Johns Hopkins Gazette: June 26, 1995

WJHU Lets News, Information Lead Way

Dennis O'Shea
Homewood News and Information

     WJHU-FM, the university's radio station and Baltimore's only
National Public Radio affiliate, is switching its weekday daytime
programming to an all-news and information format.

     The station is now airing 15 1/2 hours a day of world,
national and local news and features, arts and cultural coverage
and call-in programs, in a solid block from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

     The move brings most area listeners their first opportunity
to hear programs such as the Diane Rehm Show, a Washington-based
call-in on national and world issues that recently went into
national syndication.

     The new lineup also includes NPR's Fresh Air with Terry
Gross, an award-winning daily radio magazine on culture and the
arts, and Monitor Radio's Monitor Midday.

     WJHU is also expanding by one hour one of its most popular
current programs, NPR's Morning Edition. That show will now air
from 6 to 10 a.m., WJHU general manager Dennis Kita said.

     Beginning Sept. 11, the station also will air the Monday
through Friday editions of its most highly rated show, NPR's All
Things Considered, at 4 p.m. instead of the current 5 p.m.

     "We're responding to the enthusiasm of our current listeners
and members for our information programming," Kita said. "We're
pleased that we can now offer more of that kind of programming
throughout the day, not just during a block of time in the
morning and a block of time in the afternoon."

     "For almost 10 years, WJHU has been successful as the sole
Baltimore outlet for NPR news programs," Kita said. "We want to
build on that success."

     WJHU, which broadcasts at 88.1 on the FM dial, had been
broadcasting classical music between Morning Edition and All
Things Considered.

     "Our mission in public radio is public service," Kita said,
adding that he, community affairs director Nan Rosenthal and
program director Chris Wienk had spent "many months looking at
how we can best perform that mission."

     "The question, in a market where there are as many as six
classical music signals on the air during weekdays, is whether we
can contribute more during those hours with classical music or
with news and information programs that other Baltimore stations
don't offer," he said.

     "We feel strongly that the new programs will provide WJHU
members and listeners with even more reasons to enjoy the

     As part of its format change, the station also will
strengthen its emphasis on local and regional public affairs,
arts and culture, Kita said. The Marc Steiner Show, WJHU's
locally produced call-in, will remain in the evenings for now,
but will move to afternoons in September and expand to 10 hours a
week. Tom Olson, WJHU's morning announcer and newscaster, will
produce local features. Lisa Simeone, a longtime WJHU announcer
and interview program host, is developing a new weekend interview

     Kita also said that WJHU will continue a number of weekend
classical music programs that listeners cannot hear elsewhere.
The station will produce the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's
broadcasts of its performances in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. It
will also air announcer Bob Benson's Saturday and Sunday programs
based on his extensive personal classical music archives.

     In fact, WJHU's evening and weekend lineups are largely
unaffected by the changes in weekday programming, Kita said. The
station will continue to air jazz weeknights, with Andy
Bienstock's very successful show Monday through Friday evenings
from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Weekend news and information programs--
such as Weekend Edition and Weekend All Things Considered--along
with entertainment programs such as Cartalk, Whad'ya Know,
Thistle and Shamrock, Music from the Hearts of Space and Echoes
also will continue.

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