KWBU-FM Kicks Off Countdown to NPR

May 10, 2000

by Larry D. Brumley

Brazos Valley Public Broadcasting Foundation and KWBU-FM 107.1 launched the countdown to National Public Radio service for Central Texas at a Tuesday rally on the Baylor University campus. The station plans to begin airing NPR programming on July 1.

Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. announced that Waco's Cooper Foundation has made a $50,000 grant to help bring the internationally acclaimed news, public affairs and cultural programming to the area - the largest unserved market in the country. The Cooper Foundation also provided a $17,000 grant last fall to fund the feasibility study that established the need for and viability of NPR service in Waco.

"We are deeply grateful to the Cooper Foundation for its investments in this new service for our community," Sloan said. "The award-winning programs that KWBU will carry will serve to enhance the quality of life for residents of Waco and Central Texas. Baylor needs partners like the Cooper Foundation, individual station members and corporate underwriters to sustain public radio service. The Cooper Foundation grant certainly provides a strong start to our effort to attract other supporters."

NPR newscaster Corey Flintoff traveled from Washington to help kick off the KWBU membership drive.

"When NPR's flagship news magazine 'All Things Considered' was conceived in 1970, its executive producer wrote a mission statement - NPR will speak with many voices and many dialects. Public radio is like the longest back fence in the world and made for people to lean over and talk to each other," Flintoff said. "Through NPR, KWBU becomes your community voice to the rest of the country. We rely very strongly on our member stations to cover things in their own backyards, so you'll hear stories reported from the voices of the people who live there."

KWBU will initiate service with flagship news programs "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered," as well as the live national call-in show "Talk of the Nation" and the evening business news program "Marketplace." Those programs will air Monday through Friday. The station will feature classical music during the morning and early afternoon and world music at night.

Weekend programs will include "Car Talk," "A Prairie Home Companion," "Weekend Edition," "Weekend All Things Considered," "Jazz From Lincoln Center," "Riverwalk, Live from the Landing," "This American Life," "Savvy Traveler," "Beyond Computers," and Michael Feldman's quiz show "Whad 'Ya Know?"

The station is offering a one-year opportunity for individuals to become "Charter Members" and "Founding Members." Donors at these levels - $1,000 and $2,500 respectively - will receive special recognition for helping launch public radio service in Waco. Station memberships are available for as little as $35 a year.

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