If you are anything like me, as the holidays wind down, you reflect on how quickly the year has past and has anything of great significance happened that you would like to celebrate as the clock ticks forward to the new year.
Some questions that usually pop into my head include, “What was I thinking?,” “Why did I buy that dress?” and “Who said it was ok to eat more than one?” But then I get serious and reflect on the accomplishments (personal and career) or “mistakes” I’ve made. I think of poor decisions or occasions where I used bad judgment and vow to not repeat them in the new year (fingers crossed). I don’t see these as resolutions - more like homework. And if I were to grade myself for the year 2011, I would give myself an incomplete. Why? Because there’s always room for improvement!
In the spirit of resolution and reflection on the year that has past I went to three co-workers who are responsible for programming here and WNED and asked them about the year that was 2011.
I asked Ron Santora, vice president of broadcasting/station manager, what happened in the world of television programming that he felt was significant and note-worthy.
RS: “2011 was an eventful year for WNED programming. Not only did we end the year as the most-watched public television station in prime time in the country, the WNED production of “The War of 1812” aired nationally this October garnered a 30 percent larger audience than PBS’s prime time average. But the big programming news was the premier of “Masterpiece: Downton Abbey” which last September received four Prime Time Emmys for Outstanding Miniseries, Supporting Actress, Directing and Writing. It also received two Creative Arts Emmys for Outstanding Costumes and Cinematography. We would like to thank the WNED members for helping to bring outstanding, award-winning drama like “Masterpiece: Downton Abbey” to Western New York and Southern Ontario.
JR: “I am most proud of the work our local news staff does every day to provide comprehensive coverage of news that is important to our listeners. The work of our local staff is also combined with regional reports from public radio reporters in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and elsewhere to provide coverage that no other Buffalo radio station does. We are also the only broadcast news operation in Buffalo with a full-time reporter (Karen Dewitt) covering the state capital. WNED AM 970 received six awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association for local news coverage. Kudos to Chris Caya, Daniel Robison, Jay Moran, Omar Fetouh, Mark Leitner, Mike Desmond and Karen Dewitt.
Lastly, I spoke with Gabe DiMaio, programming director for Classical 94.5 FM WNED regarding the programming of this year and what he is looking forward to in the year to come.
GD: “We are lucky to have a service such as Classical 94.5 WNED in our community. More and more, full-time classical music radio stations are reducing their commitment to the format or giving it up altogether. Day in and day out, our announcers curate a classical music service that rivals those found in bigger cities that have much more listener support. I am proud of them and the listeners who recognize the value of the service. I am also proud of our ongoing efforts to reflect our regional classical music. They include:
· Our interviews with local musicians, conductors and composers
· Broadcasts of area concerts
· Our “Local Connection” feature
· Programs such as “Philharmonic Friday and “Classical Canada”
I am very excited about our newest project, which we started working on this year. Young Performers is a radio program that will celebrate our region’s youth playing classical music. I think that it is great for the young musicians, our community and is something that our listeners can really get behind. It will be coming out in the early months of 2012.”
As a station, we are very fortunate to have a wonderful community of members who remind us daily, monthly and annually how much they love our programming! Thank you for helping us make award-winning television and radio possible! We look forward to the new year and the exciting programming, local and national, that it will bring! Happy New Year!