By David Gernon / KPR Intern
Beginning July 4, listeners will be invited to “stretch their noggins, tickle their funny bones and be serenaded” Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. with Ask Me Another, NPR’s comedy-quiz show hosted by Ophira Eisenberg.
Ask Me Another is a rambunctious show that blends brainteasers, pub trivia, comedy and music into an hour of mind-bending fun. Recorded in front of a live audience, there is also a segment entitled “Very Important Puzzler” – VIP – in which different celebrities attempt to impress the audience from the puzzle hot seat. Recent celebrity guests include Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, and sex advice columnist Dan Savage.
“The shows I’ve listened to have been really fun and had a lot of energy,” Darrell Brogdon, Kansas Public Radio’s Program Director, said. “I’m sure it will be a great fit on Saturday morning.”
That’s in keeping with the tradition of KPR’s other Saturday morning shows, such as Car Talk and Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! KPR strives for faster-paced shows on Saturday morning, game shows that have elements of comedy and quizzes. In that way, Brogdon hopes the listeners who previously tuned in for Whad’Ya Know? will listen to Ask Me Another for their fill of Saturday morning comedy radio.
This programming change is largely driven by KPR’s decision to end their agreement with Public Radio International (PRI), one of the Big Three providers of public radio programming. PRI competes with organizations such as NPR and American Public Media to sell programming. Stations pay a fee specific to the show or shows they would like to air, in addition to a subscription fee.
“We found ourselves in a situation where there was only one show we were purchasing from Public Radio International,” Brogdon said. “This is a tight budget year and we had to make some tough choices as a result. It was really hard to justify paying that much money for one show.”
As part of the programming shakeup, Terry Gross’ Fresh Air will be featured on the KPR2 from 1 to 2 p.m. weekdays. Dropped from the line-up will be As It Happens, The World and Bob Edwards Weekend, all shows distributed by PRI. Fresh Air was featured in KPR’s regular line-up years ago, but failed to deliver the consistent audience the station was looking for. Now though, on KPR2 – the station’s all news/talk HD station – it has a chance for redemption. HD radio channels do not face the same fees as regular radio channels and as such, Fresh Air should have a longer leash to establish its listener base this time around, Brogdon said.
“It’s an outstanding show and that seemed to be something we could acquire at no additional cost whatsoever for KPR2,” Brogdon said. “So that was kind of a no-brainer.”
Other changes to the KPR schedule include:
- Add a rebroadcast of The Retro Cocktail Hour from 10 p.m. to midnight on Fridays.
- Add European Jazz Stage from 11 p.m. to midnight on Saturday and again from 6 to 7 a.m. Sunday.