A message from J.J. Yore, General Manager
We have the privilege to be part of the lives of many people in the Washington, D.C. region, and the responsibility to be our region’s source for great bluegrass music, entertainment and education. And we are thankful for the support Bluegrass Country has received from our members and private foundations.
Our Bluegrass Country content has had quite a journey. Debuting in 1967 with the one hour show, “Bluegrass Unlimited” with hosts Dick Spottswood and Gary Henderson, Bluegrass Country transitioned over the years on WAMU to a 24-hour Internet radio station in 2001, thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts. With the help of our members, WAMU debuted its HD platform in 2007 and WAMU HD-2 Bluegrass Country was born. In an effort to further serve our bluegrass audience, we introduced an FM station, 105.5, the next year.
Bluegrass Country has also expanded the creation of original shows, and the majority of our schedule comes from these programs.
After a decade of growth at Bluegrass Country, we need to reflect on what we’ve accomplished. Many changes have been positive, but our content has become too broad and expenses have outpaced revenues.
To better serve our audiences, WAMU’s leadership team is embarking on a journey to improve our sound and style, and to develop a financial plan that allows us to focus investments on the best content and improve our delivery. This will be done for WAMU’s news platforms—88.5 FM, 88.3 FM, 89.5 FM, 88.5-1 HD and wamu.org—as well as our Bluegrass Country platforms—105.5 FM, 93.5 FM, 88.5-2 HD and bluegrasscontry.org.
We know that some changes need to be made now. We’re refining the schedule to provide a more consistent format and sound, reflecting both a national and local “sense of place.” Our aim is to help educate listeners to the cultural and musical roots of bluegrass, and its history and place as America’s music.
We’re diving into our archives to air content that provides a wider spectrum of the bluegrass genre. This will also help us better manage our expenses. For more information, please check out the attached document.
As we move forward, I will share our progress with you. Join us on our journey. For more information, please read the pdf below.