Tuesday, January 16, 2007

KRCC revamps schedule, adds "Democracy Now"

Local public radio station KRCC (91.5 FM) announced a major scheduling overhaul on Monday, adding the progressive news program “Democracy Now” and eliminating its twice-weekly local news show “Western Skies” in favor of daily reports during National Public Radio’s national news.Eric Whitney, KRCC’s news director, hit the ground running with the new format Tuesday morning with a report from the apartment fire near The Citadel mall.

“It’s just a matter of trying to take advantage of the breaking nature of radio news,” Whitney said. “If we’re going to make a major investment in local news, we want to make it available when most of our listeners are listening."

Most of the local reports will air during “All Things Considered” in the afternoon, usually replacing one of the two hourly NPR national news roundups. KRCC will still air a one-hour “Western Skies” at 10 a.m. Sunday mornings, which will include commentaries and expanded reports.

Getting “Democracy Now” on the air was the subject of a very public lobbying campaign by a group of listeners for the past two years.“I’m just thrilled,” said Eric Verlo, part of the group. “It opens up Colorado Springs to stories that people don’t normally hear or read reported.”Verlo and Dave Therault were among a group of protesters who walked six blocks on their knees in the snow a year ago in hopes of pressuring Colorado College, which owns KRCC, to add “Democracy Now.”

“I still have the scars from that one,” Therault said. “I was looking at them last night and saying, ‘Not for naught.’”

KRCC station manager Delaney Utterback hopes the program will improve the station’s listener base in the evenings — “Democracy Now” airs at 7 p.m weeknights.Stations can air “Democracy Now” free for up to a year, and then have to negotiate for broadcast rights.

“We wanted to see if we could build an audience with a show that we thought could be pretty popular,” Utterback said.KRCC is also adding “Bob Edwards Weekend” — an interview show based on the former NPR anchor’s XM Radio program — at 9 a.m on Saturdays and Sundays, adding the Boulder-based music program "E-Town” at 1 p.m. Fridays, bumping “This American Life” to 8 p.m. Fridays and following it with a new interview show called “Wire Tap,” from “This American Life” contributor Jonathan Goldstein.

A complete schedule is available at www.krcc.org.


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