To tell you the truth I have been away from that business so long I wouldn't consider myself an expert anymore.
I have listened to WNKU for three straight days, and I have enjoyed it immensely. I really like the music because it is different from anything I have heard anywhere else.
There are some things people need to know about radio stations. They all play the same songs by the same artists according to the genre they cover.
I always laughed at, "We play the best country." The truth is every contemporary country station in America plays the same songs. It is the same with everything from rock to "mix." They all play the music that is dictated by unknown people at unknown locations who control the music programming of stations across the country.
I have listened to WNKU for three days and hardly recognize the names of any of the artists they play, except for a handful of "outlaw" country artists. But I like that it is unpredictable. For example, I was glad that I had stopped my car on the back parking lot when I heard "Space Monkey" by John Prine. I laughed so hard. It had been a long time since a song simply made me laugh. I truly enjoyed the lyrics.
Now, let's look at what I consider shortcomings. First, a lack of local content. To be fair, there had not been that much local information to begin with, so I don't think it will affect that aspect of the programming. I noticed when the announcer reads the weather, it sounds like someone added to the script — "in Portsmouth it's____."
There is an abundance of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky news, which may be a problem for local listeners, but it shouldn't carry that much weight since people listen to satellite radio, which has no local news, and they don't seem to mind.
When a radio station changes formats, they almost always completely lose the base audience of the station before it, and it takes a while to pick up a new audience. So how will WNKU's programming go over locally? It will take time to really know. But anything new at least deserves the chance to prove itself. So come back in six months and ask me the same question. Then I might have a better idea. Again, I want to qualify my opinion by telling you that I have no affiliation with the radio business anymore and don't wish to be involved again. It's just an opinion. And after all, we all have one.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.