On-Air Highlights

  • Test Your Cleverness

    Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio

    All Things Considered LogoEach week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.

    This week's challenge: A handful of private companies are taking reservations for space flights. That means that there may soon be a lot of tourists floating around — which, in turn, means a lot of mouths to feed.

    What will be the name of the first chain restaurant in outer space?

    Submit your entry with the following to anotherthing@npr.org :

    • Your Answer
    • Your Name
    • Your Address
    • Your Phone Number
    • Be sure to have "Space Food" in the subject line

    You may also submit your entry at NPR's website with their online form here.  Entries are due by 12pm September 12th. 

    All entries become property of NPR, which reserves the right to edit them. In the case of several similar entries, the first one received gets credit.

    The winner will be announced on All Things Considered Monday, Sept. 17. The first prize winner will receive an NPR Mug.

    Listen to All Things Considered on witf your home for NPR News and All Things Regional. 

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under all things considered, fun, quiz, radio, Skenazy

    Tuesday, 11 Sep 2012 07:57

  • American Experience: Death and the Civil War

    Written by Colette Cope, Interactive Producer

    death-civil-war.jpgFrom acclaimed filmmaker Ric Burns, Death and the Civil War explores an essential but largely overlooked aspect of the most pivotal event in American history: the transformation of the nation by the death of an estimated 750,000 people – nearly two and a half percent of the population – in four dark and searing years from 1861 to 1865.

    With the coming of the Civil War, and the staggering and completely unprecedented casualties it ushered in, death entered the experience of the American people as it never had before – on a scale and in a manner no one had ever imagined possible, and under circumstances for which the nation would prove completely unprepared. The impact would permanently alter the character of the republic, the culture of the government and the psyche of the American people – down to this day.

    “Transpose the percentage of dead that mid-19th-century America faced into our own time – seven million dead, if we had the same percentage,” says author Drew Gilpin Faust, on whose groundbreaking book, This Republic of Suffering, the film is based. “What would we as a nation today be like if we faced the loss of seven million individuals?”

    Death and the Civil War tracks the increasingly lethal arc of the war, from the bloodless opening in 1861, through the chaos of Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, and the unspeakable carnage of 1864 – down through the struggle, in the aftermath of the war, to cope with an American landscape littered with the bodies of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, many unburied, most unidentified.

    The work of contending with death on this scale would propel extraordinary changes in the inner and outer life of all Americans – posing challenges for which there were no ready answers when the war began – challenges that called forth remarkable and eventually heroic efforts on the part of individuals, groups and the government – as Americans worked to improvise new solutions, new institutions, new ways of coping with death on an unimaginable scale.

    Death and the Civil War will premiere on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on September 18 at 8 p.m. on witf in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam – to this day, the single bloodiest day in American history.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tuesday, 11 Sep 2012 07:18

  • Why is pop music getting sadder?

    Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions

    Listen to witf this weekend for Studio 360New Yorker staff writer DT Max talks about his new biography of the late David Foster Wallace. Host Kurt Andersen asks rockers The Heavy, whose song “How You Like Me Now” is ubiquitous, why generations of Brits have reintroduced Americans to American music. Also why is Pop music so sad? Pop music's not what it used to be. That’s what every generation of grown-ups says about what the kids are listening to, but fogey cliches aren’t necessarily wrong. Tune in this week for Studio 360 Saturday at 3pm on witf.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under Radio

    Friday, 7 Sep 2012 20:13

  • TV fundraising campaign lineup

    Written by witf.org

    On September 16, we'll be holding a one-day fundraising campaign on TV. Get the schedule lineup below. Please consider making the reason you watch, the reason you give by clicking the "Give Now" bottum at the bottom of this page.

    12 p.m. - 3 Steps to Incredible Health with Joel Fuhrman

    3 STEPS TO INCREDIBLE HEALTH! with Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a program that directly addresses the crisis of obesity and chronic disease plaguing America. Over 65% of Americans are overweight or obese – and that number is growing just like our waistlines! Dr. Fuhrman will offer a healthy, effective, and scientifically proven plan for shedding weight quickly and reclaiming the vitality and good health we all deserve.

    During the show, we'll be offering special thank you gifts for your donation to witf. For your gift of $65, you'll receive the “3 Steps to Incredible Health! with Joel Fuhrman, M.D" DVD. For your gift of $150, you'll receive the “3 Steps to Incredible Health! with Joel Fuhrman, M.D" DVD, "3 Steps to Incredible Health" 2-book set, "Incredible Health" library of 5 DVDs, "Get Started Now" workbook and website membership for 3 months.

    1:30 p.m. - The Immunity Solution with Joel Fuhrman

    Dr. Fuhrman's Immunity Solution! is the follow-up program to the successful pledge hit "3 Steps to Incredible Health!" Joel Fuhrman, M. D. is a leading expert and board-certified medical specialist in the prevention and reversing of disease. Dr. Fuhrman's Immunity Solution! shows us how we can become almost totally resistant to colds, influenza, and other infections. The evidence is overwhelming: we can supercharge our immune system to protect our bodies against disease - everything from the common cold to cancer. Nutritional science has made phenomenal strides and discoveries in recent years, and when this new research is applied it enables us to seize control of our health like never before.

