City Desk

WPFW Suspends Some Programming Changes

The continuing saga of WPFW's controversial programming overhaul takes a sharp twist today: General Manager John Hughes has suspended some of the changes to WPFW's programming grid.

Following yesterday's resignation of Interim Programming Director Bobby Hill, Hughes told WPFW staffers this morning that he will seek out a replacement for Hill. Once that staffer is in place, a new program evaluation process will be created and implemented.

The programs that were supposed to begin this week but are now suspended include Tell Me More, Smiley and West, The Tavis Smiley Show, and The Takeaway. Sojourner Truth aired yesterday and will air later today, but it will be off the air after that.

Hughes told WPFW staffers that the suspensions are temporary—and perhaps necessary, as WPFW hasn't set up an account through the distribution service ContentDepot yet, according to one staffer.

Tony Norman, the chair of WPFW's listener-elected Local Station Board, confirmed the suspensions. He said an LSB meeting scheduled for tomorrow won't take place; instead, there will be a public meeting with the LSB and Hughes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Howard University School of Architecture.

I bet it'll be a wild one.

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  • Priest J.

    So now they are canceling the changes? That station is in trouble.

  • Jonathan L. Fischer

    Some of the changes—like the new in-house news programs in the morning—are in effect. The shows that are produced elsewhere won't start yet, but they're not canceled.

  • Eric L. Wattree

    Dr. Cornel West seems to have gone on a shameless mission to disparage anyone in the Black community who tends to overshadow him. Now he’s after music mogul and entrepreneur, Jay-Z, regarding his business holdings. West seems to be bound and determined to demonstrate to the world that Jay-Z's business holdings aren't as impressive as he's increasingly being given credit.
    But what Jay-Z owns or doesn't own is not the point of this piece. The bigger issue is the pettiness of a mind that can become so fixated on such a trivial issue. Considering West's, fading, yet substantial influence in the Black community, the possible impact of such a petty mind during a time when we are fighting for our very existence is indeed frightening.
    During a time in this nation's history when powerful forces in this country are hell-bent on establishing an era of corporate feudalism, how does Cornel West's attack on Jay-Z show "love" for the Black community? How does it help to reinforce the Black community and abolish poverty, as West insists to any and everyone who will listen, is his primary goal? In short, it doesn't - and that, is the point of this piece.
    Cornel West's petty fixation on such issues as the extent and source of Jay-Z's wealth, why a baggage handler could get inauguration tickets over his own illustrious personage, and why the President of the United States failed to return his personal phone call, clearly demonstrates that poverty and suffering within the Black community, and America as a whole, is not only less than his primary concern, but is, in fact, merely being used as a tool to gain personal attention and to promote his own self-aggrandizing agenda.
    In addition, West's all consuming penchant for attacking high-profile Black people - and in racially drenched terms - suggests far more than what many attribute to West's exaggerated sense of self-importance. It more clearly suggests a form of black-on-Black racism - an intense disdain and condescending attitude toward his own people. Black people tend not to look closely enough at this syndrome, but we should, because it's one of the most toxic maladies in the Black community. It's been killing us for over 400 years, and it's past time to bring it to an end.
    What we have to begin to understand regarding people like Cornel West and others of his ilk is, Black people are the product of the very same racist environment as White people. And as a result, many of us are just as racist and condescending towards other Black people as any racist Hillbilly. So what West is clearly demonstrating is, in spite of everything that's coming together to destroy the Black community, it all has to take a backseat to America's favorite pastime - dragging a successful Black man through the mud. And West’s attack on Jay-Z is not just an aberration - he’s done the exact same thing to President Obama, Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and Rev. Al Sharpton. Yet, he seems to be fine with Walmart, and the others who are trying to cut the Black community's throat.

  • Henry

    I'm sticking with WPFW, whether they go more mainstream or not. The continued existence of their take on local news and their unparalleled jazz programming, now scheduled for evening and weekends when I can listen, is too important to DC to let it die from lack of sufficient interest and donations. Adding Tavis Smiley wouldn't hurt the station as much as being unable to raise enough money from listeners for it to continue to exist.