Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Fall and Decline of WPFW

As of this writing, the once consequential and serious WPFW 89.3 FM has started its annual fall pledge drive, a drive that more than usual takes on a particularly feverish air of desperation with the survival of the station being at stake. Concerning this sorry mess, a few observations:

1. Those charged with the responsibility of running WPFW are guilty of mismanagement and malfeasance in squandering a valuable resource.
2. To continue pledging financial support to the station, without any assurances that it will reverse course, is tantamount to throwing money down a proverbial rat hole.
3. The usual hackneyed arguments - for example, that it is "the lone beacon of jazz music and political truth on the Washington, D.C. area radio airways" - no longer hold sway because of the aforementioned (1) and because of a changed media landscape that pretty much renders the station a nullity.
4. Instead of prolonging the inevitable, WPFW should be allowed to suffer the fate of organizations that fail to keep pace with a changing environment: it should be allowed to die.

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Alexandria, VA, United States
'To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle." - George Orwell