Monday, February 13, 2006

Caffeine and music

WTUL's value to the community is almost never recognized by the press. Thanks Chris:

I am listening to the car radio and it's WTUL and they're broadcasting out of the Rue de la Course coffee shop Uptown because they lost their studio, and when the deejays come on, you can hear the barristas pounding their empty espresso grinds on the counter and you can hear plates clatter in the background, but they're getting by. The coffee shop and the radio station, doing what they have to do to bring us the essentials of post-Katrina life -- caffeine and music.

Mark, folk DJ.

More photos from the Rue Resurrection Studio here and here.

And this is what the new studio in Uptown Square looks like.

(Ahem, by the way, not that I wish ill-will upon our endeared local NPR affiliate, but did you notice the old control board WTUL is using in that photo above? WWNO is getting NPR affiliates around the country to chip in for a fundraising effort on Valentines Day to recoup some $200,000 in lost revenue because they didn't do their fall pledge drive, and -- they say -- to pay for increased post-Katrina news coverage. Yeah! Hey, the Times-Picayune is 50 cents a day. That's all they're doing, right? Just reading the headlines for two minutes at the top of the hour? I think WWNO has a much higher standard to uphold, but alas, as long as mediocrity pays ...)


At 2/13/2006 11:31:00 PM, Anonymous ashley said...


Still, I agree with you.

At 2/14/2006 05:00:00 AM, Blogger Steve said...

WTUl actually sounds like being in a coffee house gives it a rather suave edge, IMNSHO. They dont do a web broadcast, do they?

I like NPR and all, but they really are another corporate beast.

At 2/14/2006 01:47:00 PM, Blogger velvet_rut said...

i'll miss the rue, but i miss our stacks, too.

At 2/14/2006 08:29:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Steve, I understand the webcast will be restored in a couple of weeks after the move (

At 2/14/2006 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I love listening to TUL because of that background noise. My favorite is the cappuccino maker.

I'm not going to defend WWNO. Still, coming from Mobile, where you have to tune in to Mississippi public radio to get any decent news, and Baton Rouge, which has an all-talk NPR format but technicians and deejays who can't do their jobs, WWNO is comparatively stellar. That's like saying that Maxwell House coffee is the bomb because you were raised on Sanka.

At 2/15/2006 05:45:00 AM, Blogger velvet_rut said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2/15/2006 05:48:00 AM, Blogger velvet_rut said...

i think that all local public radio stations have performed well. it gives me new hope for the republic that the wtul resurrection airstaff did what it did, and makes me mourn anew the takedown of the engineering school!

given the current understaffing of tech needs on every level of the big green house, losing the engineers and the engineer alumni is going to be a big blow. the university cannot run on biomedicals alone.

i'm waiting to see what the tulane engineering kids do next. i sense a prank coming on.

At 2/15/2006 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

I hail from the great state of Wisconsin, home of fighting progressives like Senator Bob Lafollette, Socialist Mayor Frank Ziedler, Senator Bill "'Golden Fleece' award" Proxmire (who passed away in December), and now (God bless him), Senator Russ Feingold.

Wisconsin is also home to one of the best public radio networks in the country. Many of its informative and innovative programs are produced in-state. News content sent to NPR often originates out of Milwaukee, thanks to a fantastic journalism program that gives students an opportunity to participate.

WWNO, by contrast ... well, it just sucks. The locally-produced content is mostly lousy arts features, and the music is the worst of light jazz and classical. There isn't a single bright spot, or creative spot, in their lineup of locally-produced content.

Am I glad New Orleans has an NPR affiliate? Sure. But I find I just as often tune in to Wisconsin Public Radio. WWNO isn't giving me any post-Katrina coverage that I can't get from the Times-Picayune.

At 2/16/2006 09:17:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

We were at the Rue about a month ago and I pointed out the deejay to my Darling Wife. She was amazed. "Why are they up there?" I told her Scott Cowan had kicked them out just like he kicked out the engineers. She almost believed me.

I love TUL, but I'm so hooked on WWOZ...

At 2/17/2006 05:26:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

It wouldn't be far from the truth Tim. He just hadn't thought about the radio station - at all! He could have used the radio station to get vital information out to the community, give them a sense of normalcy by keeping up the music format, or could even have been justified in using the station for self-serving reasons of getting information out about Tulane's situation. Instead, he left it up to the staff to improvise a solution, which is why the station ended up in owner Jerry's good graces at the Rue. In fairness to Cowen (I don't think it's justified), others say he had a lot of other things on his mind (like killing off the engineers).


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