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Force-feeding KAJX listeners

I once sat on a jury in Santa Barbara, California, where the foreman was of the mindset that father knew best and the jury were little kids sitting around a table just to learn from him. To make a long story short, the jury told the judge we wanted another foreman. Evidentially the judge was familiar with this phenomenon and sorted things out.

Observing the recent KAJX board of directors meeting, I found myself back in the jury room as I probed the solid wall of resistance emanating from the top of the table occupied by two men and a woman — evidently the board big shots. I did not pick up this negativity from the 10 board members who for the most part have resided here from 10 to over 40 years.

Those 10, like the audience — who for the most part have lived here for decades — did not decide to move to Aspen and stay most of their lives because the atmosphere felt like water bugs swimming around in a void. There was and to some extent still is a culture in this valley in general that is dynamic, intelligent and, when called upon, warmhearted. One gets the feeling in this valley that certain elements are trying to force a culture change by bashing everyone over the head.

If the people at the top of the table remain, there will not be any meaningful improvements to the KAJX format because father does not know best, especially when expressed through corporate CEO bottom-line mindsets.

A few years ago, a senior citizen conference was held at the Hotel Jerome. Hundreds of seniors showed up from one end of the valley to another. I would guess 1,00 vibrant, intelligent people attended. KAJX claims a survey was taken, which brought on recent changes at the station. I’ll bet not five people were included in that survey, which is weird because a good percentage of the attendees had probably been the main supporters of KAJX over the years. If you are going to take a survey at the high school pompom-waving cheerleader practice session or a snowboarder apres ski hangout, you are going to get manipulated results. KAJX’s survey is useless and only reflects a predetermined point of view.

As far as bringing in the young people to the NPR sphere, the best idea I heard was to bring young, local interns. That makes more sense than the inverse of imposing programs like “Hidden Brain,” “Commonwealth Club” or “On Being” on listeners of a south-side-of-Chicago rap station. Forced integration doesn’t work and that is wisdom. Why screw up a good rap station? Why screw up KAJX and NRR? What is NPR’s true agenda? Who in Washington would like to see NPR and affiliates fail? Now there is a subject for a good investigative reporter.

Pat Milligan

Aspen Village


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