Listening Post: Heading check

U.S. Navy Ensign Kelly Quirk using a stadimeter sextant. Photo: US Dept. of Defense, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

U.S. Navy Ensign Kelly Quirk using a stadimeter sextant. Photo: US Dept. of Defense, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

There are as many ideas about what NCPR should be (and should be doing) as there are listeners and visitors. People tend to view us through the slices of our media offerings that they consume the most.

For many we’re company in the daytime, or the nighttime, pure and simple. Others want our NPR and other network offerings, and get their local community connection in other ways. For others it’s local and regional news. Some have a few favorite music programs. Some don’t own a radio, but listen all the time via our apps and mobile site.

Some don’t listen to us, but follow the news and events of the region at Many listeners in St. Lawrence County are discovering our PRX Remix station, and seldom listen to conventional scheduled programming on NCPR. And some who would like to have strong public service media in the area, don’t pay much attention to NCPR on any platform, because they don’t like the way we are doing the job.

Any or all of that is fine with us; we don’t propose to tell you what you need or want. But we are interested in having you tell us what you need and want. With NCPR’s Annual Meeting coming up next Wednesday in Canton (3 pm in the Winston Room of the Sullivan Student Center at St. Lawrence University), this is a great time to have a conversation about all this, and to help set the station on a course correction, if you think it needs one. NPR’s CEO Gary Knell will also be in the room, so you’ll have a rare opportunity to weigh in on network programming with the person at the top.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, tell us how we’re doing, anyway–what you think we should be doing, what we should stop doing, and anything else you think we need to hear.  Commit your questions, suggestions, beefs and valentines to print in a comment below. We’ll use some of them in the call-in program preceding the Annual Meeting from 11-noon, and will bring the rest to the attention of station and network leaders at the meeting, or afterward.


5 Comments on “Listening Post: Heading check”

  1. Chuck Morgan says:

    I won’t even pretend to tell you what you should be airing.

    I like the 8 O’Clock Hour, when I’m usually in my car–great program!

    The remainder of the time that I might be listening, I miss not being able to tune in the music I like, which is classical music, jazz, and good listening music (don’t know how to describe that). I also realize that what I like to listen to, probably the majority of listeners don’t.

    The talk shows–about ten minutes of listening, and you’ve lost me–I change the station. (There are a few exceptions, but not the “call-in” versions.)


  2. Ronald D.Palamara, II says:

    As a twenty-five year listener of NPR, I never thought I would be listening to NPR less and less. Prior to moving to Burlington, I was a Circle of Friends member with WLRN, South Florida. That’s how much I cared about NPR.

    However, during the last several years, I have grown more aware, and, quite frankly, exhausted in the manner NPR spoon feeds listeners governmental news. Any government! And, governement news is broadcast in such frequency that it is as though NPR is certain that this is so very important to us. Well it isn’t!

    Furthermore, I have been listing to lead stories about the Middle East for at least thirty years. Really?

    All the best,


  3. Anthony Goldsmith says:

    I listen to The 8 O’Clock Hour daily whether I am in Pennsylvania (via my iPad app) or up in the ‘Dacks via radio. I listen to other shows as well

    My only gripe is the strength of the radio signal. At my cabin on Chateaugay Lake, I am in between transmitters. I get very poor reception. I can get a strong signal from VPR but not NCPR. I am not interested in VPR.

    Also, when I am traveling through the ‘Dacks. I have trouble finding a strong consistent signal. I am constantly surfing the dial to find a signal. Can be dangerous while driving.

    Would more powerful transmitters help?

  4. Mike Balonek says:

    My name is Mike Balonek. I went to Crane, beginning in 2000, and fell in love with NCPR. My wife and I stayed in the North Country after graduating, and do love it. We’re now in India for a few years, doing EthnoMusicology research, but are SO thankful for the NCPR iPad app. With it, we can stay up-to-date with local North Country news and programs, and it really helps with the home sickness too. We especially love listening on the app to The Beat Authority, String Fever, the 8:00 Hour, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. We’d listen to Prarie Home Companion too if it was more than just the Lake Wobegan news but the whole program or more clips.

    I do like the mix of talk and music programs, (we need SOMETHING to balance out the stations in the area, as otherwise just about all the talk radio programs are Rush or Hannity or that ilk…), and I like that there are certain times when it will be music, even if the show changes by the day (3:00, whether Music for a Monday, Radio Bob, String Fever, Beat Authority, etc).

    So thanks for the great work, and especially for the iPad app!

  5. I can get national NPR news from two other local affiliates in my area. NCPR’s strength is its excellent local news coverage. Maybe a little less Karen DeWitt spending 5 minutes analyzing how the governor’s poll ratings are down 0.04% in the last 48 hours. But otherwise, local local local.

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