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WEMU named Station of the Year

A note from the General Manager:

On Saturday, April 29, WEMU was named Station of the Year, in Public Radio Group One, by the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters at the annual Broadcast Excellence Awards.

WEMU won 12 awards overall: 5 Best in Category and 6 Merit Awards, in addition to Station of the Year.

It was a great evening.

Winners were asked to keep their remarks to :60 seconds. I managed but it was hard because I had so much to say about this honor.

So, below is the speech I would have made if time allowed.

Because #teamwemu deserves it.

Along with everyone else, WEMU’s world changed drastically in March 2020. We were deep in plans to celebrate our 55th anniversary and were four days away from our on-air fundraiser.

It all came to a screeching halt with no end in sight. And WEMU had to pivot sharply into survival mode.

Unlike many of our broadcast colleagues, WEMU didn’t have the resources or capacity to broadcast remotely. With a couple of exceptions, we continued to come into the station every day to provide the service our listeners needed more than ever at that time.

It was scary. Nobody knew anything. We didn’t know how the virus was transmitted, there was no vaccine yet, and hospitals were over capacity and struggling to treat everyone. The weekly death and infection totals kept climbing.

We masked up, wore gloves, limited room capacities, sanitized hourly, and kept our distance from each other. News was pouring in faster than we could keep up with it. Anxiety ran high all day every day and we were beyond exhausted when we went home.

But you never heard that over the air.

#teamwemu was magnificent during that time. Keeping you informed, keeping you reassured, keeping you inspired with music when you just couldn’t handle any more news.

And collectively, they raised WEMU’s audience by 32%.

Every day #teamwemu works against the odds. Our market includes century old radio legends and public radio national leaders, all better resourced, with larger audiences and stronger funding.

Yet WEMU consistently finishes among the top five in market rankings. Because what we lack in resources, we make up for in spirit, commitment, and passion.

#teamwemu makes it happen every day. Their fierce determination, commitment to quality, and devotion to our audience pays off in tangible and intangible ways. They raise each other up in times of celebration and hold each up in times of trouble.

Every #teamwemu member had a share in these awards. They belong to all of us.

Our team often teases me that I’m too competitive. That when I learn of any kind of award I want to win it.

They’re not wrong. I do like to win.

But it’s because I think WEMU’s programming is award worthy.

WEMU doesn’t produce content geared to winning awards. WEMU produces content that is worthy of awards. I will always take the opportunity to show that off.

So, these awards are team awards. WEMU is Station of the Year because of the steadfast commitment to quality and service from #teamwemu.

We thank everyone who made this possible, including Eastern Michigan University, who lets us be us.

#teamwemu #nonebetter #bestteamanywhere