On-Air Highlights

Exciting changes ahead on witf FM

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Apr 2, 2013 12:15 PM

NPR is making changes to programs that broadcast on witf and other public media outlets around the country.  Talk of the Nation, produced and distributed by NPR, will cease production at the end of June.  Talk of the Nation is a two hour daily talk show. The first hour airs live on witf at 2:00pm. The second hour is broadcast on witf on a delay at 10:00pm.  Talk of the Nation is part of witf's new line up of news and information programming which premiered June 25, 2012.

While I regret the end of Talk of the Nation, a program that had a strong 21 year legacy with public radio, I look forward to the new opportunities presented by this announcement. One of the changes will include an expanded Here and Now, which will grow to a two hour daily program.  Over the coming months I will share with you updates are we review our options and construct our new weekday afternoon schedule for witf FM. The new schedule will begin in July.  Below is the official press release from NPR distributed on Friday March 29, 2013:

NPR AND BOSTON'S WBUR FORM STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
TO BUILD MIDDLE OF THE DAY NEWS PROGRAMMING

WBUR's Here & Now Host Robin Young Joined by Jeremy Hobson

Talk of the Nation Ends 21-Year Run

In response to growing demand for news programming throughout the broadcast day, NPR is forging a new relationship with Boston-based public radio station WBUR to expand its mid-day news program Here & Now from a one-hour to a two-hour program updated for different time zones across the country. The expanded program will provide a total of four hours of news programming, 12 noon- 4 p.m. ET, and serve as a bridge between NPR's signature news magazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

NPR will contribute its editorial muscle to the expanded program. Here & Now's daily lineup will include interviews with NPR's bloggers, reporters and editors. The program will also showcase selected reporting from other NPR News programs. The expanded Here & Now also will enhance NPR's capacity to provide breaking news every weekday from 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. ET.

Here & Now is currently hosted by Robin Young, a gifted journalist who has carried the program for more than a decade. When the expanded program launches July 1, she will have a co-host, Jeremy Hobson, currently host of Marketplace Morning Report. Hobson began his career in journalism at the age of 17 as an intern on NPR's All Things Considered and since then has gained deep experience as a producer, reporter and now host. Meghna Chakrabarti, co-host of WBUR's Radio Boston, will be the program's primary back up host.

"Here & Now is a smart, well-produced news program," said Kinsey Wilson, Chief Content Officer, NPR. "This collaboration allows us to deliver compelling news and cultural coverage throughout the day and keep listeners tuned to public radio. In WBUR we have a strong editorial partner."

NPR and WBUR will also invite other public radio stations across the nation to contribute to the show.

"WBUR is pleased to forge this unique relationship with NPR, redefining how the network and a public radio station can work together to better serve listeners," said Charlie Kravetz, General Manager, WBUR. "We are exceedingly proud of Robin Young and the entire team at Here & Now. It is their exceptional work that has created the opportunity for WBUR and NPR to collaborate on this new venture."

The station has a long history collaborating with NPR, and is one of the more prolific producers of national programming in public radio, including Car Talk, On Point and Only A Game.

Here & Now has been produced by WBUR since 1997 and became a national program in 2001. The show is currently aired on over 180 stations, including eight top-25 market news stations (WBEZ Chicago, WHYY Philadelphia, KJZZ Phoenix, KPBS San Diego, KOPB Portland, WFAE Charlotte, WESA Pittsburgh) and has had steady growth in audience and station carriage.

As part of today's announcement NPR said that it will stop production of Talk of the Nation at the end of June and that Neal Conan, one of the organization's most distinguished journalists, will step away from the rigors of daily journalism after 35 years at NPR, including 11 years at the helm of Talk of the Nation.

"Neal brings extraordinary depth and insight to every story he touches," said Margaret Low Smith, Senior Vice President of News, NPR. "He connects deeply with the audience and will leave a legacy of excellence, having skillfully carried NPR, our Member Stations and the nation through some of the most important news of the last decade, setting the standard for high quality call-in talk programming."

NPR's Science Friday with Ira Flatow (www.sciencefriday.com) will continue to provide listeners the chance to hear from scientists, innovators, and educators each Friday from 2-4 p.m. ET and Here & Now listeners can expect science coverage to be a regular part of Here & Now each week.

About NPR
NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization that reaches 26 million listeners each week, and nearly 23 million people monthly on digital platforms. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to provide the public with a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. To find local stations and broadcast times, visit www.npr.org/stations.

About WBUR
Founded in 1950, WBUR began broadcasting NPR programming in 1970, offering NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered along with local news programming and establishing its iconic identity as a news and information station. One of the nation's most successful public radio stations today, WBUR produces extensive local and national content from its studios on Commonwealth Avenue at Boston University, in addition to airing content from NPR, The BBC, PRX and other independent content providers. See more at www.wbur.org.

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Comments: 3

  • Paul img 2013-04-03 12:09

    Just love the great all news format. Keep it up!
    Paul

  • Lisa Sargen Heilner img 2013-04-03 12:40

    Really dislike the talk format. Bring back classical music!

    • Fred Vigeant img 2013-04-04 07:21

      Lisa,
      Thanks for listening to witf and thanks for your comment. Classical music is an important part of witf’s heritage in the community. We continue to showcase artistic efforts from regional performance organizations including Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and others weekend evenings at 8. Classical music can also be accessed via our website(http://www.witf.org/listen/listen-classical-online.php) our through our smart phone app (http://www.witf.org/mobile.php).