Monday, April 4, 2011

A Conversation With Robin Turnau

On Wednesday, April 6th at 2:00 I’ll be taking listener calls, and I welcome your thoughts and ideas. Every day we get email messages and Facebook comments about our programming. I thought I’d share a sampling of comments that we’ve received in the past few weeks to get you thinking about what you like and don’t like about VPR, VPR Classical, and

“Please get rid of “Speaking of Faith, “The Story”, and that bad space music show on Saturday night.”

“VPR is a wonderful community resource and an honest source of accurate, unbiased news.”

“Please dispense with the mind-numbingly vapid local commentaries.”

“As much as I have loved My Place over the years, it seems like it’s become more and more common to hear music from the 40’s and 50’s. Is that really what listeners care about??”

“The best of VPR Classical are the local programs. The worst is Bill McLaughlin. Second worst is From the Top. Performance Today is so-so.”

“I am very upset that you have not yet provided the whole state with the classical music station except for HD radio.”

“I find the idea of VPR as “too liberal” to be totally false. In fact, it seems to me that conservative viewpoints get more coverage than liberal and no one at all covers anything that might be considered “radical”."

“I really love NPR but I find the on-air fundraising SO annoying. Anything you can do to shorten or eliminate fund drives would be enormously appreciated.”

“When (not if) your public funding is cut, you need to get rid of your duplicate radio service for classical music. This is exactly why I haven’t joined NPR – though I listen A LOT – if you have $$ to double the # of stations that you used to have, you don’t need additional funds.”

“During the recent pledge drive, we were told that Car Talk is your most expensive program. If you ever have to cut any programming to save money, Car Talk should be the first to go.”

“Garrison Keillor is tiresome and smug. Please drop Writer’s Almanac and the Prairie Home Companion.”

“Why so much jazz?”

“Your local news is too fluffy and not that newsworthy. Stop talking about having a feed from the floor of the legislature – boring.”

“The Statehouse stream is great to listen to when I'm interested in a vote but can't get there.”

“I think that having a daily Vermont Edition was a very good idea; Jane Lindholm does a terrific job. I also really enjoy Mitch Wertlieb in the morning.”

Let me know your thoughts by emailing me in advance at, or call Wednesday afternoon between 2:00 and 3:00. And thanks!

Robin Turnau, VPR President

1 comment:

  1. Because my reception is sketchy at work (I try hard to listen through the fuzz, but it is often impossible) I only heard a part of the conversation today. But it was enough to add these comments:

    Car Talk is great - please don't touch it, as it is different and interesting every week.

    PHC isn't great - it wasn't so great when Garrison returned from his first "retirement" with the American Radio Company of the Air many years ago and has only become more dull and ponderous ever since. Please don't repeat it.

    Instead, I would use that two-hour block to air Wha'd Ya Know with Michael Feldman. It is smart and sophisticated humor, news and culture from the heartland. (When I moved here over a decade ago, the PD at VPR told me that you didn't carry the show because Vermonters didn't appreciate the "mean-spirited" humor of the show. Having lived here now, I disagree completely and think it would be a perfect fit to Saturday's news-and-humor programming.

    The Story is not worth the hour that is devoted to it. Too often the stories are less-than-engaging and just seem to be a vehicle for people to get on the radio and talk about themselves. Dick Gordon efforts to make this treacle exciting is sometimes downright embarrassing. He is a better host than this and its too bad he doesn't have a program along the lines of On Point anymore. Recommended in The Story's place would be an hour of Talk of the Nation.

    I would encourage jazz programming to be extended to midnight.

    If Montpelier can have a translator to improve the sound of the news broadcast, why can't a translator be used to bring classical to the capital city?

    That's it for now. Thanks.

    Guy Tapper


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