On-Air Highlights

Summertime fun on the Radio

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | May 23, 2013 3:41 PM

The Nickel Tour Series on Morning Edition
As families load up the car for the annual road trip this summer, NPR features some of the most engaging tour guides from around the country. The Nickel Tour series profiles the truly great rangers, docents, tram drivers, and other guides who make historical sites, natural wonders and tourist destinations come alive. The stories will have a solid sense of place, but will focus on the guides themselves. Listen in as they go through their day, find out why they do what they do, what excites them about their jobs, and go behind the scenes to find out what makes these guides tick.

The segments air between Memorial Day and Labor Day on Morning Edition.

Kids Series
Children are huge consumers of culture, gobbling up TV shows, books, games, apps and movies for hours every day -- but deep critical looks at the images and ideas they come away with are few and far between. There's little discussion about what kinds of cultural messages the creators thought they were sending, or what kinds of conclusions your child could draw about race, class, gender roles and religious values.

NPR's Cultural Desk puts a new critical focus on media for children with an extensive series that takes children and the ideas they encounter seriously. The segments go beyond ratings and sorting things into age-appropriate baskets and instead turn to thoughtful exploration of media for kids. Look for stories from Bob Mondello on the dominance of PG-rated movies, Laura Sydell on video games, Mandalit del Barco on licensing tie-ins for kids' movies, Neda Ulaby on the history of building toys like blocks and Legos, and Sonari Glinton on matchbook cars.

The series begins in June on witf on Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and All Things Considered.

Library Series
Everyone owns public libraries and everyone has a stake in them. This summer, NPR's Arts Desk paints a picture of America through looking at public libraries and their role during a transformative technological moment, as the economy forces a reconsideration of municipal obligations and responsibilities.

The series explores big issues -- our collective copyright nightmare, how content can be consumed and distributed electronically, the digital divide, funding challenges, historic preservation and how a public space might best serve its community. Listeners discover places they didn't know about, and innovative local projects and passionate people committed to enrich the places where they live. The series reflects that sense of discovery and the pleasure you get from a great public library.

Listen for this series on witf this August.

The Comebacks
Ben Affleck won an Academy Award in his 20s for writing Good Will Hunting. In his 30s, he was in possibly the worst movie of all time, Gigli, with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, and was the laughingstock of Hollywood. Now, close to age 40, he won another Oscar for Argo -- it's an incredible comeback.

NPR's National Desk takes a look at comeback stories from pop culture, politics, business and sports, to neighborhoods, small towns, fashions, and fads, in a series airing in July and August at different times throughout the day. People, places, things, animals and music are all ripe areas to report comebacks.

Crime In The City
Just a head's up: Morning Edition's annual series on crime novelists and the cities that inspire them returns this summer. More information on this series...

Weekend Picnic on Weekend Edition
"Farm to Table" has been a concept in restaurants for some time now. The idea is simple: great local produce and proteins delivered fresh and prepared not far from where they were harvested. But this focus on fresh, in season and local doesn't have to be found in restaurants. Why not take "Farm to Table" and turn it into "Farm to Basket" for the great summer food tradition -- the picnic. From salads to side dishes, main courses and beverages, Weekend Edition takes a look at what's in season in picnic baskets across the country, in this summer series.
Find the first story at http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=186481802.

Winging It on Weekend Edition Sunday
Hit the road with a new occasional series on travel, which features interviews with travel writers and travelers, and reporter's notebooks on their favorite local spots.
The series begins July 7 - Host Rachel Martin speaks with Michael Gerchick, author of Full Upright and Locked Position, about five years of airline fees: why they were implemented, why the costs are rising, the possibility of being charged for carry-ons, and how to avoid those pesky fees.

Global Grill on All Things Considered
This summer, All Things Considered sets out for backyard, parks, and restaurant kitchens around the world to explore the culture of grilling.  We may have burgers and hot dogs, but what do they throw over the open flame on hot days in Mexico City, Mumbai or Berlin? The Global Grill features audio postcards from the foreign desk and host chats with chefs and food writers about how to draw on those flavors on our own grills.  Catch the first piece now: http://www.npr.org/2013/05/27/186484317/gathering-around-the-global-grill.

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