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NPR offerings expanded on WUTC FM 88.1

WUTC FM 88.1, Chattanooga’s source for National Public Radio programming, announces increased opportunities for listeners to gain in-depth news analysis through an expansion of its NPR informational offerings.

Beginning Tuesday, January 17, WUTC will add programming to increase its share of the radio market, according to Bob Lyon, UTC Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. WUTC is a 30,000-watt station licensed to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and operates as an administrative unit of the campus.

“Our plan is to meet anticipated audience goals for Corporation of Public Broadcasting membership,” Lyon said. “We receive a significant level of direct grant money from the CPB, and membership helps make WUTC eligible for additional federal grants. It is imperative that we take an aggressive approach to offer the programming that listeners want and can not get from other stations.”

Corporation for Public Broadcasting officials have indicated that member stations should prepare to meet new ratings criteria in the next two years. CPB benchmarks are based on a calculation that compares a radio station’s average quarter hour audience over three ratings periods with the population in the community. Based on this new formula, the CPB goal for WUTC will be a score of 24.0. Using current data, WUTC’s score in the formula is 20.89.

Increasing its average quarter hour number is the only way a station can increase its score in the new CPB formula. Average quarter hour estimates the number of listeners during each 15 minute period per hour.

WUTC features an eclectic mix of music that includes blues, acoustic, singer/songwriter, and roots along with National Public Radio informational programs. National Public Radio programming earns the largest listening audience for the station.

“As the NPR affiliate for this area, we are expanding our commitment to provide informational reporting to our listeners,” said Lyon. “For years, NPR has been cited as one of the foremost radio outlets, setting the bar for world news coverage. Our listeners have shown a high demand for NPR programs, and we are trying to meet that demand.”

Morning Edition, WUTC’s most popular weekday program, will be expanded from three to four hours of coverage, ending at 10 a.m. Morning music will run until noon.

“Fresh Air” will be moved to a noon time slot, and “Day to Day” will move to 1 p.m. Afternoon music will begin at 2 p.m. Beginning at 4 p.m., the station will present four hours of the award-winning coverage of NPR’s All Things Considered.

Along with additional news programming, WUTC will continue its commitment to local musical programs with mid-morning, afternoon, and evening music.

“We hope this strategy of increasing our most popular NPR programs while maintaining a commitment to the musical mix that gives WUTC its unique sound will grow our audience to accommodate continued CPB membership,” said Lyon.

Funding for WUTC comes from a variety of sources, including CPB and other grants, underwriting, pledges from listeners, and state funding through UTC’s budget.

“WUTC receives tremendous support from listeners and underwriting sponsors. The station simply could not exist, however, without support from UTC and continued membership in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” said Lyon. “We are taking the necessary steps to keep the station healthy and to preserve both the music and informational programming.”

Beginning, January 17, WUTC FM 88.1 will offer this schedule, Monday through Friday:

6 a.m.-10 a.m. Morning Edition

10 a.m.-noon Morning music, with Rabbit Zielke

12 noon-1 p.m. Fresh Air

1 p.m.-2 p.m. Day to Day

2 p.m.-4 p.m. Afternoon music, with Richard Winham

4 p.m.-8 p.m. All Things Considered

8 p.m.-midnight Evening music, with Tommy Cotter

Midnight to 6 p.m. Jazz with Bob Parlocha

After the current opera season ends in April 2006, WUTC will discontinue offering opera programming and reschedule Saturday afternoons with new programming. Currently, Saturday afternoon opera programming has the lowest listening audience for the station.

January 5, 2006

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