Thanks for Supporting Delmarva Public Radio
Democracy is not a spectator sport - and the Delmarva community took action when the future of their local public radio stations was threatened. The community said stations WSCL and WSDL were critical to their quality of life, to getting classical music, in-depth local, national and international reporting, local arts news and updates on economic development on Delmarva.
While some significant matters remain to be worked out by the Friends of Delmarva Public Radio with Salisbury University, it appears that the university realizes that the stations are of great value to its educational mission, that the Delmarva community values and supports them and the community expects SU to do the right thing- preserve the stations in their current formats of news, information, public affairs and classical music, with strong local content and production excellence.
To that end, the SU President, Janet Dudley-Eschbach, has put forward a plan that will offer the chance to put Delmarva Public Radio (DPR) back on its feet.
This plan calls for the Friends of Delmarva Public Radio playing a major role in raising the funds necessary to insure quality programming, and if the Friends plans are realized as well, in the stations programming.
Credit for this proposal goes to the SU leadership, but also to the more than 400 citizens who attended public protest meetings in Salisbury, Lewes and Easton; to the dozens who sent letters, e-mails and phone messages to SU, local newspapers and elected officials; to those elected officials, some working behind the scenes and others who appeared at public meetings; to the friends of DPR who paid for "how to help" announcements on the stations; and, to local newspapers who have given this story front page and repeated coverage.
There remain two immediate hurdles before implementation of the president's plan. The SU Foundation's radio committee will meet on March 6 to vote on the plan. Assuming a positive vote, a full board meeting will consider final approval on the same day. Both meetings will be open to the public. Details can be found on the SU Foundation's calendar of events at its website, www.salisbury.edu/foundation/. In addition to this transition, there is also the need to work out a new relationship between SU and the Friends.
We urge all supporters of DPR to continue to send e-mails, write letters, make phone calls and attend public meetings. Continued community support is critical, now, and in the years ahead.
Richard Contee, Richard Kauffman and Bill O’Connor
Delaware Friends of Delmarva Public Radio