Monthly Archives: September 2010

We do care about the music.

Yesterday’s Sunday in the Park with Jazz was so much fun.  And anytime you can say that about work, it’s a win.

Great weather (always have great weather for this), supportive sponsors (thanks O’Daniel Porsche Audi and Frontier), big crowd, incredible food (thanks Club Soda and Weenies on Wheels) and of course, the music.  Big sounds from the first moment and it just kept coming all afternoon.

So here’s a huge shout-out to the Mark Van Cleave Jazz Orchestra, the Northeast Indiana Jazz Workshop, Groove Caravan, and the Todd Harrold Band (“Sunshine of Your Love” – I can live off that for a month, Todd.).  I’m not sure how we could have had a more powerful line up of music.  Standing back by the Clinton Street Gate, listening, watching, just breathing in how great it is to be outside, downtown, in the middle of a big crowd enjoying that music was just about as good as it gets.  Loved every minute of the day. (And we do have super pictures, but we don’t the cord to download them . . . yeah.)

That beautiful day was the culmination of a whole week of wild music flurry at the studios.  We’re launching Meet the Music, hosted by Julia Meek (and sometimes side-kicked by Kevin Kreigh), a showcase of local musicians and music of all genres.  We’ve been recording those segments almost nonstop in order to have four or five complete shows ready to go before Meet the Music debuts on October 7 at 7pm (that’s the plan right now).  It’ll precede Little Brother Radio and make Thursday a fantastic listening night. (Along with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)

So all week, we’ve had a steady stream of local music legends carting equipment and instruments through the hall.  Chief Engineer Ed Didier and our volunteer engineer, Al Mozena, have been burning the midnight oil (and I’m serious about that) to make certain the set ups are right and that the recordings are spot on.  And it has been just so very exciting.

Here’s who’s visited:

Reeves & Ling String Trio (awesome classical), Steve Walley (jazz piano – he didn’t drag that in, we have one!), Bill Lupkin Band (oh, blues), ClusterFolk (folk/rock and we say their name so carefully), Ty Causey Band (pure soul), Greg Vey (classical/ragtime piano), Sunny Taylor (c’mon, you know Sunny), Todd Harrold Band (jazz, funky jazz), The Alicia Pyle Ensemble (piano, strings, voice, and conga!). . .  and they keep coming.

We’re proud of the exceptional national news and information programming we bring you every day, and of other local programming that has grown strong roots, like Midday Matters.  This is one more reason to love public radio and we hope, to support it.

This is awesome stuff and we’re grateful to all these fine musicians for catching our enthusiasm (hard not to when Julia is the ringleader) and donating their time and talent.  October 7, Meet the Music!

Keep your ears tuned . . .


PS – Musicians who are interested in being featured on an upcoming Meet the Music should submit a demo to Meet the Music, NIPR, P.O. Box 8459, Fort Wayne, IN 46898.  A panel reviews submissions and selects musicians to ensure that a wide variety of genres are represented. Bands are not paid for their participation.  It’s public radio, people!


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Filed under Community, Good Times, Programming

Perhaps we should add “can blog”.

Leadership Opportunity.
President/General Manager

Northeast Indiana Public Radio, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Northeast Indiana Public Radio (NIPR) seeks a general manager for its two-channel public radio service, providing NPR news, jazz and classical music to listeners in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and surrounding communities including northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. NIPR is a not for profit community organization whose mission is to “engage our community with content that enriches the human experience.”

The successful candidate will possess strong leadership, management and communications skills and will exhibit high ethical standards, including trustworthiness and demonstrated fiscal responsibility.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated ability to identify, act decisively, show good judgment and solve problems.

The successful candidate will provide demonstrated ability to perform the following responsibilities.

1.  Management—Must be able to provide strong leadership and guidance to a staff of ten professionals, through the following skills.

  • Ability to establish annual operating goals and business plan.
  • Ability to effectively delegate responsibilities.
  • Ability to provide clearly defined expectations, consistent follow through and measures of accountability to staff.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff, volunteers and Board of Trustees.

2.  Financial acumen—Must be able to manage an annual budget of $1.2million, through the following skills.

  • Ability to provide strategic direction for annual budget.
  • Ability to monitor the operating budget monthly and make appropriate adjustments to keep it balanced.
  • Ability to determine efficiency improvements to adjust budget as necessary.
  • Ability to seek new opportunities to increase revenue.

3.  Industry knowledge—Must exhibit broad technical knowledge related to radio in general, public radio in particular, through the following skills.

