Monday, June 21, 2010

1. My mission here.

My name is Tyler Magill. I have been a DJ at WTJU for... long enough that I don't remember how long I have been a DJ. I came on while Joe Gross was the Rock director, I remember that much. As someone who has been a member for as long as I have, I can remember a lot of changes. I was, in fact, intimately involved in many of them. It was under my shaky hand at the helm of the rock department that the rock department lost two daytime hours every day, to my continuing shame. Point being, WTJU has weathered a great many storms, and right now, we are looking at yet another.

I am going to try to remain as calm as possible about what is going on. To call myself neutral in the proceedings would be a lie, but I understand the need for perhaps a new direction at WTJU. Perhaps some wholesale changes are necessary. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I disagree with the basic tenets of what the new station manager, Burr Beard, is trying to implement. I feel that Mr. Beard is not proposing simple changes but a wholesale reorientation of WTJU's basic philosophy.

One of the larger problems many in the community have had with Mr. Beard's radical actions has been the sudden-ness and autocratic nature of them. So swiftly are things moving right now that many people are being asked to change what they are doing without knowing the basic facts. I myself was in that boat. When I heard the basics of the changes being... I won't say 'proposed,' but rather 'demanded,' I was sad but resigned. However, finally seeing certain key documents and hearing an overwhelmingly negative response from both the community of volunteers and the listening community, I cannot remain acquiescent.

Hence, this blog. As it stands, all changes being made go into effect on July 5th. That's not a lot of time. At the very least, I hope to make important documents and conversations known to all so that the public can make their own decisions. Anyone who wishes to post documents that they feel should be disseminated may send them to In the interest of fairness, let me stress that this offer is open not only to people I agree with. It is open to Mr. Beard, it is open to his direct supervisor at UVA, it is open to members of the community. While I have my own opinions, and strong ones, I feel that it would be antithetical to the spirit of the University of Virginia and WTJU to censor information for my own personal gain or for the gain of that which I believe in.


  1. This is all very, very sad. I am a 38-year listener, not 38 years old - I have been listening to WTJU since 1972. The value of the station has always been the creativity of the announcers and the exposure to the music. In that time, I have been introduced to more music than I can count; music that has become important to the quality of my life. If the proposed changes enhance that, I am all for them. If they diminish that, I am opposed. From the available information, I am opposed.

    I'd suggest a cooling off period during which concensus should be reached on exactly what problem is being solved here. Once that is determined, solutions can be discussed rationally.

    Rus Perry

  2. It's a shame! WTJU used to be such a significant hub of free expression in radio. Why tamper with great things that work well! Bob Nastanovich '89

  3. Thank you for starting this, Tyler! I credit WTJU with helping foster my wide range of taste in music. These proposed changes make me sick to my stomach.

    Then again, if it wasn't for 'TJU, maybe the world would've not been assaulted by that awful Pavement band. To think I could've fired Malkmus when I had the chance . . .



  4. What is happening at WTJU is not an isolated case, this as a national wave of homogenization/mainstreaming/castrating independent college and public stations.

    For more information, see & join Facebook fan page "Keeping the Public in Public Radio" -