Thursday, August 07, 2008

Further Letters from a Nut

After not hearing from 1010WINS in response to my first letter to them, I sent them another:
Dear 1010WINS,
I am disappointed that I have not heard back from you in response to my letter sent July 3, 2008. Since then I have continued to listen to your broadcast on my morning commute, and my complaints mentioned in that previous letter (dated July 3, 2008) are still unresolved. Furthermore, I have since poked around your webpage and discovered the 1010WINS history page: <>. In the list of questions and answers, Phyllis Ross, of W. B. Doner in Baltimore asks if you "will you tape your newscasts and repeat them? Will you re-read the same copy at short intervals?" The answer on that page is an unequivocal "Neither."
Yet, your daily broadcast is in direct contradiction to that claim. Regularly entire segments are repeated, often the news is identical every half hour, and usually the order of segments is not even changed! Furthermore, I've begun to suspect that you replay traffic reports too! I've called in traffic tips quite a few times already (unusually heavy traffic, accidents, lane closures), and have yet to hear these reports updated in the traffic reports! Maybe I did not wait long enough, and the reports only trickle through to the traffic reporter after 30 minutes or perhaps 24 hours? I often remain stuck in unreported traffic; What is the typical turnaround time from tip to report?
Still awaiting the world,
[fake name]
[fake name]
(609) 208-7511
P.S. A bigger message box would be appreciated!

This time I got not only a phone response, but also an email:
Dear [name]:

Thanks for being a loyal long-time listener of 1010 WINS. We appreciate it! As to you questions about the format and traffic....

As a 24 hour news station we try to freshen our copy and content as frequently as the news of the world allows. Some stories are repeated because of the tremendous turnover in our audience (something perhaps not anticipated by the answer that was given on our website 43 years ago) . We have 2.5 million people who tune to WINS every week. They do not all listen at the same time. They come and go throughout the day. If we did not repeat some of the stories, they would never have the chance to hear them.

As to the point about traffic. The reporters are live 24 hours a day. We never tape the traffic reports for later playback. But just like the news, the big traffic stories get repeated because of our enormous listener turnover. Information phoned into the traffic center must be verified before put on the air. This can take some time and could lead to the delays you are pointing out. We do strive to turn that information around as quickly as possible.

We provide a public service to our listeners. We have zero incentive to diminish the product.

I hope this answers you questions.

All the best--
Ben Mevorach, News Director
1010 WINS

The response was colored blue, except for the 'D' in 'Dear.' So I replied (note the blue 'D' in 'Dear' in my response):
Dear News D. Ben-Mevorach,
First of all - what an interesting name! I have never met, or corresponded with anyone with the first name News and middle name Director. Is is an ethnic name? Also, most dual last names I have encountered usually include a hyphen, in the form Ben-Mevorach, so I assume you accidentally left out the hyphen in your email signature.
In any case, thank you so much for your phone call and email response to my most recent message (July 16, 2008). I appreciate you clarifying my confusion regarding traffic updates and repeating news stories. Perhaps you should update the 1010WINS webpage with a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page reflecting the current reality.
Furthermore, I am not sure if you are the person who receives all of 1010WINS internet email, but in case you are not, I'm including my original letter (from July 3, 2008) in hope of a response.

Sincerely yours,
[fake name]
I then pasted my original letter to them. Alas, no response back from this followup email. So I've switched to NPR.


  1. Did he really say:

    '... something perhaps not anticipated by the answer that was given on our website 43 years ago' ?

    Wait till Al Gore hears about this!!!

  2. "(something perhaps not anticipated by the answer that was given on our website 43 years ago) "

    Whoah, 43 years ago! That website must have been written on stone tablets or something.

  3. I left the message in its original glory. I think he meant to say something like, ``an answer from 43 years ago which we printed on our website.'' But that ain't what News said.

  4. Actually, according to Wikipedia, WINS became a 24 Hour news station in 1965, which was 43 years ago. Perhaps he was trying to reference that.

  5. Yeah, I'm a month late in catching up on my blog reading, but I did need to point out this... Ben is a common English name. Putting a title after a name is also rather standard -- assuming that you separate the two with a comma. Almost like, "Ben Affleck, actor" or "Eli Lansey, who cannot parse sentences properly."

    Snarkiness is double-edged, ain't it?

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.