  • Basic knowledge of radio broadcasting fundamentals.
  • Knowledge of FCC regulations.
  • Knowledge of broadcasting ratings and their importance to public radio.
  • Basic knowledge of radio technology and current trends in new technology.

4.  Community relations—Must be able to establish and maintain strong relationships within the communities served, through the following skills.

  • Ability to communicate effectively with community and business leaders, including written and verbal communication, and media relation skills.
  • Ability to be seen as a collaborator and as a leader among the communities served by NIPR.
  • Ability to serve as effective spokesperson for NIPR.

5.  Fundraising—Must be able to effectively raise funds in the nonprofit business model, through the following skills.

  • Ability to establish and maintain strong relationships with various not for profit organizations and foundations.
  • Ability to establish relationships with and secure funding from high capacity individuals.
  • Ability to determine grant opportunities and secure grant writing resources.
  • Ability to determine additional fundraising opportunities and implement them.

Qualified candidates should apply by October 15, 2010 by sending a cover letter and resume to  or mailing to Suzon Motz, Search Chair, NIPR, P.O. Box 8459, Fort Wayne, IN 46898.

NIPR is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

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Filed under Changes, The Team

I saw it on the web site. Must be true.

I posted this yesterday on our web site.  Thought I’d share it here, too.

Dear Friends:

I just wanted to use this forum to speak to our loyal listeners and members as I prepare to end my time at NIPR. While it would be wonderful to make personal contact with each person that supports our organization, to thank you for your support and involvement, that just doesn’t seem to be practical.  I have shared with our staff, board, community advisory board and others with close connections to the station that I am planning to leave my position as GM here a bit later this fall, no later than December 1.

Changes are always challenging but NIPR has a magnificent staff (and volunteers) that will be just fine.  I’m quite certain that an accomplished, passionate professional will be found to sit in the GM chair and that the great plans that we’ve made will continue forward.  I’m feeling as if my contribution has been made and that someone else may very well be able to step in and move the cause forward from this point.

We have made some difficult decisions that I, along with our board, stand behind. I have also been so privileged to be part of adding some exceptional programming elements to our days. The board has formed a search committee and has started the important work of filling the position.

We are all grateful for those of you who have reached out to offer encouragement and support, and when needed, constructive criticism.

It has been a true privilege to serve in this organization.

Many thanks,


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Filed under Changes, The Team

This Sunday. In the Park. Jazz.

Events are not my favorite thing, from a business vantage point, but Sunday in the Park with Jazz is a whole different story.  Because there isn’t a business model, really.

It’s a day that’s not about making money, although we are so grateful to our generous corporate sponsors whose support means that we end up with black ink instead of red.  It’s a day that’s all about listening to awesome local live music in a truly remarkable downtown setting with no tickets, only open gates.  It’s about families with blankets and strollers and juice boxes and all kind of folks riding their bikes and senior jazz fans hearing their favorites (and new stuff) while they read the Sunday paper and everybody just kicking back on a Sunday afternoon.

It’s about a group of people who may not have a lot in common, but share a love of live performance and sunny Sunday afternoons and many who value public radio and like to be wherever we are.

We love it because it’s a great time for us to talk to our listeners and members and people who may not ever listen to us, but want to learn about what we have to offer. And it’s a chance for listeners to ask questions, about changes here, about future plans, about what’s down the road for NIPR.

The fun happens at Headwaters Park – West Side. Our great friends from Club Soda and Dawg’s Dogs will be back and for a few dollars you can buy a great late lunch or early supper – or both.  We’re going to have a “garage sale” of too-much-fun NIPR “prize closet”items as well as some extraordinary jazz vinyl donated by a friend of the station, with all proceeds benefitting NIPR.

But the most important piece, the music, is going to be over the top.  The Todd Harrold Band, Northeast Indiana Jazz Workshop, The Mark Van Cleave Orchestra, and Groove Caravan will all be playing during the afternoon and if you know anything about these groups, you know that there’s going to be BIG music.

It’s going to be a memorable afternoon and we hope you’ll join us.  If you need more info, give Lea a call at 452-1189.

See you there,


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Filed under Community, Good Times

On Andrew, PHIL, and what happens next.

Andrew Constantine is an easy interview, folks.  And informative. And fun.

Andrew, in case you’ve not been keeping up with culture, is the new music director at the PHIL and their 2010-2011 season begins tonight.

