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WDET Dumps Folk Music

October 19, 2004

A month ago, WDET in Detroit told folk DJ Matt Watroba that his services were no longer necessary (this in an area home to a giant pile of folk music fans). The station did this in attempt to present a more cohesive music schedule that would prompt listeners to stay tuned longer. While this defense is fair (and a pretty standard argument in public radio), it does leave many folk listeners looking for a new source of music. Are you a Folk Alley fan living in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area? Please, take this opportunity to tell your friends about us. We may not be there physically, but we are in spirit. And I wouldn't mind making a few more trips up to The Ark, it's a great club!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at October 19, 2004 5:32 PM


I'm a former Detroit-area folk music lover. Matt Watroba's show was an essential part of my public radio listening experience.

What seems to be the reasoning behind the desire to keep listeners tuned in "longer"? It's not as if we will hear more advertisements or anything!

While I like the "varied, mixed" style of radio, I also appreciate and hunt for folk, bluegrass, old-time, and Celtic shows. How many of those DJs left at WDET do you suppose will play ANY folk music?

Oh, and WDET also dropped The Arkansas Traveler, another fine show.

I sure hope Matt finds another way to do a show. Maybe one of the Ann Arbor-area public radio stations will pick him up!

Only if they're smart...

Noemi Ybarra
Former Ann Arborite

Posted by: Noemi Ybarra at October 19, 2004 10:37 PM

The day the music died, so sad, it is all about the money.

Posted by: Wayne Kersey at October 21, 2004 12:41 PM

oh well... at least we'll always have folk alley!

Posted by: dan cortel at October 21, 2004 6:32 PM

Seems like some areas are getting folk, like Boston, with U. Mass WUMB. My folk show was dumped from U. Of Vermont WRUV. I had done a great job for them in summer and they had no excuse. Many times with college and public stations its prejudice, but more often just INCOMPETENCE.

Posted by: Gary Davis at October 22, 2004 6:07 PM

Just remember this during WDET's next pledge drive, and send the money to Folk Alley instead.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at October 24, 2004 8:43 PM

Maistream music wants the Britney Spears-like-ghostwriter- with no-creativity-crap... Who wants that? I am here to say that not all College students want to hear that musak (intentionally spelled that way), and Folk should be brought back. I personally do not want to hear adverts myself. Mainstream music is way to distracting and frankly is without content, character, substance, and creativity.....Bring back folk...please

Posted by: Elizabeth Hillman at October 25, 2004 1:22 PM

The same thing happened in the Dallas, Tx area in the late 90's. The sad part is not only do you lose a source of good music but you also lose a source of new sounds. I, personally, found that I didn't buy as many new recordings after losing my inspiration. I have since moved to Lincoln, Ne and have a local station of long standing that understands the importance of good radio. Long live KZUM!

Posted by: Jim Weesner at November 7, 2004 9:48 PM

Great news! Matt Watroba's show, "Folks Like Us" has been picked up by WDET's neighbor to the west, Ypsilanti's WEMU!

That's surely good for the folkies in southeast Michigan. Now to get someone to pick up "The Arkansas Traveler".


Posted by: Noemi Ybarra at November 15, 2004 3:00 PM

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