as if we're having our reality piped in for us. Richmond deserves something more than being told it doesn't want to think. Prove me right by thinking about — and then acting on — ways to make our airwaves something that reflects Richmond and not just "background music" to the very meaningful lives we lead. — Mark Christopher Hampton . . . I read with interest your article on the state of Richmond radio. I was appalled at Steve McCall's attitude toward listeners. If this is the kind of people that prevail in the industry, it's no wonder that radio has become the wasteland that it is. Mr. McCall, you couldn't be more wrong. Ask anyone in Richmond, and they'll give you a five-minute dissertation on the hideous state of the airwaves. Radio is universally scorned here, as it is in many other small cities. Perhaps the answer is in more competition for the radio juggernauts. Hopefully, the new low-power rules being considered by the FCC will be approved, and we can have some actual community participation. I urge anyone concerned about this issue to voice their opinion to anyone in government that will listen. It's time to take back the airwaves. — Pete Plassmann Click here for Richmond Radio Week, our week-long look at the state of radio in Richmond. We want to hear from you
Style welcomes signed letters to the editor that include the writer's daytime telephone number. Letters are edited for clarity and space. Mail or deliver to 1118 W. Main St., Richmond, Va. 23220. You can fax your letter to 355-9089 or e-mail it to bethbar@styleweekly.com. Please indicate letter to the editor in the topic field.

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