I’ve been watching PHIL opening nights for a lot of years and there is a wonderful excitement all around this one. They will be playing Barber’s Adagio, just like they did nine years ago, and for those of us that were there on that opening night, I’m guessing it will bring back the unbelievable feeling that we had being in that place, at that time, with that music.  But the rest of the program is spine tingling, too.  Get a ticket. Be there. (Oh, it starts at 6pm. If you show up at 8, well, it will be over.)

Phil Shaull and I talked with Andrew in the studio on Thursday and then excerpted pieces of that for broadcast in a couple of places. Including WBOI. Conversations about organizations like the PHIL and people like Andrew belong there, too.

We’ve been thinking a lot, and along with many of you, about where our area’s cultural updates and insights are going to find a home on public radio when WBNI is no longer broadcasting, whenever that might be, and we’re working on it.  It won’t be the same as when Janice had long conversations, every week, with the leaders of some organizations. That time slot and format just doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to give attention, and space, and heart to the arts organizations, large and small, that make such a difference in our lives week in and week out and play a vibrant part in the education, quality of life, and joy of this region.

Julia Meek and Phil have given voice to many expected and unexpected arts topics, events, leaders, and participants during Midday Matters ArtCentric and that’s going to continue in some form.  We’ve got Julia immersed in the planning of our new evening local music program and she may take a break from MM, but the arts coverage will continue.  And we are always looking for ways to tell our audience about what’s happening, what just happened, and what’s going to happen on the cultural scene.

As we look at our overall programming with an eye on budgeting, even as we anticipate some changes, please do know that honoring the community, especially the arts community, is always on our mind.

Talking with the dynamic leaders of our cultural community, like Andrew Constantine, Charles Shephard, Ketu Oladuwa, Liz Monnier, Karen Gibbons Brown, Dorothy Kittaka (ok. I should not have started naming people – there are hundreds) . . .  and on forever, should be part of our “public” work.  Just going on record as saying that, so you know that we at NIPR value those relationships as an organization and want to be a good home for the messages and the missions of all arts work in our region.

Tonight, I’m not going to worry about budgets or programming or what comes next. I’m going to experience “The Love for Three Oranges” again, all of it.  And I hear, from reliable sources, that it is just pretty challenging to play.  Watchin’ you work, musicians!

Did I mention Gil Shaham?  Uh-huh.

Have a great week-end.


Oh, and Masterworks concerts, like tonight’s, will continue to be broadcast on WBNI, the second Thursday evening following the concert.

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Filed under Changes, Community, Partners, Programming

No Holiday for those guys.

If you were listening to 89.1 yesterday you might have heard some interesting things. What’s up, you might have said to yourself.  Who’s making the radio today?

Some starts and stops.  Underwriting credits read all together instead of nicely spaced throughout Morning Edition. Some late newscasts and a weather report in an odd moment.

Here’s what happened.  The computer in the broadcast studio crashed. Big time. And everything, absolutely everything except the live broadcaster’s voice, is run by that computer. And yesterday, being a holiday, even the broadcaster was set to run by that computer.  And . . .  it crashed.

The fact that we heard anything at all, except maybe the infamous jazz music that comes on when we have silence for more than a minute, is due to remarkable work by Ed Didier, our engineer, and Kevin Kreigh, our program director. I admit that when they tell me what they did, it means very little to me, but they kept things running.

What it really means is that nobody took the easy way out.  Nobody said “It’s a holiday. Labor Day, on top of that. Let’s bag it and come back tomorrow and fix it.” It’s an example of what goes on here, day in and day out, with a small staff that knows their stuff.

You’d have missed it, right, if they hadn’t kept it going?  If Morning Edition hadn’t shared news, info, and arts and culture with you? If there had been no Diane Rehm?  If it had only been music, even fantastic music, you would have felt like something was missing?

That’s the message we’d like to get across as we approach our fall efforts to raise the resources needed to keep the station running every day.  It isn’t just technical glitches and break downs that can trip us up, but lack of resources can do the same.  In fact, when we’re running short of resources we have more technical problems because it’s harder to keep things tip-top when we’re “cash choked” (thank you,  Steve Linsenmayer). The whole “circle of (radio) life” thing.

We miss it when it’s gone for even a bit, this public radio programming.  And it’s great that each of us can help make certain that when you punch that preset (you do have us preset, don’t you?) you’re going to hear just what you’re eager to hear.

So big thanks, NIPR staff extraordinaire.  And thanks to you, for funding the bubblegum and tin foil, and the real parts, too.



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Filed under screw-ups, Technology