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Sack Pain At Kcrw

November 16, 1986

To attack KCRW's decision not to continue one of its 23 regularly scheduled music programmers (Deirdre O'Donoghue) as an effort to stifle free speech and musical diversity on the airwaves is ludicrous (Pop Eye, by Patrick Goldstein, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9; Calendar Letters, Nov. 9).

All an unbiased listener has to do is listen to the biting wit of political and media satirist Harry Shearer, the informed opinions of historian Harvey Stromberg, the spectrum of articles chosen daily for "Newsstand," the range of music heard on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and "Evening Becomes Eclectic," the daring dramatic artistry of Joe Frank--all programs produced for KCRW.

On none of these programs--nor, for that matter, on any program originated by KCRW--is the producer required to submit an outline, a script of a playlist in advance of broadcast. Instead, there exists a bond of trust between the station and the programmer. When that bond is broken there is no going back.

As one of two other management people who advised KCRW General Manager Ruth Hirschman in her decision to replace the extremely talented O'Donoghue, I can testify that it was the most painful decision Ruth has had to make since coming to the station eight years ago.

Hirschman has fought for the survival and then championed the success of National Public Radio. She designed and led the station's annual campaign for NPR News, which has just raised $65,000 for unrestricted coverage on "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." This is the kind of leadership that takes courage and vision.

Rather than uninformed and mean-spirited criticism, she and the station deserve our community's support.


Management Consultant, KCRW

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