Skip to main content

Like WCPE, We Launch a Campaign to Improve Our Signal

I’ M A BIG OPERA FAN, so every Saturday afternoon during opera season I tune in faithfully to my favorite classical music station, WCPE in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and enjoy the live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

“Enjoy,” that is, until about Act III of the opera, when like an electronic Mephistopheles, a crackly signal from a nearby rock-and-roll station viciously intrudes on the opera’s most dramatic moments, drowns out even Luciano Pavarotti, and drives me straight up the wall.

Evidently I haven’t been the only annoyed listener, either, as WCPE’s announcers have regularly apologized for the weakness of their signal and spoken of raising money to build a taller antenna. But it would take lots of money, and WCPE was a humble, non-profit, listener-supported public radio station that received no funding from any government agency, university, major corporation or foundation—and certainly none from the Met!

We opera lovers were clearly in for a lot more Saturday afternoon frustration, I lamented. But a remarkable thing happened during the past year: WCPE’s faithful listeners rallied to support the station’s “New Antenna” project and underwrite its aim of reaching a broader audience with a more powerful signal.

Funds were solicited from listeners, the new antenna was built, and just a few days ago, with Leonard Bernstein conducting a triumphal Ninth Symphony “Ode to Joy,” WCPE began transmitting a gloriously rich new signal—Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, and Verdi in all their splendor!


    • Like WCPE,

American Diplomacy

    • seeks to reach a broader audience with a higher quality product, one we believe helps enrich public understanding of international relations and the conduct of American foreign policy. But it lacks the funding it needs to achieve that goal.
    • Like WCPE,

American Diplomacy

    • is a non-profit corporation with tax-exempt “charity” status from the IRS. It receives no financial support from any government, university, corporation—or practically anyone else (unfortunately). It’s a voluntary labor of love on the part of its editor, publisher, contributing authors, and editorial board; but love doesn’t produce a very strong signal out on the Internet!
    • And like WCPE,

American Diplomacy

    • can only continue to disseminate its ‘classical’ content, free from political, commercial, or ideological bias, if it receives support from its audience — the people who read, enjoy, and value its content.

I believe there’s a place for a high-quality foreign affairs journal on the Internet just as there is for a high-quality music station in central North Carolina. We’re both located far from the flesh-pots of New York and Washington, but we both serve audiences that have dramatically proven their interest (would you believe American Diplomacy already has nearly three hundred registered “subscribers” who have asked to be notified each time a new issue goes online?).

So we’re going to copy our friends at WCPE and raise some funds from our grassroots supporters in order to upgrade our technical capabilities and strengthen the quality of our publication. With a development fund of $5,000 or so, we believe we can:

  • Improve our location on the Internet and acquire an easy-to-reach domain name of our own;
  • Put a faster server and modem in place the will help us keep our site up to date and greatly improve interactivity with our readers;
  • Acquire and install software that will speed the publishing process and enable American Diplomacy to offer its readers a much more interesting, visually appealing journal.

WE ASK YOU TO JOIN US in this, our own “Signal Improvement Project” — and, like WCPE, we’ll probably ask you again and again, until the tower goes up and our own “Ode to Joy” can be heard all across the Internet!

For WCPE’s listeners, this year’s Metropolitan Opera season is going to be a very different one.

For American Diplomacy’s readers, future issues of this journal could be very different too — a lot easier to download and much more satisfying to read!

NOTE: If you’re an opera lover like me, you probably want to get this fund-raising business over with quickly and go back to enjoying the music. If so, click here and we’ll tell you how and where you can make your contribution and be done with it!


[Publisher Frank Crigler]Frank Crigler is the publisher of American Diplomacy. He and his wife live in Durham, North Carolina, which isn’t exactly New York City but boasts its own growing opera company — plus radio station WCPE, a world-class FM radio station with a new, listener-funded, state-of-the-art broadcasting antenna!

Comments are closed.