    During the show, we'll be offering special thank you gifts for your donation to witf. For your gift of $65, you'll receive the “Immunity Solution" DVD. For your gift of $150, you'll receive the “The Fuhrman Solution" 6-DVD set, "Super Immunity" book, "Nutrition Handbook and Food Scoring Guide," "Success Journal," 1 year "Gold" membership to Dr. Fuhrman's website,  set of 6 "Immunity Solutions!" cards and "The Solution" refrigerator magnet.

    3 p.m. - Wishes Fulfilled with Dr. Wayne Dyer

    For his ninth PBS special, best-selling author and teacher Dr. Wayne Dyer presents his Five Wishes Fulfilled Foundations: the five steps to living from your "highest self" and thereby attracting your deepest desires. Using his trademark humor, combined with source material drawn from some of the most original American New Thought philosophers of the 20th century, Dr. Dyer outlines a program for mastering the tools necessary for living a profoundly extraordinary life. Viewers learn how to use Imagination, Living from the End, Assuming the Feeling of the Wish Fulfilled, Attention and the Last 5 Minutes of Each Day to create new and astonishing thought patterns, while defeating unproductive and recurring habits.

    During the show, we'll be offering special thank you gifts for your donation to witf. For your gift of $60, you'll receive the “I Am Children's" book. For your gift of $100, you'll receive the “Wishes Fulfilled" 2-DVD set. For your gift of $275, you'll received the "Wishes Fulfilled" gift pack.

    Contributing to witf helps everyone in your community benefit from award-winning news, programs and articles that open us up to exciting new ideas and worlds. Donate online now!


    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Friday, 7 Sep 2012 11:00

  • Wagner's Ring Cycle

    Written by witf.org

    Robert Lepage’s acclaimed new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen will air on GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET on September 11-14 at 9 p.m. each night on witf.

    The operas – Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung — will be preceded on Monday, September 10, 2012 by the broadcast of award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke’s documentary Wagner’s Dream, which chronicles the backstage story of the creation of this ambitious new staging.

    Wagner’s Dream

    A documentary by Susan Froemke

    (Monday, September 10, 9 p.m.)

    The stakes could not be higher as visionary director Robert Lepage, some of the world’s greatest operatic artists and the Metropolitan Opera tackle Wagner’s Ring cycle. An intimate look at the enormous theatrical and musical challenges of staging opera’s most monumental work, the film chronicles the quest to fulfill Wagner’s dream of a perfect Ring.

    “A highly entertaining outing for operaphiles and operaphobes alike.” (Variety)

    Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold)

    (Tuesday, September 11)

    Conducted by James Levine

    Starring Wendy Bryn Harmer (Freia), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Patricia Bardon (Erda), Richard Croft (Loge), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Eric Owens (Alberich), Franz-Josef Selig (Fasolt), Hans-Peter König (Fafner)

    In the first opera in the Ring cycle, the gods of Valhalla clash with underworld dwarves and brawny giants, with disastrous consequences. The evil Alberich steals gold from the Rhine and uses it to forge a ring of unimaginable power. Wotan, the king of the gods, uses magic to steal the ring, but Alberich places a curse that guarantees misery for whoever wears it.  Wotan’s unwillingness to part with the ring leads him to break a contract with the giants who have built the gods’ new castle in the sky, setting in motion a chain of events that will end in his own destruction.

    “A triumph, at once subtle and spectacular, intimate and epic.” (The Telegraph)

    Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)

    (Wednesday, September 12)  

    Conducted by James Levine

    Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Hans-Peter König (Hunding)

    The mysterious hero Siegmund finds shelter in the strangely familiar arms of a lonely woman named Sieglinde. Their forbidden love leads Wotan’s daughter, the warrior maiden Brünnhilde, to defy morality and intervene on behalf of the hero. Brünnhilde’s transgression forces her father to choose between his love for his favorite daughter and his duty to his wife, the formidable goddess Fricka. Overcome with grief, Wotan takes away Brünnhilde’s godlike powers and puts her to sleep on a mountaintop, surrounded by a ring of magic fire that can be crossed only by the bravest of heroes.

    Die Walküre enthralls.” (The Huffington Post)


    (Thursday, September 13)

    Conducted by Fabio Luisi

    Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Patricia Bardon (Erda), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Bryn Terfel (The Wanderer), Eric Owens (Alberich)

    The young hero Siegfried grows up in the wilderness, raised by Alberich’s conniving brother Mime. He puts together the broken pieces of the sword Nothung, uses it to slay the fearsome dragon Fafner and takes the ring for himself. To fulfill his destiny, he must overcome one more opponent—Wotan, now disguised as the Wanderer, who knows the world of the gods is coming to an end—and cross through the magic fire to awaken his true love, Brünnhilde.

