KCUR To Change Program Schedule To Offer More News And Storytelling Daily

Jun 28, 2017

Perhaps 1970s television character Peter Brady said it best: “When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange.” (and cue ... earworm!)

Over the past few months KCUR has tested various programs with listeners and we asked for your opinions on possible changes. Thousands of you replied, and we are grateful for your thoughtful and comprehensive feedback.

But at the end of the day, we only have 7 days in the week. Using those hours best is a challenge. But we also know that habits are hard to break, and time and time again listeners have told us how personal KCUR is to them.

Credit Ron Yurman / KCUR 89.3

On July 3, KCUR will make changes to its weekday afternoon and evening lineup that we think will strengthen the high-quality news and information that listeners have come to rely on for years.

At 2 p.m. KCUR will begin broadcast of the BBC World Service’s program Newshour, a live show from London hosted by Tim Franks that gives listeners access to the world’s largest network of correspondents delivering nonpartisan news and analysis on events around the globe. From the biggest stories of the day, to vital context on issues and trends, BBC Newshour promises to feed your global curiosity.

At 3 p.m., KCUR will begin its afternoon broadcast of NPR’s All Things Considered. The award-winning news magazine show is a staple in the KCUR schedule, and starting the program an hour earlier allows us to bring more top-notch local, regional, national and international reporting to KCUR’s listeners during Kansas City’s afternoon drive.

Fear not – Fresh Air is not leaving the KCUR schedule. Instead, Terry Gross’ in-depth conversations are moving to 7 p.m. weekdays. You’ll still hear the same inquisitive and humor-filled interviews with authors, newsmakers, artists, musicians, actors and others Monday-Thursday.

We hope you’ll stay tuned after Fresh Air for KCUR’s storytelling hour at 8 p.m., during which we bring you broadcasts of the TED Radio Hour, This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, and starting on July 6, Snap Judgment, an hour of dramatic tales, killer beats and the edgiest new talent in storytelling hosted by Glynn Washington.

Credit Ron Yurman / KCUR 89.3

Like Science Friday? So do we! After a couple of years airing from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, listeners will begin to hear the program an hour earlier from 1 to 3 p.m.

We know that changing routines is sometimes difficult, but we hope you’ll grow to enjoy the new lineup committed to what we do best: bring you high-quality, in-depth and comprehensive news and information. We invite you to give it a listen and let us know what you think. We welcome your thoughts at feedback@kcur.org.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why are you replacing PRI’s The World with the BBC’s Newshour?

KCUR is committed to delivering national and international news from a variety of sources, and one of our goals is to provide that coverage from different and diverse perspectives. In our survey of listeners, both programs were rated highly, but when asked which program they would prefer to hear in the afternoon, an overwhelming number of listeners indicated that they’d rather hear the BBC Newshour. We hope you’ll like it as much as we do.

Why are you moving Fresh Air from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.? And do we really need another hour of All Things Considered?

We’re making this particular change for a couple of reasons:

First, Kansas City’s afternoon commute begins at 3 p.m. We heard from listeners and spoke with stations across the country who told us that KCUR’s news-engrossed audience would be served well by beginning All Things Considered at 3. It also gives us KCUR an opportunity to bring more of its award-winning local and regional reporting to listeners at a time when news is rapidly evolving.

Second, other stations have had great success with running Fresh Air at 7 p.m. Listeners tend to have more time to listen to the radio at that hour than they do during the 3 o'clock hour and we hope that KCUR listeners will have a chance to gather around the radio when the pressures of the work day and commute aren’t competing.

Will I still get my Science Friday fix?!

Yes! Science Friday will continue to air two hours – live – on Friday afternoons from 1 to 3. On Fridays Here & Now will air from noon to 1 p.m. and All Things Considered will begin at 3 p.m.

What about 1A with Joshua Johnson? I was beginning to like that program!

We were, too. While we currently don’t have any time in our schedule to air the program, we will continue to evaluate our options.

What will I hear on Friday evenings at 7:00?

KCUR will continue to air The Best of Cyprus Avenue with Bill Shapiro. We think it’s a great way to wind down after a long week and get ready for public radio’s weekend party with The Fish Fry, hosted by Chuck “Haddock” Haddix beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Stephen Steigman is the chief of broadcast operations for KCUR 89.3.