Listen for changes at classical WDAV-FM
06/28/2008 12:00 AM
07/02/2008 7:38 PM
Change is on the way for WDAV-FM (89.9), the region's classical music broadcaster.
This week, the Davidson College station announced that Benjamin Roe, a former National Public Radio reporter and producer, would succeed the retiring Kim Hodgson as general manager.
Roe, 50, says he wants to take the station in new directions, though the format will remain classical. In an ever-changing media world, he believes the station must study its fundamentals and look for new ways to grow.
“If classical music radio doesn't change, it's a death spiral,” he says. “All the elements are here to do something really interesting.”
He inherits a station with many strengths. It is well supported by listeners, has a modern showcase studio on Davidson's Main Street and a respected on-air staff that includes Mike McKay, Frank Dominguez, Joe Brant and Jennifer Foster.
But Roe wants to branch out more onto the Internet and hopes the station can become the source for all things classical in the Charlotte area. “If we can become the Google of classical music in this area, I'll be a happy man.”
Roe wants the station to be more active in the overall arts scene and connect with listeners in new ways.
Roe, a Massachusetts native, spent 20 years at NPR and was director of music and initiatives. He helped develop NPRMusic.org, the online portal for public radio stations nationally. Earlier he was a producer for “Performance Today.” As a reporter for the network, he broadcast from the Kremlin, the Berlin Wall and other hot spots.
He is passionate about classical music, though not necessarily in a traditional way. Classical music, Roe says, is just the rock ‘n' roll of its era, music that endured because of quality. Before long, artists like Joni Mitchell, the Beatles and Cole Porter will likely join the ranks of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, he says.
WDAV has always had a close relationship with Davidson College, though various administrations have been more active than others in its activities.
Thomas Ross, who became the college's president in August 2007, says he likes Roe's ideas for becoming more involved in the fabric of the arts community.
“We are at a point where WDAV should and can evolve,” he says. “I think there's a lot of potential at different levels.”
Charlotte chef Louis Petrozza is one of the last two cooks left standing on Fox's “Hell's Kitchen.” Finale is at 9 p.m. Tuesday on WCCB, Channel 18 …
On Gospel Music Channel, Monroe's John McKoy is one of three finalists on “Gospel Dream '08.” Winner to be announced on the show at 9 p.m. Sunday … Jeff Katz, afternoon host on WBT-AM (1110), is named parent of the year by the ARC of Mecklenburg County ...
“History Detectives” focuses on Jim Chapman of Lexington next week. His father had a diary of a pilot friend who was killed in World War II and Chapman found a way to get it back to the man's relatives decades later. Show airs at 9 p.m. Monday on UNC-TV (Channel 58) and SCETV (Channel 30) … Alex Drake of Charlotte, a teacher at Robinson High School in Concord, won $8,000 on an episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” that aired Wednesday. He took his winnings after getting stumped on the question, “Generally, a prolix person does what excessively? Speaks, sleeps, eats or drinks?” Correct answer was speaks …
Entertainer Mo'Nique takes over weekday afternoons on WQNC-FM (“Q” 92.7) with her syndicated show.
Join the Discussion
Charlotte Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.