    “Visually stunning and dramatically engrossing.” (Associated Press)

    Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)

    (Friday, September 14)

    Conducted by Fabio Luisi

    Starring Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Wendy Bryn Harmer (Gutrune), Waltraud Meier (Waltraute), Jay Hunter Morris (Siegfried), Iain Paterson (Gunther), Eric Owens (Alberich), Hans-Peter König (Hagen)

    Siegfried and Brünnhilde’s love is torn apart by the curse of the ring. A trio of scheming humans separates the two heroes in a desperate attempt to steal the ring for themselves. Their villainous plan fails, but they succeed in murdering Siegfried. Heartbroken, Brünnhilde takes the ring and leaps into the hero’s funeral pyre, causing a global cataclysm and the twilight of the gods.

    “The most theatrically effective staging of the four works in this epic series.” (The New York Times)

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Tuesday, 4 Sep 2012 04:00

  • "Broadway or Bust' goes behind scenes as nation's top high school musical theater stars compete on Broadway

    Written by witf.org

    It’s non-stop drama when 60 of America’s top high school musical theater performers arrive in New York City this summer for an intensive week of “theatrical boot camp” as they vie for a shot at stage stardom in the ultimate national theater competition. The annual event is the subject of the new three-part primetime series, BROADWAY OR BUST, airing September 9, 16 and 23 at 8 p.m.

    BROADWAY OR BUST will be the first-ever TV series to capture the behind-the-scenes coaching and grueling rehearsal schedule leading up to the National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA).  Popularly known as “The Jimmy Awards”—named in honor of renowned Broadway theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander—this national competition culminates in a unique weeklong New York experience—a make-it-or-break-it week of rehearsals, coaching and auditions that are capped by an awards event on a Broadway stage in front of a live audience and a panel of high-profile judges.

    “WGBH is thrilled to be working with Lance Shultz and the NHSMTA to bring audiences across the country a look at the enormous talent of these young performers, and the emotional process they endure as they take on a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete at ‘The Jimmy Awards’,” says WGBH Executive Producer of Lifestyle Productions, Laurie Donnelly.  “We believe that these performers will truly touch the hearts of viewers as they have ours, positioned against the magical backdrop of Broadway.”

    Part competition, part performance and part non-fiction drama, BROADWAY OR BUST will capture the highly charged atmosphere as the country’s most talented teens are plunged into the theatrical capital of the world to compete for a shot at Broadway and college scholarships. In addition to being hosted by Broadway stars Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox surprise visits and cameo appearances by some of today’s biggest Broadway names will offer the kids insider perspectives and tips about working on the Great White Way.

    “Full of captivating performances, compelling characters and dramatic storylines, this series will pull back the curtain to show viewers the whole process—the talent, ambition, drive, vulnerability, discipline, resiliency, dreams dashed and dreams fulfilled—both the highs and lows of what it takes to make it to Broadway,” says BROADWAY OR BUST executive producer, writer and director, Lance Shultz.

    The series begins as young talent from all over the country try to catch their big break at highly competitive, regional musical theater awards competitions in over 30 cities including, San Diego, Memphis, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.  Next, follow the finalists in New York for a grueling and energizing week of behind-closed-door performances, voice and acting sessions. The final hour will showcase “The Jimmy Awards,” at New York’s Minskoff Theatre, the finalist performances, the celebrity hosts and presenters, and the naming of the winners—the top male and female performers.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Tagged under TV

    Monday, 3 Sep 2012 04:00

  • The Life of Maurice Goddard

    Written by Colette Cope, witf Interactive Producer

    Maurice K. Goddard (1912-1995) was a man who committed his life to the conservation and environmental concerns of Pennsylvania and the nation. As a steward and public servant of the Commonwealth’s natural resources, Goddard served under five governors as Secretary of Forests and Waters and as the founding Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources (1955-1979).  His legacy includes numerous endeavors which helped shape Pennsylvania’s status as a national leader for environmental conservation including:

    • A State Park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian
    • A commitment to professionalism and civil service
    • A dedicated funding and development approach for natural resource conservation through the Oil and Gas Fund, Project 70 and Project 500
    • A profound influence on national conservation policy
    • An instrumental role in the formation to the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

    witf in partnership with The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Heinz Foundation, The Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation and The Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission present a one hour documentary on life of Maurice K. Goddard. The documentary is part of an overarching Maurice K. Goddard Legacy Project designed to celebrate his accomplishments and to rededicate all Pennsylvanians to his vision and values for the conservation of our natural resources.

    The one hour documentary will follow the chronology of Goddards life touching on the various accomplishments and challenges he faced. A series of interviewees with friends and colleagues will tell his story from their personal connection in conjunction with Goddard researcher and narration connecting the historical context of his career.

    witf will be airing this original production on September 9 at 7 p.m.

    Watch a preview below.

    Watch The Life of Maurice Goddard on PBS. See more from WITF.

    Published in On-Air Highlights

    Sunday, 2 Sep 2012 04:00