Tiny WHDD — Robinhood Radio — finds populist success

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WHDD in Sharon, Conn., the smallest NPR station in the country, gets its own story in today’s (April 4) New York Times. “In its own eccentric way, in these quite perilous times for public broadcasting, WHDD is not a bad model for what truly public radio might be,” it notes. The station — motto: “Robinhood Radio: Slightly off … but very good” — airs an eclectic amalgam of shows, from segments on language by Nat Benchley, grandson of humorist Robert Benchley and brother of Peter, author of Jaws; to shows on NASCAR racing and Indian music. As one fan put it, it’s “a hybrid between an old fashioned-community radio station and a highbrow NPR station.”

“It’s not certain that being hyperlocal before hyperlocal was cool is a fail-safe way to keep off the hounds on NPR’s heels,” the paper notes. “But it’s hard to call you elitists when you’ve got the local agricultural extension agent as one of your regular voices.”