Thursday, June 30, 2005

Radio Daze

Since 1971, WVXU-FM has operated out of the campus of Xavier University in Cincinnati. Beginning with a handful of students operating with ten watts, it has expanded to 26,000 watts, and has since added remote translators throughout southern Ohio and beyond, to become The X-Star Radio Network. Rolling past Columbus toward my old stomping grounds, I could be treated to an eclectic mix of big-band, old-time radio drama, ambient/new age, and acoustic singer/songwriters.

Alas, a change was in the wind earlier this spring, when XU decided to cash in their assets for expansion elsewhere, by selling the network to WGUC, Cincinnati's flagship public radio outlet. Today is the last day of a great show called "Audiosyncrasies." A live webcast can be accessed through the X-Star website.

What happens after today is not clear. At least not to me. But as more and more public radio stations forsake good imaginative programming for endless news and yada yada yada, we live for today while it is still with us.


Elanders said...

I have been searching for some discussion of the sad end to the great music programming of WVXU. Your blog is the only site I could find about this ending. Maybe, that's why WGUC feels empowered to make WVXU an all news station. Anyway I just want to tell someone how horrible this is. Like yourself I was raised in Cincinnati and now live in the Washington, DC area. As I am sure you understand I don't relate to much that is Cincinnati (or the rest of Ohio). WVXU is the one thing that over the years I have enjoyed, specifically the amazing show that is Audiosyncrasies. There was a time when I would only get to hear this station during holiday visits. Then the station started transmitting broadcast online, and once again I became a daily listerner. I even joined WVXU to show my support through giving.
Audiosyncrasies was an amazing show that played music from around the world as well as lesser known artist in the U.S. No where else in a single set of music would you hear Jimmy Cliff, Van Morrison, The Ditty Bops, and Celtic Women.
Audiosyncrasies always gave me hope that there was this artistic and creative side of Cincinnati that was just hidden from plain sight. The end of WVXU as we know it suggest that I was wrong.
I don't think Cincinnati ever knew what a gem they had in this show and the station.
Thank you for giving me a place to vent.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more! I moved back to Cincinnati from the NYC area ten years ago and immediately tuned in to WVXU as I had done in my college days. Having grown up here, I was amazed upon my return, that Cincinnati had shed nearly all of her unique identity and become just another "vanilla" metropolitan area. Gone were the quaint Italian grocery & vegetable shops, the Court St market was just a shadow of it's former self and local government focused all development ideas on the riverfront area. Now WVXU has changed to the all news format and there is nothing to listen to on the radio but classical music, country, news & talk or rock.

I've turned to searching for streaming audio on the web. The radio station at Ohio University in Athens (WOUB) has an interesting and entertaining format. They have both AM and FM programming and it's easy to find nice music nearly all day.

I can't understand why the programming directors at the radio stations think everyone in the country needs (or wants) to be bombarded with news, social discussions, whining and the blithering of spin doctors 24/7. No wonder people don't think anymore---their brains are too overloaded with all of the trival input to produce any meaningful output.

David L Alexander said...