The University Record, July 9, 1996

Michigan Radio makes 'most dramatic changes' in its history

Michigan Radio last week unveiled what it termed "the most dramatic changes in the station's 48-year history," according to Donovan Reynolds, director of broadcasting.

The station is among the first nationwide to air a new midday news/talk programming package offered by National Public Radio---"The Diane Rehm Show "; "The Derek McGinty Show"; "Fresh Air with Terry Gross"; and "Talk of the Nation"--- each known for its "distinctive and intelligent approach to talk radio and for an impressive array of guests," Reynolds says.

"In 1948, the University of Michigan was a pioneer in the field of public broadcasting, establishing a public radio station to serve local listeners," Reynolds says. "In 1996, the three public radio stations of the University, known collectively as Michigan Radio, continue in that pioneering tradition."

As part of the change over to news from the stations' classical music format, broadcast producers Peter Greenquist, Alan B. Young and Gerald J. Brennan and broadcast director Mary Ellyn Cain were released from their positions. They will continue to receive salaries through September.

Locally produced programming has been enhanced with the addition of Joan Silvi as the local host for "Morning Edition" the National Public Radio newsmagazine heard 6-9 a.m. weekdays. Silvi comes to the U-M from Michigan Public Radio Network.

Michigan Radio also presents programs produced by National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International and the British Broadcasting Corp.

The stations also are working with two campus units to develop special programs:

Station staff are developing a prototype radio program on computers, technology and society with the School of Information.

Programs on contemporary artists are being developed with the University Musical Society and the stations will have an artist-in-residence this fall.

Reynolds says the changes are part of Michigan Radio's long-term strategic plan to better serve the citizens of Michigan.

"We intend to prove there's still room in talk radio for programs that don't have 'ditto heads,' screaming matches or name-calling, " he says. "The role of the public radio station in the 1990s is to be the place where intelligent and reasoned discussion of public policy can take place. Many broadcasters can claim to serve the public interest, but the highest public interest goes beyond 'infotainment' to foster the democratic process."

Also new to Michigan Radio's lineup is NPR's award-winning "Performance Today." Airing weekday evenings and weekend afternoons, the program emphasizes recordings of live concerts in the United States, offering a daily portrait of what's happening in the world of classical music.

Weekend programming also is undergoing a major revitalization. Among the programs being added are "Car Talk," " Whad'Ya Know," "St. Paul Sunday Morning," " Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," "The Thistle and Shamrock," "Afropop Worldwide" and "World Cafe." In addition, the stations are bringing back "Selected Shorts," "My Word" and "My Music."

Michigan Radio's new schedule is included in the Record Calendar, beginning on page 9. For a printed copy, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Michigan Radio, 5000 LS&A Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.