Following a national trend of small radio stations closing, sad news came out this week that the island's beloved, WMVY, will be yet another victim of the failing economy. As of January WMVY's signal will be sold to WBUR, Boston's NPR station. While NPR has many fans in the Cape and Island's area, it will not be able to fill the void left by WMVY.
Upon learning that the station is insolvent, it isn't hard to understand why the parent company, Aritaur Communications, had to make this difficult decision. However unlike the closing of a Starbucks or a Best Buy, what will be lost here can not be replaced by yet another coffee shop or computer store. There are thousands of people that love this station and I have many clients that covet their beloved WMVY both while here and then via the web when they go home. They explain to me that besides just really enjoying the eclectic play lists and on-air interviews, they love that the station keeps them connected to their beloved island. By keeping them up to date on the latest news, weather and area activities, they feel like they are able to maintain their connections here til they come again.
Losing WMVY will be yet one more vestige of yesteryear we will have lost. It is a station that marched to its own drum and resisted the need to be loud and obnoxious just to remain relevant. It never had to as it always was. We will lose that gentle voice that we all relied on to help us know how to plan our days. They would advise us if the Steamship was running on schedule or if our kids were to get a snow day. And, then there is the fundraising that the station sponsored, the local events they would announce; and, the fairs they would promote that would help get people out to support their neighbors which in turn would help year rounders in the arts and theatrical fields make enough to keep creating and make a living through their craft. Or, on a more general basis to serve as a familiar town crier to herald in the beginning and end of seasons with news of picnics, fireworks, parades, festivals and Christmas Fairs so that we could all come out as a community to enjoy ourselves.
So, if WMVY shuts down we will all be diminished in some way by it's absence. Just as when a fierce storm comes through and takes away yet another 5 or 10 feet of shoreline, the landscape is forever altered. And, in a time where so little of what we all use to know and love seems to exist anymore, can we afford to lose just one more thing? In a world where mainstream media has become a compilation of plastic, cookie cutter, Jersey shore, U Tube, forms of crap can we really afford such a loss?
Whether this happens or not is in your hands. If you care about tradition and community and want to try to help save WMVY I encourage you to go to their website and sign on to commit money to do so. It doesn't have to be a lot and it won't be collected unless the total amount raised will be enough to get the job done. And, it will be tax deductible which is another great thing considering the fiscal cliff looming ahead of us. Send your message to Barbara, PJ and the gang by showing your support of their efforts to save something that is important to the island. Visit their website and add your voice to the conversation -