In celebration of 50 years of radio service, WCMU Public Media is expanding its news coverage and providing a new 24/7 classical music service!
As we celebrate our 50th anniversary and look to the future, one thing is clear – providing fact-based news, information and local reporting is more important than ever. There’s an increasing demand for trusted news and a deep concern for our democracy, no matter your political affiliation. According to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 83% of Americans think there is a serious threat to the future of the nation’s democracy, an increase from 77% in July ’22. Half of the 46 counties we serve no longer have a daily newspaper, leaving many across our listening area in a “news desert.”
After a thorough review and evaluation of our audience data. The research showed consistency across our schedule is key to serving both classical and news audiences effectively. After careful consideration and analysis, we’re excited to announce beginning March 1st you’ll have expanded news coverage and a 24/7 classical service!
On our main broadcast service, you will find the latest news, intelligent discussions, and much needed context about events happening here in Michigan and around the world each weekday. Programs including BBC Newshour, On Point, 1A and The World are joining our lineup, keeping you updated on the day’s latest news. On weekends, you’ll hear a variety of news, conversation, and storytelling on Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, Bullseye, The Moth Radio Hour, The TED Radio Hour and Left, Right & Center. And on Saturday and Sunday evenings, you’ll continue hearing some of your favorite music programs, including Juke Joint, Destination Out, Homespun, Folk Alley and American Routes.
And our new WCMU Classical 24/7 service will showcase young musicians on From the Top, and present symphonies from around the world on SymphonyCast. Footlight Parade provides a celebration of classic Broadway and Hollywood musicals from the early 20th century to current hits, Pipedreams highlights pipe organ music and Performance Today features concerts and interviews. This and so much more will be heard daily on your 24/7 classical music service.
Who will be hosting programs on WCMU Classical?
WCMU Classical will feature carefully crafted broadcasts from a knowledgeable, diverse set of hosts from the Classical 24 network. WCMU Classical’s hosts love classical music as much as you do. They expertly shape each broadcast to illuminate the music while ensuring that every program is accessible and stimulating for novices and aficionados alike. This requires in-depth historical knowledge and the ability to be a great companion of the music, while also making it relevant to listeners like you today.
Is WCMU doing away with all music on its main signal?
No. While some music programs are being retired, you will still wake up with Echoes weekend mornings and find a healthy mix of music on weekend evenings. These programs include local favorites The Juke Joint with Robert Barclay, Destination Out with Mike Johnston, and Homespun with Tom Ball. We will also continue to air Folk Alley, The International Americana Music Show, and American Routes.
Why did you remove ‘Nightside Jazz and Blues’ and ‘The Beat’ from the air?
We are prioritizing our two largest audiences - news and classical – and focusing on programming that serves them. We are proud of the jazz programs we have presented and produced over the last 50 years. As we look forward, we must refocus our programming and resources to serve our largest audiences.
Where are Judy, David, and Amy?
David Nicholas will be returning to his roots as a journalist. You’ll hear his reporting daily across WCMU’s news programs. He will also be the local host for the programs The World and All Things Considered from 3pm -7pm.
Judy Wagley will be our local host for a variety of news programs throughout the day from 9am-3pm. Fun fact: Judy served as a journalist for six years at the Gaylord Herald Times. She will also occasionally produce news stories from the humanities desk.
Amy Robinson is stepping away from hosting All Things Considered, to focus on her responsibilities as WCMU’s radio news director. She will be leading a growing news team that is focused on producing more local news stories from across our 46-county coverage area. She will occasionally serve as an on-air host as needed.
Where are my favorite programs?
Afropop Worldwide – Afropop Worldwide's final broadcast on WCMU was Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. This program lives on at afropop.org.
Afternoon Classical – Afternoon Classical was retired from production on Feb. 28, 2023, to allow Judy Wagley to focus on her new responsibilities hosting WCMU’s midday news programs. In her new role, Judy will serve as a familiar voice, guiding listeners through the latest news of the day.
Central Stage - Central Stage was retired from production in February 2023. WCMU would like to express our deepest appreciation to host Sue Gamble for all the work she has put into Central Stage over the last 20+ years.
Children’s Bookshelf – The Children’s Bookshelf can be heard Fridays at 2:38pm during Here and Now and Sundays at 8:37am during Weekend Edition Sunday.
Footlight Parade – Footlight Parade can be heard on WCMU Classical, Thursday afternoons at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Learn how to listen to WCMU Classical at WCMU.org.
Homespun with Tom Ball – Homespun has moved to Saturdays at 6 p.m. as of March 4, 2023.
Mosaic – Mosaic was retired from production on Feb. 28, 2023, to allow David Nicholas to focus on his new responsibilities as the local host of The World and All Things Considered, and to allow him to devote more time to telling stories that impact residents throughout central and northern Michigan.
On The Media – On the Media’s final broadcast on WCMU was Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. This program will live on at OnTheMedia.org.
The Putumayo World Music Hour – The Putumayo World Music Hour’s final broadcast on WCMU was Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. This program will live on at Putumayo.com.
RadioLab – RadioLab’s final broadcast on WCMU was Feb. 24, 2023. This program will live on at Radiolab.org.
Science Friday – Science Friday’s final broadcast on WCMU was Feb. 24, 2023. This program will live on at ScienceFriday.com.
Thistle & Shamrock – Thistle & Shamrock’s final broadcast on WCMU was Feb. 26, 2023. We are grateful to Fiona Ritche for all the time and effort she has devoted to this program over the last 40 years. Thistle & Shamrock lives on at thistleradio.com.
World Café - World Café's final broadcast on WCMU was Tuesday, Feb. 28. World Café in-studio sessions and interviews live on at npr.org/sections/world-cafe/
Other programs: Many other programs are moving to new times and days. We invite you to view our complete broadcast schedule for both WCMU and WCMU Classical at WCMU.org
How will we hear about special events happening across the state?
WCMU provides a Community Calendar at https://radio.wcmu.org/community-calendar. Feel free to submit events and see what events are coming up.
What role will CMU students play moving forward?
CMU students are an essential part of WCMU’s staff. They will continue to serve in a variety of roles as they have previously, as production assistants, news reporters and on-air hosts during weekends and early evenings. They also work in areas like marketing, TV production, graphics, accounting, and customer service.
Ask your smart speaker to “play WCMU“ or “play WCMU Classical.”
Stream the programming online at WCMU.org.
Download the WCMU app and stream through your mobile device.
Use a Bluetooth connection to stream from the app through your car stereo or home receiver.
You can also tune in WCMU Classical on your HD receiver at:
89.5-2 in Mount Pleasant
90.1-2 in Bay City
91.7-2 in Alpena
103.9-2 in Harbor Springs.