I love college and community radio. Loved it when I was in college (WRVU). Loved rediscovering it when I lived in Pittsburgh (WPTS). Loved KABF in Little Rock. Love WIDR. Love. It.
My love for WIDR must be complex, because I’m having a difficult time quantifying it for this post. Some of it is nostalgia, remembering when I first heard Julian Hatfield years ago. I think that listening to the young people (mostly) on the station keeps me thinking. Sometimes I hear fantastic music. Sometimes I hear something pretty awful, but it’s often over quickly.
Yesterday I listened to the station on my drive to the Romence shop and learned that this WIDR Week, the time when the station actively solicits money. One of the DJs talked about growing up listening to WIDR with her family and donating during WIDR Week and wearing the t-shirts and all that. She did a great job of painting WIDR as a community asset, which is exactly how I view it. And then she dissed my favorite author, so I called to complain and to give money. It was great.
Maybe WIDR is your thing and maybe it’s not. Maybe you’ve never given it a try, in which case I would suggest that maybe you should: 89.1 on your FM dial, widrfm.org on the internet. If you like it, maybe consider giving them a few bucks. If you don’t like it, maybe try back later. Like Michigan weather, it changes frequently. Also like Michigan weather, it’s (in my opinion) part and parcel of being a Kalamazoo resident.