Exciting changes are coming to 90.5 WESA this fall.
Starting Monday, Nov. 17, there will be small changes to the newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Segments will be shorter, and headlines will be repeated more frequently throughout the hour. It's a little bit "inside baseball," but we wanted to share the info for those of you who time your mornings by when certain segments air ("It's Marketplace ... I'm late!"). We would also peel back the curtain a bit.
Update 7:30pm: I've posted more info on the NPR clocks here.
All programs follow a “broadcast clock,” a sort of recipe for how the program ingredients go together that stations and producers can follow and rely on. Our friend Roman Mars does a great explainer over at 99% Invisible:
Meanwhile, 90.5 WESA will implement some lineup changes and add three new shows to our weekend programming starting Saturday, Nov. 22.
On Saturdays, Studio 360 moves up an hour to 2 p.m. and we add another airing of the popular NPR program, The Ted Radio Hour at 3 p.m.
Sundays we add the popular NPR game show program Ask Me Another at 10 a.m. If you like Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me, you will love this fun, quirky and smart program featuring guests and celebrities testing their news and pop culture knowledge before a live audience. Ask Me Another is hosted by the amazingly funny Ophira Eisenberg.
The Best of Car Talk will air on Saturdays at 10 a.m.; the show will be repeated at 3 p.m. Sundays. The movement of the repeat broadcast is in no way related to Tommy’s passing — we have planned this change for some time. We are honored to continue to air this program that is so important to our listeners, and feel that it contributes to our Sunday afternoon lineup.
At 2 p.m. on Sundays, we are trying out a new cooking show from PRX, America’s Test Kitchen. Yes, THAT America’s Test Kitchen of PBS, but it isn’t the TV show rolled off for radio. Host Chris Kimball does an entirely separate show for radio, with all of the elements that make the TV show great. Segments reviewing cooking tools, trends, recipes and on-location interviews make this one of the fastest-growing public radio programs.
Let us know what you think! Email me at email@example.com
Update 7:32pm: The Splendid Table hasn't been permanently dropped- it will be on hiatus. We are running this test and soliciting feedback from listeners before we make a decision about the show.
Sundays at 7 p.m. will feature an incredibly powerful hour of storytelling “with a beat” — Snap Judgment, hosted by Glynn Washington. We think if you listen to The Moth at 6 p.m., you’ll be hard pressed to peel your ears away at 7 p.m. when Glynn takes the stage. Sound Opinions moves to Thursdays at 10 p.m.
How do we make these decisions, anyway? Programming decisions are made with careful research and calculation; they require experience, data, feedback and research but also a little (smart) risk-taking. We use our monthly and quarterly ratings, national audience trends and comparative data.
I also audition hours of each program to make sure it is consistent and delivers quality information and/or smart entertainment. I talk to listeners out in the community and solicit comments via phone, email and social media about what they would like to hear or what programs they like that we don’t carry. I consult with other program directors to see how the programs are resonating with their audiences.
Changing the schedule is not done lightly or without careful consideration and research. Yes, sometimes we make changes that not everyone likes or agrees with, but we take the vetting process and the long-term growth of 90.5 WESA very seriously and do not make changes hastily.
We hope you will enjoy the new programming and also the moving of some favorites to additional and better listening hours. Please share your comments and/or questions with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for listening!
90.5 WESA Director of Content & Programming