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Friday Feedback for July 5, 2013

This has been quite a week at WHQR. For about four days, we were plagued with network outages and slowdowns that disrupted everything from recording network shows to seeing web pages to answering emails. It’s frustrating when someone sends you a message asking “What’s wrong?” and we can’t even reply to tell them. Thank goodness for Facebook and Twitter.

Radio programs affected included Writer’s Almanac, the Diane Rehm show, some newscasts and more. Thanks to careful troubleshooting and a lot of hard work by the WHQR team, by late Tuesday we were finally able to locate a faulty switch in our network that was the cause of all the problems.

In a way this may have been good for the program Here and Now. This is the show, newly produced by NPR in partnership with WBUR in Boston, that has replaced the 2 pm Talk of the Nation, which has ceased production. Since we were unable to carry the pre-recorded Diane Rehm hour at 3 pm, we carried two full hours of Here and Now on Monday and Tuesday. I hope this enabled you to get a better flavor of the show. Here are some initial reactions:

[Audio Clip 1, Monday 7/1, 3:23 pm]

This is Jan Brewington. I just wanted to leave a comment about Here & Now today. I really don’t like it. I feel like I’m listening to CNN or something, where they’re going over and over about this fire. And they’re trying to get details and talk about the tragedy and making it… The woman even said, “This is like 9/11, with the cars in the parking lot. I mean, that is sensational, and that’s not why I listen to WHQR. So, maybe it’ll get better, but [I] just wanted to let you know that. Thanks.

Listen Winston wrote:

It really hit me that Talk Of The Nation was gone when I tuned in to WHQR Monday afternoon to hear of a J Lo scandal, references to tweeting about coffee, an area code heavy hook by rapper Pitbull and an understated review of the new album by the understated Sigur Ros. This all took place in the span of three minutes, as if Here And Now had taken notes from TMZ, Pitchfork.com and Headline News and proceeded to mash them together like a Girl Talk track. Now I love hip-hop, celebrity gossip and discussing why maximalism is the new minimalism in electronic music as much as the next 25 year old, median income earning white guy. However, I have the internet. I can look up that stuff anytime I want. I've always looked to NPR for cultural substance beyond the tabloids, and I believe Talk Of The Nation filled that search. I will miss that program.

And he signs off,

sighing like a post post millennial pseudo elitist does.

I’m not surprised that the initial reaction, and in truth there wasn’t much, was negative to Here and Now. Talk of the Nation was indeed a fine program, and its loss is naturally felt. We encourage listeners to give Here and Now a chance to settle in and evaluate the program in its totality. It might not be for everyone; time will tell. Thanks for your comments.

We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback. You can always leave a message via email to feedback@WHQR.org. Our Feedback Phone is 910-292-WHQR. That’s 292-9477. And thanks for your feedback.