Some long overdue weeding of the programming schedule is under way at WFAE-FM (NPR, 90.7).
Gone is the second hour of Talk of the Nation, replaced at 3 p.m. weekdays with The World, a magazine show produced by the BBC. It was heard on WFAE on Saturday nights until it was dropped four years ago, and was popular with listeners then.
Talk of the Nations second hour relies largely on call-ins and program director Dale Spear thinks thats a key reason it ranks as the lowest-rated hour in WFAEs afternoon schedule.
Research shows that public radio listeners dont want call-in shows they come to us to listen to experts, he says.
Ira Flatows Science Friday will continue, though. It will be repackaged as Sci-Fri Matinee and move to 1 p.m. Saturdays in place of WhadYa Know?
WFAE intends to target the younger crowd 40 and under with a new lineup on weekends, Spear says.
Starting this week, Radiolab and The Moth Radio Hour will take permanent homes Friday nights at 8 and 9 p.m. Radiolab makes innovative use of audio to illustrate stories. Moth features true tales told in an unscripted fashion.
Snap Judgment takes the 10 p.m. Friday slot (and repeats Saturdays at 8 p.m. after Prairie Home Companion), with host Glynn Washington taking listeners on a narrative journey illustrated with music.
Sound Opinions, featuring rock critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, will air Fridays at 11 p.m. with discussions of various genres of modern popular music.
Public Radio Mix, an experimental show that showcases the best of public radio essays, stories and the work of up-and-coming producers, will air Saturdays at 9 p.m. to midnight.
That means the demise of Thistle & Shamrock, the Celtic music show that Fiona Ritchie launched in 1981 on WFAE and took into national syndication two years later. Ritchie still does the show from her home in Scotland and fans can listen to it streamed on thistleradio.com.
After a decade at Fox Charlotte (WCCB, Channel 18), sports director Bruce Snyder departs. Snyder has covered the gamut of local sports and hosted the stations Fox Got Game franchise. Before joining Fox Charlotte, he worked in sports for TV stations in Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Derek James gets a two-year contract extension as co-host of Fox News Rising. James, former morning host on WKQC-FM (K 104.7), joined the station in 2005 and has been on the morning show for two years.
Ben Bradford, who recently graduated from Columbia Universitys Graduate School of Journalism, joins WFAE-FM (90.7) as a reporter. Charlotte resident Emily Price will be a contestant on The Price Is Right, 11 a.m. Wednesday on WBTV (Channel 3).
Rob Wagman, program director at the old WIBT-FM (The Beat 96.1), takes a new job as afternoon host at a contemporary Christian station in Los Angeles. Wagman was most recently at a Top 40 station in New York. He is engaged to former WIBT morning personality Sarah Lee Owensby.
Add another name to our list of long-time Charlotte broadcasters. Ken Conrad, who got into the business as a 17-year-old right out of Garringer High School and does weekends on WKQC-FM (Q 104.7), has 33 years in Charlotte radio. He also spent eight years in Dallas, Texas. CBS Sports Radio, which launched this week on WBCN-AM (1660), has completed its lineup. Chris Moore and Brian Jones will handle evenings and Scott Ferralls Ferrall on the Bench will air overnight.