WVIK shifts schedule, surveys audience to add new shows

August  16, 2012

New programming

The 7-8 p.m. program now changes every weekday.

Monday: "Inside Europe" from Radio Deutsche Welle

Tuesday: "Travel with Rick Steves"

Wednesday: "The Parent Trip" (also heard Saturdays at noon) and "Living Planet"

Thursday: "Art Talks" (also heard Sundays at 1 p.m.)

Friday:  "The Cities" and "State Week in Review

WVIK has shifted its schedule to add new shows and devote more time to public affairs and local programs.

The change began last year when National Public Radio started its popular "All Things Considered" an hour earlier. The change meant that WVIK was giving more time to NPR — from 4-8 p.m. instead of 5-8 p.m. However, WVIK staff looked at the number of listeners and realized that an extra last hour of NPR wasn't the best use of its time.

"By the time the program is into its fourth hour on WVIK, listenership reaches a low for the day," said station manager Jay Pearce. "This indicates that, while there are people listening, a fourth hour of "All Things Considered" is not doing a great job of serving the public. So we decided that the time could be better used as a platform for some excellent programs we did not have time for before, and weekday exposure for a pair of our weekend programs."

Jay Pearce

"Listener comments, national research and our recent survey of people in our region played into the decisions," said Pearce. "They indicate listeners value our international news.  So, we added "Inside Europe" as a way to gain an "inside" perspective on news about that part of the world.  

" 'Travel with Rick Steves' " is a radio program by the highly popular Public Television host and author. Again, the research indicates that our listeners are more likely than the average population to travel.  And even if you're not planning to travel, the program is a great way to learn about geography, people and customs around the world," he added.

Pearce said that a recent survey showed the environment is a topic of importance to WVIK listeners. "Living on Earth" had been airing on Sunday afternoons, but after a change in terms, the program was no longer affordable for WVIK.  The new "Living Planet"  is an excellent and award-winning program that takes a global look at environmental issues, Pearce said.

Illinois State Week in Review is a valuable program about state politics and government — very important topics given Illinois' current financial situation and in this important election year, he said.

 "The Cities" is a weekly program produced by WQPT, the local Public Television affiliate, about things happening in the Quad Cities area. WVIK's rebroadcast of the show may represent the beginning of more such efforts.

"We partnered before with WQPT on at least one political debate, and likely will again," Pearce said. "I believe that by working together, we elevate the value of public broadcasting in the community as a whole. So, we will be looking for opportunities to partner in the future where it makes sense. By combining efforts and resources, we are able to produce much better programs than we might be able to on our own."

Other programming changes include:

  • Two special series on Sundays during the summer. At 2 p.m. "Song Travels" with Michael Feinstein explores the genre of American popular song. And at 3 p.m., pianist John Weber introduces the jazz legends of tomorrow on "Piano Jazz Rising Stars."
  • The Marketplace Tech Report (as part of All Things Considered) at 4:44 p.m. weekdays.