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WMNF returns to drive time music
WALT BELCHERTAMPA - An overhaul of the broadcast schedule at community radio station WMNF (88.5 FM) adds three new programs and brings music back to afternoon drive time, including the return of the popular Friday rockabilly/comedy show "The Bumpy Ride."
Published: February 4, 2013
Published: February 4, 2013
"We are tweaking the schedule in response to what our listeners have said about what they like and don't like," said WMNF program director Randy Wind. "We are adding some programs and moving others around but the biggest change is bringing back the Traffic Jam block of music to weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m."
The changes that go into effect today also include the addition of two new morning talk shows, "Life Elsewhere," an art and culture magazine with host Norman B. at 9 a.m., and "She Bop," showcasing female performers with hosts Patti Marsters and Elisa Carlson at 9 a.m. Thursdays.
Marsters said the goal is to showcase women artists, featuring one musician per week.
"We will have Rebekah Pulley on Feb 7 and Betty Fox on the 14th," she said. "It will be conversation, music and discovery every Thursday from 9 to 10 a.m."
Another new program, "Kingston 12," featuring reggae music with host Sydney White, is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Fridays.
Wind says the station changed the lineup two years ago to make room for news and commentary during afternoon drive time.
"Some listeners liked it and some didn't," he added, noting that WMNF had various versions of "The Traffic Jam" for more than a decade.
He said the independent, nonprofit station has a loyal audience that apparently wants more music in morning and afternoon drive time.
"We're keeping news and commentary but we're moving it to the midpart of the day," Wind said. That includes moving the nationally syndicated "Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays. It will be preceded by public affairs programming beginning at 10 a.m. weekdays.
Wind said that the schedule shuffle doesn't affect every program but several are moving, such as "Latino 54," which will move from 3 p.m. Wednesdays to 2 p.m. Sundays.
WMNF also is keeping an hour block of news and commentary, including "Last Call," from 4 to 5 p.m. weekdays with hosts Rob Lorei, Pat Kemp, Warren Ely and Lisa Marzilli.
The afternoon "Jam" block kicks off Monday with host Jennifer Hollowell; Tuesdays, it will be "The LuLus" with hosts Linda Lu & Laurie Lu; host John Palmer will run Wednesdays and host Sid Flannery will hold down Thursdays.
Bob Gray, who co-hosts Friday's "Bumpy Ride" jam session as the Commuter From Hell, said he and co-host Denny "The Rebel" Reisinger continued to get telephone calls and emails from fans who missed the Friday show.
"We're glad to be coming back because we were moved to Saturday afternoons which interfered with happy hour," he joked.
Their return comes one day before the show's 10th annual "Rockabilly Ruckus" concert/party at Skipper's Smokehouse.
New host Norman B. (his stage name) said his "Life Elsewhere" program will take a look at local and national culture.
"We want to entertain and enlighten," said Norman B., who is from England but has had a long radio career in Portland and Seattle as a talk show host.
Among his first guests is a national award-winning architect who has worked in the Tampa area; Gillian G. Garr, author of "She's a Rebel" about female rock stars from the 1950s to the 1990s; and Robert Tornello who runs an organic farm in Ruskin.
For the new WMNF schedule, go to http://www.wmnf.org.