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New Year, New Schedule And FAQs On The Programming Change

Jan 19, 2020

Our New Year's resolution is to give you more opportunities to get the news and information you need during this election year. We're updating our schedule to reflect an even greater commitment to bringing you the best in public radio programming at times that work for your schedule. 


Starting Monday, January 20th, we'll be adding an afternoon broadcast of Fresh Air at 1:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday. An award-winning show and one of public radio's most iconic programs, Fresh Air is a weekday "talk show" that hardly fits the mold.

Then at 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, tune in for world news from the BBC Newshour. Newshour is the award-winning flagship program of the BBC World Service, the world's largest newsgathering operation. Clear, rigorous, well-paced, and live every afternoon, Newshour brings BBC's unmatched reporting from all around the globe right to you.

On Fridays, you will be able to hear Science Friday live from noon to 2:00 p.m. Covering everything from the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the trusted source for news and entertaining stories about science.

Classical Music from Aspen with Chris Mohr will return this summer during the Aspen Music Festival, Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

At 7:00 p.m. weeknights, we’re bringing back The World! The World is a US radio news magazine with an emphasis on international news and global journalism. The World's unique editorial perspective brings energy and passion to each day's broadcast. The goal: to take us beyond borders and boundaries, and fire up our curiosity about a fascinating, messy, contentious and beautiful planet. The evening broadcast of Fresh Air can now be heard at 8:00 p.m.

At 9:00 p.m., we are adding an evening broadcast of 1A. The 1A staff update and curate a shorter, one-hour version of the daily program. It’s so those who aren’t able to listen to the morning episode can catch up on on the best of those compelling daily conversations. At 10:00 p.m., we’ll have opportunities to catch weekend storytelling shows including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, and This American Life.

We have also brought back The Moth and Reveal to Aspen Public Radio! The Moth will air Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. while Reveal will air Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Hidden Brain will move to the more convenient time of 10:00 a.m. Sundays. It's Been a Minute remains at 1:00 p.m. Saturdays, and Snap Judgment will remain at 4:00 p.m Saturdays. 

See the new schedule here. Note that if you are reading this on Sunday the 19th, this calendar starts with Monday, so you will need to advance the schedule using the arrow at the top to see the new schedule.

These changes are part of our ongoing effort to diversify the perspectives--from around the valley to around the world--that you can hear from Aspen Public Radio.


Why are you changing Aspen Public Radio’s format?

Aspen Public Radio would like to be the go-to NPR station for listeners in our region. Based on extensive research of audience reports, ratings, surveys, and listener testimonials, we learned that the majority of our listeners would like more news and information programming. We found that a large share of our listeners would turn off Aspen Public Radio during our format switch to music, and would not turn it back it on later in the day for our switch back to news programming. 

What are the new programs that Aspen Public Radio will offer? Why are they all national programs?

Thanks to feedback from our listeners, we’re excited to be bringing back The World, The Moth, and Reveal.

We are also thrilled to expand our programming with an additional broadcasts of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, as well as the BBC Newshour, 1A, and Science Friday.

With plans to onboard a full-time News Director in 2020, Aspen Public Radio will work to expand its focus on local content, including news series, podcasts, and programs. We are looking forward to debuting Rocky Mountain Why?, a listener-powered journalism platform, as well as embarking on our Tell Me More Tour, which will seek input from community members to help inform our coverage.

Why is the music going away?

Music is not entirely going away. Classical music will still be a featured part of our programming during this 2020 summer season, thanks to our longstanding partnership with the Aspen Music Festival and School with classical music host Chris Mohr, as generously supported by Judith Barnard and Michael Fain.

We are thankful to our volunteer jazz hosts and their many combined hours of service. As we adapt to an ever-changing media landscape, we want to celebrate our commitment to the local community, and also make news and information easily accessible. News is our most listened-to genre by a wide majority.

Why can’t you do two streams, one for the music listeners and one for the news listeners?

When we looked at our numbers and analyzed listener behavior, we found that the overwhelming majority of our audience tunes in for Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Those same listeners indicated a strong preference for news programming at middays as well. 

During this time of transition, having two separate streams would have been exceptionally challenging for our small staff of eight to launch and manage. So in order to provide continuity for the greatest number of people, we are switching to a news format. We will explore separate streams in the future as thoughtfully as possible.

I think your programming is redundant. Why do some shows repeat?

We wanted to give our listeners the opportunity to hear some of the NPR programs they might not otherwise be able to catch, including shows like Fresh Air and the BBC Newshour. Many local residents in our community work from 9:00-5:00 p.m., but a large number of our listeners are busy during the evenings, too. We are happy to provide options for listeners who hike, ski, or work for example, during our program schedule.

Is this the final version of the program schedule?

This is our finalized version of the schedule for 2020. In addition to the updates outlined above, we are delighted that classical music host Chris Mohr will be returning once again this summer to broadcast interviews and concerts from the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Aspen Public Radio is always evaluating our programming to better serve our growing audience. Our scheduling changes are carefully considered and are mission-based.

I’m a member and I don’t like the programming changes. Can I cancel?

Whether you’re a monthly Evergreen member or have made a one-time gift of any size, please know that we appreciate your support. Of course, you may cancel your sustaining gifts at any time. For questions about membership, please call 970.920.9000.

For nearly forty years, Aspen Public Radio has offered a wide variety of programs, including national and international news, as well as local and global music. The very beginnings of Aspen Public Radio actually featured the daily hog prices from the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

We understand that everyone has their favorite genre and some might be concerned about our changes. Rest assured: Aspen Public Radio is still committed to our listeners and provides an important, vital service to this valley. Thank you for supporting us.

Why are you adopting the format of other news-format NPR stations? I already turn to them for some of these new shows.

While our programming has changed, our mission has not. Aspen Public Radio is still committed to nourishing and enriching our community by providing informative, entertaining, and educational programming in a reliable and professional manner.

We want to give more people reasons to stay with their local public radio station, based right here on the Western Slope of Colorado. Our goal is to have a balance of local reporting and cultural coverage that complements our NPR news programming, so that we can continue to be one of the most relied-upon news organizations in the valley.

Our research revealed that the largest majority of our listeners said they want more news and information. We felt compelled to meet that need as part of our service to the public.


Please call Aspen Public Radio at 970.920.9000.