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WFMT: Public Trust, or Private Club?

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To the editors:

I guess I must be one of WFMT's 300,000 [Hot Type, January 11]. I can do without the dippy English muffin commercial, but I'll live with it and the other canned blather, if the station continues to deliver Brahms and Terkel. I don't know much about music, but I know what I enjoy, and what I abominate. WFMT is the only radio station I listen to. If the future of the station is at stake, I can deal with the changes that purists, rather incomprehensibly to me, denounce in apocalyptic terms. I seriously doubt that the Friends of WFMT can come up with enough cash to keep this "public" radio station their private club. Even if they could, I wonder about the ethics involved. WFMT potentially has a very large and prosperous audience, and thus it could easily meet its budget by selling advertising. It seems to me that WFMT should do what is necessary to keep its audience and advertisers, and pay its own way, and the Friends of WFMT could make their charitable contributions to artistic organizations and institutions that really need the money. The Chicago Public Library/Cultural Center at Michigan and Washington is an excellent, nonelitist example.

Mark Dawson

Ravenswood

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