Sometime in early 2013 will mark a terrible but understandable loss for over-the-air radio broadcasting. As reported by the great Radio Insight website, WMVY of Tisbury, Massachusetts on Martha’s Vinyard will become yet another NPR drone. The 92.7 MHz FM signal will become a retransmission of WBUR in Boston and “mvyradio” will, if it receives enough donations, become an online-only enterprise.
Unlike some of the similar recent changes I have railed against, WMVY is much more understandable. It is and always has been a commercial outlet. Even with all of the buzz, good reviews, and a huge amount of listeners from around the world via its Internet stream, the station continued to lose money. In this specific case, it is better that WMVY’s fate be to become a rebroadcast of a distant city’s NPR station than yet another station churning out K-LOVE or some other mindless Bible-babble that never has any local content.
Still, it is sad to see one of the pioneers of the “adult album alternative” format to be thrown into the sea with thousands of other online broadcasters. That’s an even tougher way to survive even without the overhead of a transmitter and its huge electric bill. Despite having an already known brand (at least in some circles), it is difficult to get attention in a world where all too many people mindlessly go to nothing but Pandora or, my favorite of that type, Slacker, without ever thinking about trying to find something fresh where the true glory of radio — the full element of surprise — can be experienced.
At this time, I am not sure if I will transition myvradio’s listing to one of the few Web-only stations I keep on my Radio page. My thinking at the moment is first to see if it actually receives enough donations to live on and then, if it does, to see if it retains a large portion of its live talent or becomes just another glorified mp3 playlist.
I am sure of one thing. I continue to encourage everybody to outwardly support any remaining good, independent over-the-air radio outlet left in their lives whether it is local or not. Our voices, our numbers, and our dollars are the only thing standing between retaining anything good out of a service that truly should not be dying like it is and losing it all to the likes of the radio conglomerates where even the choices of the folks at NPR have to be questioned.
As for NPR and my love/hate relationship with it…no, maybe love/suspicion is best for now…I will get to that another day…hopefully soon as it appears I am ready to rise again from another period of slumber during the long, inglorious history of KoHoSo.us.