Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

KDHX Considers Dropping Programs

Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

KDHX Considers Dropping Programs

Article excerpt

Just how literally must a community radio station interpret its mission statement?

That question seems to be the crux of a movement to withdraw some programs from the broadcasts of KDHX-FM 88.1.

Word surfaced recently that the program committee was considering cancellation of all the talk programs on the air, in part because management wasn't satisfied with the Arbitron ratings of most of those shows. Some program hosts and listeners are questioning why a community (i.e. non-commercial) station should even be concerned with Arbitron ratings.

On its web site, the station states: "The mission of KDHX is to build community through media, with diverse and independent voices that enrich the perspectives of our audiences."

KDHX co-manager Nieo Leone told SJR the program change proposal wouldn't actually do away with talk shows; rather, they would still be available as podcasts (which they already are). KDHX would broadcast only short, promotional summaries of the shows and direct listeners to the podcasts. Leone says these blurbs, broadcast during music shows, would expose the talk show ideas to a larger audience.

"Our audience thinks of KDHX as a music station," Leone says. "It's a balancing act. We need to connect with our audience. By definition we are a niche station."

D.J. Wilson, who has hosted "Collateral Damage" on KDHX for eight years, says that's the very reason the talk programs should be retained. "Our show provides something you don't get elsewhere," said Wilson. …

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