WUGA 91.7 SUCKS

or why I'm not supporting NPR during this pledge week drive.

WUGA 91.7 has a joke of a tagline. "your OASIS for..." blah,blah,blah

Run out of the University of Georgia, WUGA 91.7 would seem to be a student run station. After all of the "technical difficulties", you would think so, but it's not. Check out their web site and you'll see aging hippies to straights to stiff necks, and few youthful types. With programs that overlap- literally- two shows playing at the same time to Sunday night breaks which see replays instead of the usual BBC early hours news, the station is a poorly run excuse for a station. The "temp-uh-toor" lady and the nasal stylings of the station manager, Steve Bell, are reason enough not to listen. Mind you, someone did get the "temp-uh-toor" woman to pronounce temperature correctly, even if it is a little strained. And Steve Bell tries so hard to hide his hillybilly accent with a constipated nasal twang. But overall, unless a NPR national program is playing, it's not worth a listen.

Even worse are the limited program selections, locally produced pablum, lame afternoon music (harpsicords and organ music, yuck!), and terrible program times for what few decent national shows they carry.

Several years ago a writer to Flagpole Magazine's letters section bemoaned the programming selections on WUGA 91.7. Seems he had been to the Carolinas, a place most of us consider as much a backwater as Alabama, just above Mississippi on the manure pile. In the Carolina mountains while working a job, the writer had found an NPR affiliate that played a variety of shows featuring all kinds of music and good shows at good times. Imagine that! Actually I can. Why? Because this week, once again, during pledge week I am streaming real NPR stations on the web. So what, the news is from Boston or NYC with local temperatures; it's real programming run professionally.

Here at WUGA 91.7 they stopped playing the weekend Jazz After Hours hosted by Jim Wilke and put on a half ass GA Public Broadcasting Jazz show. Don't even get me started on how lame GPB is, especially in the state news department. The UGA news briefs are even worse. Focused on UGA "news", rarely is it of anything important or news worthy. Then when fundraising time rolls around, the shills are the same crap we hear every time, interrupting up to 20 minutes of every news hour.

Then there's the problem with NPR news lately. NPR is going DOWNHILL FAST. There are Steve Innskeep's lame jokes and never ending interruptions of interviewees: "Now you just said CIA; for our listeners, that stands for Central Intelligence Agency." NPR could also learn a thing from BBC about not cutting short your reporters and interviewees. Further, rap music has made an inroads into their music review section as well as their interlude music. Come now, NPR, your listeners used to be college educated, $75,000 average household income, readers of The Economist. Do you think Steve Forbes, et al, really want to hear Rapper Thug Boy's latest rap on life in the gangs? And where the hell is the cutting edge questioning? John Stewart does a better job exposing the bullshit on Comedy Central, a comedic twist on a news show. Since when did our comedians become a better source for news than the pros? Since NPR wussed out? Then there's Louisa Lim's Weports from Kowea. A reporter with a Rhotacism Lisp? WTF? I turn off the news every time the lisping Louisa Lim is on air and run to write editorials like this.

So I won't be giving money to WUGA 91.7 or to NPR this pledge drive until we get Louisa Lim off air and Jim Wilke on air again. WUGA 91.7, can you get Hillbilly Steve Bell off air too? And how about some dumb UGA students? Put them on air so at least you'll have an excuse for the technical difficulties. Besides you might get a better line up and some better music, just not rap please. Off to stream BBC now. It's the top of the hour.