WorldWideBluegrass.com, the online streaming service that has offered a free, 24/7 bluegrass radio signal since 2005, has announced the end of the line effective this Thursday, September 10, at midnight.
Known affectionately to regular listeners as The WWB, the service has been managed by Gracie Muldoon Davis since its founding. Other than a three-month hiatus late in 2014, Gracie and a stable of volunteer hosts have provided a wide variety of bluegrass music online, originating from all across the US and several spots around the globe.
But the combination of the COVID-19 shutdowns and its associated economic stresses have proved the last straw for Davis and her husband, David. The network is supported entirely by listener donations and corporate sponsorship, both of which have largely dried up this summer with so many people out of work, and businesses seeing their budgets tightening as well.
So Gracie and David, himself recovering from serious health issues, have been unable to offer financial assistance to WWB with hospital bills mounting. Sadly, they feel the only option is to shutter the streaming service and say goodbye to WorldWideBluegrass.com.
In a notice to her staff of broadcasters over the weekend, Gracie shared these thoughts.
“It is with a heavy heart, but also the relief of a heavy burden off my shoulders, to let you know that Thursday is our last day of the WWB. We will go dark on Friday, 9/11/2020.
It has been both a blessing and an honor to get to know you all personally and professionally, and I thank you for your contributions to the station with great music and programming.”
It should be remarked that following their previous shutdown in November of 2014, WWB was resurrected by David Davis when he and Gracie were married. But unless another angel investor pops up, and right soon, this will be the end of an era for online bluegrass radio.