November 15, 2011

Does Anyone at WESA Know How to Run a Radio Station?

I had mixed feelings when WDUQ-FM was sold, changed its format, and morphed into WESA-FM. On the whole, however, I have been pleased with the new lineup. On the other hand, I do wish the station were more reliable.

This morning, for example, I was listening to a story on Morning Edition. In the middle of the story, WESA simply disappeared. Such broadcasting gaps have become commonplace. As I write this, WESA is still off the air. When the station returns after one of these incidents, I  never hear an apology or even an acknowledgement that a problem has occurred.

Having the station disappear is not the only common problem WESA experiences. Sometimes the scheduled programming disappears and is replaced by the BBC World Service. Of course, whenever I get interested in whatever is being broadcast by the BBC, it vanishes in favor of whatever was supposed to be on the air. It is also common for station announcements to interrupt programs or to be heard over the scheduled programming.

My favorite screwup to date has been a public service announcement warning listeners that daylight saving time would require them to turn their clocks back on the coming Sunday. Unfortunately, this announcement aired weeks after the time change occurred!

Does anyone at WESA know how to run a radio station?

Update, 11/17/2011: The station admitted on-air—it had been off the air for a while—that it is experiencing transmitter-related problems.


  1. As I said before, I regret my substantial contribution to WDUQ. I miss the jazz. Kinda hard not to smile at their misfortunes.

  2. The technical problems seem to have focused around the move in this past week from the studios at Duquesne to the new facility in the WYEP offices on the South Side. I find the programming on the station something of a mixed bag. I actually think the overnight BBC and the Saturday morning programs (Earthbeat, Allegheny Front--formerly a YEP show) to be quite good, and there are other improvements. But then, while I love live jazz, I really don't listen much to music on the radio . . . .

    Bruce Robison

  3. The move is, no doubt, creating its own difficulties. The problems have been going on since the format change, however. This is not to say that WDUQ never had its technical glitches, but they were certainly not so frequent.


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