MISSOULA – Montana Public Radio, a public service of the University of Montana, will make several changes to its weekly program schedule beginning on Monday, Nov. 17.
The station will add new programs, drop or reschedule others, and increase the amount of locally produced music programming. MTPR local news will be integrated throughout the day in the National Public Radio news magazine programs “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” The NPR news program “Here and Now” will be added to the schedule each weekday at 1 p.m.
The new schedule is designed to increase listener access to MTPR’s best local and national programs, to invite new listeners to try MTPR and to celebrate the talent of the station’s Montana program producers. The changes reflect listener feedback received during fundraisers, in phone calls, emails, letters and audience surveys from April and October 2014.
The morning weekday schedule remains unchanged. Many of MTPR’s most popular programs, including “Moth Radio Hour,” “This American Life,” “TED Radio Hour,” “The Write Question,” “Musician’s Spotlight” and “Radiolab” will move to 7 p.m. following NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Locally produced music programs will follow from 8 p.m. to midnight each weekday.
In a letter sent to station supporters, MTPR management explains that, “We chose to invest our resources in our expert local music producers – investing in Montana talent and Montana jobs and staying true to our service rooted in local production.”
In a cost-saving move, MTPR will drop its Public Radio International membership and its programs, including “Afropop Worldwide,” “Selected Shorts” and “Science Friday.”
In the letter, MTPR management admits that some of the changes were difficult decisions and asks listeners to take a “leap of faith” with them. “How do we stay true to our mission and standard of excellence with the staff and financial resources available?” the letter asks.
Listeners will have an opportunity to weigh in on the program changes during a multicity listening tour and an additional survey to be conducted during the winter. The new schedule is available online at http://www.mtpr.org. Paper copies are available by calling 406-243-6400.
MTPR is a NPR affiliate, broadcasting throughout western and central Montana, as well as online at http://www.mtpr.org.