Archive | December 2011

A Humorous New Year’s Eve Treat

Burn some holiday calories by laughing along with the Capitol Steps in their year-in-review awards ceremony, Politics Takes a Holiday! Listen Saturday, December 31, 2011, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Capitol Steps comedy troupeThe Capitol Steps Politics Takes a Holiday special will feature awards including:

  • Biggest Clueless Middle Eastern Dictator Who Thought ‘Arab Spring’ Was Just a Trending Fashion
  • Best Not Just Any Committee But a SUPER Committee
  • Most GOP Debates Ever Held Ever
  • Worst Place to Hide Your Mistress While Serving as Governor of California

If there is anything Congress can agree on, it is that the Capitol Steps’ will have you laughing harder than Rick Perry’s debate opponent!

So laugh away 2011 with the Capitol Steps’ Politics Takes a Holiday, Saturday, December 31, 2011, at 1 p.m. on St. Louis Public Radio – 90.7 KWMU-FM.


Making a Donation From Your Individual Retirement Account

man with headphonesThere is still time to take advantage of the Charitable IRA Rollover before it expires on December 31st.  The Charitable IRA Rollover permits an IRA owner age 70 ½ or older to make a direct transfer to a qualified charity such as St. Louis Public Radio. We have already had some of our donors that advantage of this special opportunity. This tax-free transfer counts toward your required minimum distribution (RMD) and offers a convenient way to make a year-end gift to St. Louis Public Radio.  A true WIN-WIN opportunity!

Find more details here at

St. Louis Public Radio on St. Louis on the Air

This past Wednesday (December 21,. 2011) I had the chance to join host Don Marsh for an hour long conversation to talk about St. Louis Public Radio on our call-in show St. Louis on the Air.

The hour, which seemed to just speed by, included a discussion about our program changes taking place in January, the latest with federal funding for public broadcasting, where we hope to be going with local programming at the station, and our move to Grand Center in 2012.

Here’s the audio from the program if you missed it.

Public Broadcasting Funded for Fiscal Year 2014

On Saturday, the President signed into law the consolidated fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations bill, which provides funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
For listeners and friends of St. Louis Public Radio, this is very good news because it means that Congress has provided  important two-year advance funding for public radio and television totaling $445 million for Fiscal Year 2014.
This is our base funding and will mark the third year in a row that CPB will receive this amount.   The adjacent chart shows the funding trend for CPB over the last ten years.
For public broadcasting to maintain a level-funded two-year advance appropriation in the face of widespread budget cuts across the government is a big victory and a recognition that many in Congress value the contribution public media makes to this country.
In addition, the law provides for funding two-years in advance and is the most important part of the firewall that protects public media’s independence.
Unfortunately, the bill provides no digital funding for public broadcasting.

In our current fiscal year, St. Louis Public Radio will receive more than $428,000 in federal funding, which accounts for less than eight percent of our operating budget.  We use the majority of our federal funds to support our local programming efforts, including our broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony.

The loss in digital funding coupled with the elimination earlier this year of the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) mean that public broadcasting is not immune to funding cuts.   The digital funding for CPB and the PTFP program have both provided millions of dollars in important infrastructure improvements for public broadcasters over the years including helping St. Louis Public Radio upgrade its transmitter for HD Radio and providing a back-up generator for the station at our transmitter site.

In addition, state funding for public media has dropped significantly over the last fours years due to the economic challenges facing state governments across the U.S. From fiscal 2008 through 2012, public broadcasting stations in 24 states have lost a total of $85 million in financial support from state governments, according to a study released last week by Free Press, a progressive media-reform group.

The report, On the Chopping Block: State Budget Battles and the Future of Public Mediacompares the reductions in states’ general ledger funds with huge cuts imposed on pubcasters over four years.

As the FY 2012 process concludes, work in Congress will begin after the holidays on FY 2013 funding requests, which become even more complicated with across-the-board cuts resulting from the lack of a deficit reduction deal by the congressional “super committee” earlier this fall.

Public broadcasting represents a little more than one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Public broadcasting costs about $1.35 per citizen per year in America, a tiny percentage of comparable figures, among them $31.13 in Canada, $67.34 in Japan, and $85.52 in Great Britain.  These funds leverage significant local support from communities across the country.

For more information on the importance of federal funding for public broadcasting, visit the 170 Million Americans web site.

Coming Soon to a Radio Near You

The New Year will bring some new programs to our weekly lineup at St. Louis Public Radio with two shows joining our schedule beginning the weekend of January 7, 2012. There is some familiarity to each of these shows but this will mark the first time they will be heard weekly on the station.

