Well, there seems to be some unfortunate knee-jerk reactions going on. Some of this is no doubt related to events that happened right before I discovered DLBN and that doesn't surprise me all that much. There was bound to be some people looking for a link, as if management really needed an excuse to get rid of ANY DJ they wanted at any time. It has happened at least twice in the past year, if I recall correctly. None of us have a contract.
I don't think that DLBN management can win. They get criticized for too much non-prog content, but then they get criticized for cutting non-prog content and trying to make this a more prog-oriented station. This was not a "Gruno hunt." You don't cut off an arm to amputate a finger.
The management trio called me, and all the other DJs, several months ago, to try to gauge where the station was and what our thoughts were. I don't know how the other DJs answered, but my personal reaction to being asked about the station was to turn the question back on them, saying: "It's YOUR station. Where do you want it to go? What do you want it to be? You can't do anything to improve it until you know the answer to those questions. And I can't tell you my own personal opinions on how to make any improvements if I don't know what you're trying to accomplish here."
In the months since the initial round of phone calls, there have been additional calls to the DJs. Management has also revamped the website (nice job, Rene) and came up with a clear vision for what they wanted the station to be, which is represented in the mission statement. They saw that the station was drifting further and further from that statement and asked for feedback a month ago (or so) from all DJs. I don't know if every DJ responded, but from talking to Shawn & Rene, I gather that the majority supported their vision, so they went ahead and adopted the change.
Did that affect some shows? Yes. Did it chase DJs away? Not directly, as everyone was (as far as I know) invited to stay, but in a way, yes, you could probably say that it did.
I can tell you that as a DJ, management made it very clear to me that they are NOT trying to argue the age-old horrible question of "what is prog?" In fact, they stated (in as many words) that if a song is borderline in any way, it's not even an issue. It was made clear that non-prog was not banned, but rather they simply asked us not to play large blocks of OBVIOUS non-prog, and to try to keep our prog content at around 85% or so (that 85% includes the borderline stuff). I hope I'm not stepping on management's toes in revealing this, but I felt it was important that the listeners know the truth behind these recent events.
I wasn't here at the beginning. I found this place on a Tuesday night in late 2003, after doing a web search for internet prog radio. The first show I heard was mikebo's "Strange Universe," which drew me in and captivated me. I came back a few nights later and heard Moondog doing his "Friday Night Freakout" program. I was hooked and have been here ever since. Would that have happened if my first visit had been on a Monday night? I suppose that would have depended on what was playing at the time, but it's likely I would not have come back (I was, after all, searching for an internet prog site, like many other first-time DLBN listeners).
Now, here on this message board, I see people, who I've never seen outside of Gruno's chat, weighing in on this issue. It's certainly within their rights to do so, and I would imagine they'll happily follow him wherever he goes. But, I would hope they could find something here that they like, as we have many unique shows.
I think it's a gross injustice to say this station is maintaining the status quo or not taking chances. I like the additions of our 'specialty' shows, like Whistler's and Scozart's. I liked the idea of doing specialty shows so much that I gave up an hour of my regular show to do one myself. Vince & Daisy, Mary, Eric and several other DJs are constantly bringing new bands to my attention.
I agree with Mary in that I don't feel there is a lack of variety or originality on this station. Everyone brings something different, but if there is some overlap, well, that happens. If many of us love the new Porcupine Tree album, many of us will play it. Does my show sound like Critic's Carnival? Progopolis? Underdog Prog? Strange Avenues? I don't think it does, but I'm sure someone will correct me if they think otherwise.
Sorry for the novel, and Gruno, I wish you the best of luck in the future.