Black Sheep hosts ‘Why Listen’ broadcast panel



Clinking drinks, flopping scorecards and rapturous chatter filled the second story of Black Sheep as members of the Huntington community gathered for the “Why Listen” broadcast panel.

Attendees of the event participated in a new spin on typical panel discussions with the hopes of creating a more audience inclusive experience.

“I can’t wait to see what people have to say about certain songs because they might not know the artist, but they will after tonight,” said Joni Deutsch, assistant producer of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce.

Deutsch, along with West Virginia Public Broadcasting host Larry Groce and digital editor Dave Mistich, took to the stage to host the night’s playlist alongside WMUL FM music director Nathan Thomas.

“Normally most people who work in this industry just put things out and then never get anything back,” Mistich said. “It was definitely on the more engaging side of what we get to do.”

“Why Listen,” an offshoot of National Public Radio’s “Generation Listen,” works to expand public broadcast radio’s reaches to include a younger audience.

Participants were dealt large scorecards numbered one through five. After a thirty to forty second snippet of a recent or upcoming song was played, the audience was asked to respond en masse with the cards and voice their thoughts on the piece.

A few current Marshall Students were in attendance for the event, although this was not a surprising turnout according to Groce who said the event was expected to draw a slightly older audience than what they had achieved.

Members of several local bands were in attendance for the event, where their music was played and judged amongst the other chosen pieces.

Coyotes in Boxes member Sean Knisely said the potential for growth in the Huntington music scene is huge and that holding open community events like “Why Listen” are part of what makes or breaks such success.

Ryan Fischer can be contacted at [email protected]