Marketplace Money host Tess Vigeland

Joining our Saturday lineup beginning on January 7 at 1 p.m. will be Marketplace Money from American Public Media. Marketplace Money, with host Tess Vigeland, is part of the portfolio of programs from Marketplace including the Marketplace Morning Report (heard weekdays at 6:50 a.m.) and the evening program heard at 6 p.m. each weeknight.

Marketplace Money brings the week’s economic headlines home by looking at matters of personal finance with wit and wisdom. The weekly, hour-long program offers a mix of feature stories and segments to help people better manage, save, and spend money.

Marketplace Money host Tess Vigeland is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a familiar voice to Marketplace listeners. She is a longtime public radio veteran, both as a reporter and host. Vigeland served as host of Marketplace Morning Report for three and a half years and as substitute host on Marketplace. Prior to joining the team at Marketplace, Vigeland reported and anchored for Oregon Public Broadcasting radio and television in Portland and at WBUR radio in Boston.

Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson will continue on our schedule moving to a new time on Sunday at 1 p.m. Zorba Paster on Your Health will be leaving our schedule with its last broadcast on Sunday, January 1, 2012. Listeners will still be able to hear the program online at the Zorba Paster web site.

Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington

Also joining our line-up on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. in January is Snap Judgment with Glynn Washington. We previewed SJ back in September with a short run during our Saturday special slot. The response from that short run convinced us to make room on a weekly basis for the program.

Described as storytelling … with a beat, Snap Judgment tells intriguing stories about extraordinary and defining events in people’s lives. The program’s raw, intimate, and musical brand of storytelling dares listeners to see a sliver of the world through another’s eye.

Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington takes listeners on a narrative journey – leaping from one person’s frying pan into another person’s fire. Deejay-driven musical delivery, paired with lush sound design, drops listeners into the very heart of what matters. Snap Judgment’s fast-paced (sometimes dark, sometimes playful) narrative highlights people from across the globe who put everything on the line.

Below is a recent story from a broadcast that was recorded before a live audience (I was among the lucky ones to attend) in Washington, DC in early November. The story is from Noah St. John, a 15-year-old writer and actor who exploded onto the performance scene by winning the Youth Speaks Grand Slam Championship and representing the Bay Area at the Brave New Voices festival as only a sophomore in high school. Noah’s story is titled The Last Mile.

Beginning on January 8th, a one-hour version of The Tavis Smiley Show will air at 8 p.m. We’re very excited about these two new additions to the line-up and look forward to hearing from you in regard to these new programs.
We are adding a new daily program to the program schedule, moving one program’s broadcast time to an hour earlier. One program is going to have a name change. Effective January 2012, The Sound of Young America is evolving. As part of that evolution, the name of the show will change to “Bullseye.” The tone of the show will remain the same, but its sound design and non-interview content will be enhanced. Host Jesse Thorn will incorporate a new twist to the show, with the help of independent producer Roman Mars, who may be best known for his work with Snap Judgment.

Bullseye, (New name for the program formerly know as “The Sound of Young America”): Sunday, 1 to 2 p.m., beginning January 8, 2012

World Café, (Evening broadcast of this program moves to an hour earlier): Monday-Friday, 6 to 8 p.m., beginning January 9, 2012

Echoes,(New Program): Monday-Friday, 8 to 10 p.m., beginning January 9, 2012

Weekday evenings, Echoes helps you escape into a modern soundscape of evocative, ground-breaking music that crosses cultures, traditions and musical boundaries. Host John Dilberto guides you through the world of contemporary music, sharing his thoughts and featuring artists and events that are shaping contemporary music. Enjoy a lovely blend of instrumental, world fusion, impressionistic jazz and intimate Living Room Concerts recorded in artists’ homes. Produced by John Diliberto and Kimberly Haas.

About John Diliberto: John Diliberto is a nationally published writer and award-winning radio producer who has spent many years exploring and exposing new music. His productions have long featured space music, avant-garde, jazz and new wave sounds, culminating in the award-winning Totally Wired program, which directly preceded Echoes.

PROGRAM CHANGE ON Classical 90.7 KWMU-3:

Sunday Baroque, (New Program), Sundays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., beginning January 8, 2012

Sunday Baroque is a celebration of beloved and appealing music from the baroque era (1600-1750) and the years leading up to it. The music you’ll hear includes: Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concertos, George Frideric Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music Suites, and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. You’ll hear their tuneful and lively music–and music by their talented contemporaries and predecessors–as part of the mix of familiar favorites and new surprises. Sunday Baroque offers great performances of their work by yesterday’s and today’s best performers. Fresh and inviting, genial and inspiring, and often surprisingly modern sounding, it’s the perfect accompaniment for this unique day of the week, whether you’re sleeping in, joining family and friends for a leisurely brunch, or relaxing alone with the Sunday paper and a cup of coffee. Host Suzanne Bona has been a classical music broadcaster since 1987 and is a professional, classically trained flutist.