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TSPR Programming Changes as of April 1, 2015

Dear Listeners:

Thank you so much for your participation in our surveys this spring. Hundreds of you responded, and it has been very enlightening to get additional information about you and your preferences in programming.

If I had to sum up the results concisely, I would say this is a diverse audience with very diverse opinions, interests and desires for its public radio station. You can click here to see the summary of the survey results.

That said, let me cut to the chase and let you know how your opinions have informed some upcoming programming changes and decisions.

Mid-day programming from 9am-3pm Responding to some requests in the first survey about news programming in the 9am hour, we asked about possibly shifting our three hours of classical music from 9am-Noon to 10am-1pm. In the follow up survey there was no clear consensus on this matter. There were many opinions, but no one, clear voice advocating a change in a particular direction. Therefore, we will not be making any changes to our schedule during this day part at this time or in the foreseeable future.

Overnight programming (Midnight to 4am) Of those who completed the follow up survey, 41% indicated they would like classical music, 33% indicated they would like us to stick with Undercurrents, 16% preferred jazz, 8% want news and 2% want folk. Again, it’s not as clear cut as we would like. We have a contract to continue airing Undercurrents through September of 2015. We will assess these results and consider other factors before making a decision on what to do on October 1.

The 7pm Hour The program Q was among the lowest rated shows in our first survey. In addition, long time host JianGhomeshi was removed, and a replacement was only announced this past week. In the follow up survey we asked you about 7pm hour in general. Again, the audience was very split on this issue. 31% requested classical music, 27% asked for news/talk other than Q, 25% wanted something not listed, and 16% voted to keep Q. As you can see, there is simply not a strong winner here. So instead of picking one show to air five nights a week at this time, we are going to try to reflect the diverse needs and interests of the audience while still bringing you the best programming possible. With that in mind, here is the schedule for 7:00pm weekdays, effective April 1st.

  • Mondays – From the Top From the Top with Host Christopher O'Riley celebrates the stories, talents, and character of America’s best young classically-trained musicians. The series presents pre-collegiate musicians whose stunning individual performances are combined with lively interviews, unique pre-produced segments, lighthearted sketches and musical games.
  • Tuesdays – Chamber Music From the WFMT Radio Network, you will be able to hear the finest classical chamber music from around the world. Selections from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and more will make up this weekly showcase of the best small ensembles in classical music.
  • Wednesdays – Bullseye with Jesse Thorn Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a show about what's good in popular culture. The guests and Thorn's hosting style are contemporary, passionate and honest. Whether you are already plugged in to the culture map, or looking for a signpost, Bullseye will keep you on target.
  • Thursdays – Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, novelist, journalist, and co-founder of legendary Spy magazine Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture.
  • Fridays – All Songs Considered and Alt.Latino 7:00pm All Songs Considered is NPR's guide to discovering new music below the radar. Every week, host Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton go through hundreds of new CDs to find music that's worth getting excited about, whether it's the latest Swedish pop band, a hip hop artist going ambient, or a singer-songwriter with a twisted new take on love. 7:30pm Every week, Alt.Latino introduces listeners to new alternative Latin music. In addition to music, Alt.Latino features interviews and insightful conversation about Latin events and culture. Hosts Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd's discussion of music and culture reflects their experiences as Latino immigrants (third and first generation, respectively), and is informed by Felix's long career covering Latin music and culture for NPR, NBC and Univision.

We are excited to try this experiment. As the audience isn’t of one opinion what to do with this hour, perhaps this mix of two nights of classical, two nights of arts and culture based talk shows and one night of music that is new and different might strike the right balance. As always, please do not hesitate to tell us what you think of your public radio service. We are always interested in your thoughts. You can contact me directly at or 800-895-2912.
Sincerely, Jonathan Ahl General Manager