Public radio has “handcrafted appeal”

Photo by Justin Bishop and Joel Didriksen, Vanity Fair

Photo by Justin Bishop and Joel Didriksen, Vanity Fair

So says Roger LaMay, the general manager of Philadelphia’s WXPN, home to music discovery powerhouse World Café. In an op-ed published today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Roger writes:

Local public radio stations provide a rare platform for local and emerging artists whose work does not fall within the narrow parameters of other broadcast outlets. By introducing these artists to local audiences, stations like WXPN have helped launch and sustain the careers of numerous contemporary musicians, ranging from the Lumineers and Gary Clark Jr. to locally based artists such as Amos Lee and Dr. Dog.

Philadelphia-based public radio stations sort through the noise to bring audiences the best. We don’t rely on algorithms to develop playlists, but real disc jockeys to curate content. And our stations help deepen appreciation of music by providing valuable context about artists in a way not done by other outlets. Two national programs produced here – World Café and Fresh Air – are important difference-makers in the careers of emerging and significant artists.

Despite meager and currently endangered federal support, public radio stations and their members nurture the local music community and help drive the creative economy and infrastructure. The month-long celebration of public radio in April honors that tradition.

Couldn’t agree more, Roger.

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