Talk of the Nation & New Programs FAQs

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Q: Why is Talk of the Nation going away?
A: NPR announced on March 29 that it will end production of Talk of the Nation on June 27 which airs on KUAC weekdays from 11a.m. to Noon. NPR cites that it strives to create another magazine-style news show at the middle of the day, something along the lines of Morning Edition and All Things Considered, the two bookends of most stations’ weekday schedules.

This decision was made by NPR, not KUAC.

Q: What is NPR offering in Talk of the Nation’s place?
A: When NPR announced it would end production of Talk of the Nation, they also announced that they would partner with WBUR Boston to re-launch their news program Here & Now for a national audience and expand it to 2 hours. Host Robin Young will now have a co-host: Jeremy Hobson of Marketplace Morning Report.

The expanded Here & Now also provides an opportunity to explore a new kind of working relationship between NPR and member stations (KUAC is a member station). You’ll hear that collaboration in Here & Now’s daily line-up, which will include reporter pieces from around the country.

Here & Now will be aired weekdays on KUAC, Monday-Friday from 8-10 a.m. providing an opportunity to bring you the news that breaks after Morning Edition and before All Things Considered.

Q: Will I still be able to listen to Science Friday and Talk of Alaska?
A: Yes! Science Friday will still be heard from 10 a.m.-Noon, Fridays and Talk of Alaska will still be heard from 10-11 a.m., Tuesdays on KUAC FM.

Q: Will this impact other programming?
A: Yes. Because Here & Now is being expanded to two hours and Talk of the Nation is ending, KUAC has taken the opportunity to consider adjustments and additions to the FM schedule to maintain and increase listenership.

The first adjustment will be to move Performance Today and Fresh Air within the daily schedule. Program additions include Marketplace Money, TED Radio Hour, and Radiolab.

Q: How much do the new programs cost KUAC?
A: There is a nominal cost to acquire Marketplace Money. However, this small cost is significantly offset by the savings we will experience as we will no longer be purchasing Here & Now from PRI (Here & Now will now be produced by NPR and included as part of our NPR buy). TED Radio Hour and Radiolab are included as part of our existing NPR acquisition, so there is no additional cost for these programs.

Q: How was the decision made to move Performance Today, Fresh Air and add new programs?
A: There’s no shortage of quality programming in public radio. The operative questions were:

  • What program will best serve the station’s listeners and meet the needs of the KUAC community?
  • What is the most powerful and appropriate program available during a specific time period?

Every programming decision is a comparison between two options: the program now on the air and the program(s) that might be. Program decision-making begins by assessing the quality of a program and its adherence to the values that guide KUAC. Then, feedback is taken into account from KUAC listeners, supporters, CAC members, as well as information from other public radio stations. Finally, data from ratings information and online streaming activities are taken into consideration.

Q: What’s the advantage of moving Performance Today & Fresh Air?
A: Based on available data, KUAC listenership drops after Here & Now concludes at 9 a.m. According to this same data, our listenership increases significantly when news/information programming returns at 11 a.m.

Performance Today is an excellent program that meets our mission to present performances that would otherwise be inaccessible. However, we do not believe it is in the optimum time slot.

We believe the best place for Performance Today is from 3-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, following Afternoon Concert. This move will keep Performance Today as a daily feature that will still include the popular “Piano Puzzler.” Having Performance Today follow Afternoon Concert creates a three-hour block of classical music-based programming, conversation and performance while maintaining an emphasis on our vibrant local arts community. We believe this change will make our schedule more cohesive and better serve more of our listeners’ needs.

Fresh Air will move to Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-Noon. Science Friday airs every Friday from 10 a.m.-Noon. Moving Fresh Air works well in this scenario, because every Friday Fresh Air is a repeat of an earlier broadcast. We believe this move will also make our schedule more cohesive with the news and information programming scheduled throughout the morning.

Q: Why doesn’t KUAC move Performance Today to before Afternoon Concert?
A: When weighing all options, we did look at moving Performance Today to 1 p.m., but decided against it.  If we were creating the day from scratch, Performance Today may have been scheduled first. However, we just could not find a compelling enough reason to move the locally-produced Afternoon Concert from its current time slot and believe we can create the same benefits by running Performance Today from 3-4 p.m.

