Ardent supporters of former independent public radio station, WCAL, located on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, have been spanking the college for selling the station to communications megalith, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).
While I applaud their efforts at holding the college legally accountable for the manner in which WCAL's sale and financial legacy have been handled - it is important not to let a soulless, corporate, educational hegemon like St. Olaf become too powerful - I can't help but think that there may have been legitimate, non-fiscal reasons for giving the station the axe.
Here's what I think those reasons might have been.
1. WCAL had recently played a Beethoven piece, indicating the horrid depths to which they had sold out.
2. On occasion, two or more listeners would call the station almost simultaneously, jamming their telephone line and causing communication headaches throughout the studio.
3. Most popular show, Smug Music Appreciation Society Hour, incorrectly labeled the composer of one work as Johann Michael Bach when it was clearly Johann Jacob Bach. Naturally, the college acted in such a way as to distance themselves from the shame.
4. Station came down on the wrong side of the heated "cellos" or "celli" debate.
5. WCAL had been found in the bedrooms of many underage choir girls throughout the area.
6. Medieval Music Middays found to be insufficiently monophonic, expressing a surprising degree of modulation. Sent many listeners into shock.
7. Sunday's eight-hour church service broadcast had become almost as exciting as an actual eight-hour church service; too hot for the college to handle.
8. Station came down on the wrong side of the less-heated "Hitler" or "Stalin" debate.
9. WCAL was frequently drunk on the power of the harpsichord; needed an intervention to save itself from itself.
10. Fully half of all eighty-six listeners had lapsed into "drone comas."
11. Upon sonic analysis, one piece was discovered to have employed an electrical instrument thereby immediately invalidating the station's listener contract.
12. Microphone technology not yet sufficiently advanced to pick up hosts' self-importantly hushed tones.