The Locked Box is open. The day the reaction to that statement is “so what” or “ho hum,” we are in real trouble and I mean REAL trouble. This is not a New York or Los Angeles station that brings in a hundred million dollars a year. This is WAMC which we all made together, right?
I meet so many of you in the co-op or Guidos or just out on the street. The older I get, the nicer people are to me. I am always grateful for the kind words folks offer. So many of you say that you’ve got our backs or that you appreciate my hard work, or you tell me about Joe Donahue or Ray Graf or David Guistina. I get letters now from all over the country from people telling me that they are addicted to WAMC and listen all the time, no matter where they are. Quite frequently what I hear is that you, or someone like you, loves what you call the “personality” or “character” of the station. I think that is accurate. This station has character. Consider the morning Panel and Rosemary Armeo who has a lot to say, most of which, but not all of which, is right on.
When we thought up the Roundtable or the Panel part of the show, we wanted it to be interactive. That’s why your letters (we get hundreds every day) are sooo important. We do not read every letter on the air but we try to pick out those that are most representative of all sides on a particular question. We also get lots of letters that ask things like, “Why are the women on the panel always picking on Alan?” or vice versa. That, of course, is what makes the program so much fun. Inevitably, no matter what critical comments there are about any or all of us, the letter will end with something like, “Don’t get me wrong, I love the Roundtable.” That’s what makes the station so special. Like I said, it has “character.”
We all know that this station is family. Don’t poo-poo that. I’m not making it up. I know it because that’s what at least some of you say when you see me on the street. You say that you wake up with us and listen to Tanglewood with us. Deep down in your hearts, you know that it has always been you who has made this station what it is -- breathed life into it and kept it alive under the most dire of circumstances.
Every once in a while, we hear from someone who says that they heard something or someone on the station that they didn’t like and says, “I’m turning the dial” or “I’ll never give you another dime.” These are often people who say that we are too mean to Donald Trump and yet these same people write to us sometimes ten times a day. Something is not connected. Like I said, that’s the way it is in families.
It really is so simple: if you love it, you’ll support it. We are family but we also deliver something of real value. Think about everyone who heard something on Medical Monday that has been of real value to them. I recently heard from someone who is so impressed with our Thursday Conversations program that he wants to help collect them and publish them as a book. Said this man, a well-known editor, “I’m busy, I don’t want to listen but I carry the radio from room to room because it is so compelling.”
Hey folks, I’m depending on you to keep us going. We can’t do it without you. We’re all in this together. Together we’ve made it happen, let’s keep this love affair going. Put something in the Locked Box! Thanks.