The University Record, October 14, 1998
By Joan Siefert Rose
Starting Oct. 12, National Public Radio (NPR) began distributing The Todd Mundt Show, an hour-long interview program broadcast weekdays on Michigan Radio, via satellite to the networks affiliated stations across the country.
The show will become part of NPRs news/talk programming lineup, which includes Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Diane Rehm Show and Talk of the Nation.
Under the arrangement, NPR will acquire the rights to The Todd Mundt Show, which will continue to be produced by Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. NPR will make the days program available by satellite at 8 p.m. to its 600 member-stations, and will be responsible for marketing and promotion. Individual radio stations may choose to carry the program at the time it is distributed or move it to another time during their broadcast day.
Michigan Radio began producing The Todd Mundt Show as a weekly program in February. It was expanded to a daily general interview program in April.
Mundt, who joined Michigan Radio a year ago, says his long-term career goal has been to host an NPR show. Im excited and a bit overwhelmed that this is happening so quickly, he says. The staff at Michigan Radio has worked hard to make the program meet the high standards expected by NPR. Many people deserve credit for this great opportunity.
Michigan Radio Station Manager Donovan Reynolds says national distribution of the show is a positive development for the station and the University.
We have quite a few Michigan faculty members and guest lecturers on the program. Now that the show will be available to a national audience, many new listeners will be exposed to the vibrant intellectual life on campus.
The programs producers will be looking for interview subjects who can talk easily on topics of interest to an educated audience. Jon Hoban is executive producer of the show.
In addition to announcing National Public Radios pick-up of The Todd Mundt Show last week, Michigan Radio announced receipt of two grants.
Michigan Radio has received $83,319 from the U.S. Department of Commerce to replace obsolete production equipment and begin the stations conversion to digital broadcasting. The funds were awarded under the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program Grant (PTFP).
The grant will be used to buy new equipment for WUOMs master control center and its three combination on-air/production studios. WUOM engineers will begin replacing the stations out-of-date analog-based equipment with a state-of-the-art digital broadcast system this fall.
The total cost of equipment purchases for the digital conversion will be $450,000.
The federal grant must be matched dollar-for-dollar by contributors.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation has awarded Michigan Radio $48,510 to support coverage of health care issues. In the coming year, Michigan Radio will produce programs that examine current issues in health care, including topics of particular concern to women, African Americans, children and the elderly.
The broadcasts will be heard on regularly scheduled programs including hour-long discussions featuring health care experts on The Todd Mundt Show. Shorter, in-depth features will air during Michigan Radios local segments of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The features also will be distributed to public radio stations throughout the Midwest.