Q: It looks like we are losing 3 hours of classical music from the KUAC weekday schedule. Is this true?
A: Yes, we are losing 3 hours of classical music per week on KUAC 89.9 FM.

If we didn’t move Performance Today to weekday afternoons at 3 p.m., with the expanded Here & Now taking its place, we would have lost 5 hours of classical music per week on KUAC 89.9 FM. By moving Performance Today, we retain those 5 hours and minimize that loss.

In January, KUAC introduced two new digital radio channels – KUAC2 and KUAC3. KUAC added 60 hours of classical programming weekly on KUAC3. Beginning on July 1, this will also include the second hour of Performance Today from 4-5 p.m.

KUAC3 is free and available to all through streaming, mobile device apps, on KUAC TV (over the air on 9.7) or by using an HD radio receiver. More about HD radio can be found here.

Q: Why isn’t KUAC scheduling Fresh Air five days a week?
A: KUAC wants to continue to offer Science Friday each Friday in a two-hour block. Fresh Air produces four fresh shows per week and runs an encore episode on Fridays. KUAC3 also broadcasts Fresh Air Weekend at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Q: What are the new programs you plan to add to the KUAC FM schedule?
A: KUAC now has an opportunity to add some new and exciting programming to our line-up. We are confident that adding programs like Marketplace Money, TED Radio Hour (airing on 300+ stations – NPR’s biggest launch ever) and Radiolab will be well received. They are extremely popular programs with public radio listeners across the country. These three shows will fill out the 10-11 a.m. time slot along with Talk of Alaska on Tuesday and Science Friday.

Marketplace Money
Marketplace Money takes a look at the week’s major national and international stories that will impact the average listener’s wallet. Produced by the award-winning team of Marketplace, Marketplace Money continues the legacy of intelligent irreverent radio with smart topics, expert advice, and current information. More information can be found at http://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-money.

Radiolab
Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we’ll feed it with possibility. More information can be found at www.Radiolab.org.

The TED Radio Hour
The TED Radio Hour offers a fresh step back from the frenetic pace of news. Each episode includes riveting excerpts from the renowned TED stage where some of the world’s deepest thinkers and innovators are invited to give the 18-minute “talk of their lives.” The TED Radio Hour team takes the most compelling talks and organizes them around a common theme. Host Guy Raz interviews the guests, delving deeper, dissecting the speaker’s ideas and posing probing questions you’d like to hear answered. More information can be found at http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/.

Q: Did KUAC talk about this to the KUAC Community Advisory Council (CAC)?
A: Yes. After analyzing data from available sources and listener feedback and program availability were considered, KUAC brought the recommendations to the Community Advisory Council for feedback and concerns.

Q: When will we hear these changes on KUAC?
A: Beginning Monday, July 1, KUAC listeners will hear the first expanded two-hour broadcast of Here & Now from 8-10 a.m. This two hour block will be followed by one hour of different programming Monday-Thursday (see below). At 11 a.m. Fresh Air with Terry Gross will air, Monday-Thursday.

10-11 a.m.
Monday: Marketplace Money
Tuesday: Talk of Alaska
Wednesday: TED Radio Hour
Thursday: Radiolab
Friday: Science Friday (hour 1)

11-Noon
Monday – Thursday: Fresh Air with Terry Gross
Friday: Science Friday (hour 2)

Following Afternoon Concert, listeners will hear one hour of Performance Today each weekday at 3 p.m.

Q: Who will be the local host during the additional hour of Here & Now?
A: You will continue to hear KUAC’s morning host Matthew Schroder during the extended
hour of Here & Now.

Q: Will there be any changes to the local newscasts as a result of this programming change?
A: KUAC will offer an extra local newscast, at 9:30am during the second hour of Here & Now, in addition to our 6:30am, 7:30am, 8:30am and 12:30pm newscasts.

Q: Does it affect weekend programming?
A: No. Weekend programming remains the same.