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This National Radio Day, ‘local radio more important than ever,’ WMFE host says

‘LOCAL RADIO MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER’ THIS NATIONAL RADIO DAY, WMFE HOST SAYS

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED HOST NICOLE DARDEN CRESTON TALKS ABOUT WHAT RADIO MEANS TO HER IN ORLANDO SENTINEL PIECE ON NATIONAL RADIO DAY

ORLANDO — “In the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic, economic turbulence, civil unrest, a historic election, and so much more, local radio is more important than ever,” WMFE’s Nicole Darden Creston says in Thursday’s Orlando Sentinel.

The piece, “Local experts discuss radio, its importance and more for National Radio Day” by Kathleen Christiansen, marks National Radio Day 2020 and features radio experts, including Johnny Magic from WXXL 106.7 FM and Kayonne Riley, director of WUCF 89.9 FM.

Creston, who is the local host of NPR’s All Things Considered on WMFE, has been with our station for 10 years. She explained to the Sentinel how public radio is unique.

“Sometimes, all the information that’s relevant to a story won’t fit into a four-minute newscast,” she said in an email. “Public radio’s philosophy is that giving listeners the complete picture, along with various competing perspectives, allows people to have the information necessary to reach their own conclusions.”

If you’d like to learn more about Creston and her thoughts on local radio, here are her full responses to the Sentinel:

Give a little background of your radio experience. How long have you been on air?

I’ve just reached my ten-year anniversary with WMFE, but my radio career started back in 2003. My first-ever on-air gig was as the overnight DJ on an Orlando classic rock station that sadly no longer exists (96.5 WHTQ, for the folks that miss it like I do!). I started the move into news radio within a matter of months, not because I didn’t love the music, but because I saw the importance of a well-informed public and I wanted to be a part of that.

What is the importance of radio? Why should people listen?

Even in “normal” times, local radio offers a unique immediacy and even a kind of friendly intimacy – the communication between on-air host and listener can feel like a one-on-one, real-time conversation between folks who have the shared experience of the same hometown. But now, in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic, economic turbulence, civil unrest, a historic election, and so much more, local radio is more important than ever. (Local news of all kinds, in fact, with an appreciative nod to this publication.) The situation in Central Florida is changing rapidly, and local news is working to keep the community informed.

What makes your show/station stand out in the Central Florida market?

To me, the beauty of public radio is that our shows are structured to offer local reporters more time to do longer stories and explore more complicated topics. Sometimes, all the information that’s relevant to a story won’t fit into a four-minute newscast. Public radio’s philosophy is that giving listeners the complete picture, along with various competing perspectives, allows people to have the information necessary to reach their own conclusions.

What else would you like people to know about local radio?

We’re right here with you. In Central Florida, this community we share, working our way through the devastating vagaries of 2020 shoulder to shoulder with you (well, six feet apart, but you get my point). Agonizing over the best way to educate our kids, wondering if it’s safe to visit our parents in the assisted living facility, struggling with bills after our loved ones suffered pandemic-related layoffs, worrying about our health and that of our families. We’re still working to bring you the most accurate, objective, up-to-date information so you can make decisions that are right for you. It’s how we live the oft-repeated sentiment, “We’re all in this together.” And we are.

About Community Communications Inc.:

Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Leesburg and The Golden Triangle. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information.

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MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Communications & Marketing Specialist Jenny Babcock at jbabcock@wmfe.org or 407-273-2300 ext. 112.



 

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