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Fearless Predictions 2019

Every year, I offer my fearless predictions for the coming months. The rules, as always, are simple. Sometimes I really don’t want something to happen so I predict an event in the hope of putting the triple whammy on it in order to prevent it from occurring. Sometimes I do want it to happen so I predict it will, and sometimes I really believe that it will happen. It is always your job to try to figure out which is which. This year I will look back on last year’s remarkable predictions to see how we did. Here goes:  

Last year, I predicted that WAMC would  buy its main broadcast tower, thus securing the future of the station. I said that it would not be easy but it turns out that due to the understanding and generosity of all of you, it was. We raised over $2 million dollars in a few days! Amazing! I predicted that there would be an outpouring of love, support and understanding so great that the Herculean task would be accomplished. As always, there was an awareness that we are all in this together. 

I predicted that the WAMC family would grow as staff members continued to have babies. I said one couple would have twins and name them Beacon and Ticonderoga after two of our 29 stations. That didn’t happen yet but it surely will and we’ll have a party to welcome Ticonderoga and Beacon into the WAMC family.  

I predicted that the right side of the David A. Galletly newsroom would feature a sign that reads, “The Right Side.” That sign is still in preparation, overseen by a committee of Brian Shields and Ray Graf. As we write this, they are deeply involved in the project.  

I predicted that Donald Trump would order the Feds to strip WAMC of any federal support to which I would say, “Bring it on, we’re ready. That’s why we have the First Amendment Fund.” That didn’t happen yet but it surely will. As part of the next budget negotiation, Trump will say in his best Jimmy Cagney (Mr. Roberts) tone: “I want that station out of here.” 

I predicted that an internet troll would be discovered writing to WAMC under various assumed names and we would be amazed when we figured out who it was. We never thought it would be a former staff member. 

I predicted that Murray the Dog would be honored by the ASPCA. His citation would read, “Murray has brought honor to dogs everywhere.” It’s coming, I tell you, it’s coming. 

I predicted that two WAMC staff members would fall in love. Attorney Jeff Honeywell would be consulted as to whether the two could marry under the new rules. We're still waiting on this one.  

Now, this next one actually happened. I said, “Heads will continue to roll at National Public Radio. Jarl Mohn, the currently on-leave head man will resign because of continuing health problems. His resignation will be met with deep regret on the part of those who have developed special relationships with him.” 

I said that the NPR business meetings, which require a quorum of stations, will continue to have difficulty getting necessary numbers to move forward to do business despite all kinds of questionable methods of meeting a quorum. This wasn’t much of a prediction because most of the member stations have been voting with their feet. 

I predicted that The Berkshire Eagle’s Larry Parnass would be nominated for and actually receive a Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting on the Berkshire Museum’s attempts to sell their most important and expensive paintings. Didn’t happen but it should have. 

I said that in its efforts to cut costs at WAMC, a blue ribbon panel would suggest that the station start charging for coffee. It didn’t  happen and it won’t happen again this year.  

I predicted that the Mayor of Albany would finally do something about the prostitution problem on Central Avenue. The pimps who follow the women around are truly scary. Still true, still hoping.  

I predicted that WAMC would receive an award for being the most diverse broadcaster in our area. Should happen any day now. 

I predicted that the police would finally patrol the bus station out in front of WAMC where loitering, smoking (not allowed), urination and fights are not all that uncommon. This HAS happened and the bus stop has been cleaned up.

I predicted that a listener would make a false accusation about having heard a dirty word on the radio. Not much of a predication.  

I predicted that the WAMC Jeep would use its built-in winch to save the occupants of a car that drove off the road. New Jeep, new winch.  

I speculated that Ray Graf would become a standup comic playing the clubs and he’d spend a lot of time imitating me talking about Fire Island and Camp Bronx House. Hasn’t happened yet because Ray will prove an expensive act. Also Brian Shields will have to write his stuff.  

And as always, I predicted that you, dear listeners, would  have a happy, healthy and safe New Year. Ditto that for this year. 

Dr. Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the University at Albany. He hosts the weekly Capitol Connection series, heard on public radio stations around New York. The program, for almost 12 years, highlighted interviews with Governor Mario Cuomo and now continues with conversations with state political leaders. Dr. Chartock also appears each week on The Media Project and The Roundtable and offers commentary on Morning Edition, weekdays at 7:40 a.m.
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