WDUQ lineup to feature more NPR

BBC news programs will air each night

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Essential Public Media has unveiled the new programming lineup for the all-news public radio station launching Friday on WDUQ-FM (90.5).

Essential Public Media, a WYEP-FM-owned subsidiary, is buying WDUQ from Duquesne University. The Federal Communications Commission has yet to approve the sale.

The station will be billed as Essential Public Radio 90.5 FM, and the WDUQ call letters will be used for the required hourly station identification. The station will have new call letters after the sale clears.

The new lineup is a mix of WDUQ's current syndicated news programs, along with additions from National Public Radio and other public media outlets.

"I wanted to bring the NPR programs people were familiar with and introduce them to some new programs they may not have heard, as a way to expand the service and offer new things to the people of Pittsburgh," said EPM's director of content and programming, Tammy Terwelp.

Mainstays such as "Morning Edition," "Fresh Air," "All Things Considered," "Marketplace," "Weekend Edition," "Car Talk," "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" and "This American Life" will remain.

New programs include "The Takeaway," a syndicated morning news program hosted by John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee, which is produced by WNYC Radio and Public Radio International. It will air weekdays at 9 a.m.

The station will pick up several NPR offerings: the daily call-in shows "On Point," (weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon and weeknights at 8 p.m.) "Talk of the Nation" (weekdays at 2 p.m.) and "The Tavis Smiley Show" (Sundays at 4 p.m.)

Local news segments will air starting Friday during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" as they do on the current WDUQ.

The new long-form local news programming launches later this summer or early fall. "Essential Pittsburgh" will be a daily talk program that will explore regional issues. Initially, there will be 12 hours of local news programming a week.

"We're always going to be looking to expand that," Ms. Terwelp said. "The plan is to have as much local focus as possible."

BBC World Service news will air from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays, midnight to 6:30 a.m. Saturdays and midnight to 6 a.m. Sundays.

The Saturday night jazz block will include WDUQ's "Rhythm Sweet & Hot" from 6 to 8 p.m., and "Jazz With Bob Studebaker" from 8 p.m. to midnight. WDUQ's "Music from India" airs Sundays from 8 to 10 p.m.

Jazz will be available 24/7 on the station's HD channel, which also will be streamed online. Mobile apps that will enable smartphone users to tune in are in the works, Ms. Terwelp said.

Several of WYEP's locally produced shows will migrate to the new station. The environmental issues program "The Allegheny Front" moves to Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. "Prosody," featuring the work of poets and writers, will air Saturdays at 6:30 a.m.

WYEP will drop "This American Life," which had aired on WDUQ and WYEP. It will air on 90.5 Saturdays at noon, replacing "Whad'Ya Know," and repeat Sundays at 6 p.m.

The full schedule will be posted at the Essential Public Media website, www.essentialpublicmedia.org.


Adrian McCoy: amccoy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1865.


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