Taking the community out of radio

I'm a longtime volunteer at WPVM and former host of the freeform music show "Tuesday Night with the Lark." WPVM as we know it no longer exists. Things have been in disarray for almost a whole year now as the volunteers have tried to hold the station together without a station manager. The former station manager resigned in protest over Wally Bowen's actions. Bowen is the executive director of MAIN and WPVM.

At the current time, WPVM is still on the air; however over 80 percent of the volunteer hosts are now gone, due to conflicts with the executive director. Most of the programming currently airing is computer-generated with no live hosts. Visit wpvm.blogspot.com to learn what brought about the rift between the majority of volunteers and Wally Bowen.

I'm not writing to report on the conflicts — rather to reflect on the past five glorious years and to say thanks to the loyal listeners and to the community that supported the station with their volunteer work and financial donations. This was a truly original station, manned by passionate volunteers with diverse interests. You could find local news, world news and interviews with folks active in Asheville issues or entertainment. Personally, I was blown away with the diverse music mix. DJ's were allowed complete freedom. All that was asked was that we play music underrepresented on other stations and that we support new releases and local music. I've discovered so many acts that are now part of my music collection. And I got introduced to tons of WNC-based bands after hearing them perform live at WPVM. I loved the fact that WPVM's music would often surprise and challenge the listener — this was truly alternative radio.

Working with other passionate volunteers in producing truly original radio has been one of the highlights of my life. Thanks to all for the past five years! And hopefully it's not goodbye — there's word of a community station being formed. This is good news. A town like Asheville needs and deserves a local, independent community radio station.

—  Scott Sessoms (aka the Lark)
Ex-WPVM volunteer

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5 thoughts on “Taking the community out of radio

  1. I agree, Scott. The five years I devoted to “Blows Against the Empire” were wonderfully rewarding. I was dismayed at the outcome of our efforts to build a community station, but I don’t regret a moment of the hundreds of volunteer hours I spent there.

    Rock on!

  2. Mysterylogger

    Another worthless radio station gone, so is the life of Stations in Asheville.

  3. John Smolkin

    “A town like Asheville needs and deserves a local, independent community radio station.”–The Lark

    Amen. And isn’t it just like a yankee transplant like “traveler” to dis our little experiment in alternative radio. May freeform radio live on! Wally, take a hike. You can’t lead if no one wants to follow you.

  4. Barry Summers

    Scott – You worked hard serving the community throughout this whole escapade, and you stepped up & spoke truth to power. You are to be applauded.

    Long Live The Lark!

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