WMNF-FM drops ambitious overhaul in 2011 schedule that still reacts to rival WUSF-FM
It's not the top-to-bottom overhaul that program director Randy Wynne wanted.
But WMNF-FM's new schedule for 2011 still holds lots of changes for Tampa's community radio station, moving its signature public affairs shows earlier in the day, creating a block of music programming from noon to 3 p.m., starting its evening music shows an hour earlier and dropping its rebroadcast of NPR's interview show Fresh Air.
Wynne's biggest move, however, was a proposal to create a new morning show featuring news and public affairs director Rob Lorei. But Lorei resisted the idea, saying the station didn't have enough resources to help him offer a show which could compete with NPR's Morning Edition or the talk shows filling commercial radio stations. Fans of the station's current music-centered morning show also protested, saying the program offered an alternative to all the information-centered stuff on other channels.
Instead, the station will move liberal-centered news show Democracy Now to 9 a.m., with Lorei's interview show Radioactivity scheduled at 10 a.m. The stations various other public affairs shows will air at 11 a.m., with a new block of afternoon music shows scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. the 10 a.m. Rebroadcasts of Fresh Air are gone, made unnecessary when rival WUSF-FM adopted a daytime news and information format in September that broadcast the show twice daily.
The station's homegrown news report will air at 4 p.m. and every weekday evening and night time show will move up an hour, with the music beginning at 6 p.m. And each night will feature a different genre from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with blues on Monday, hippy rock on Tuesday, alternative rock on Wednesday, folk on Thursday and R&B on Friday.
Programmers at the station have been asked to apply for all the timeslots, even those who know their shows are coming back. Wynne and Lorei expect to announce the final schedule with new programmers on Dec. 18.
Wynne had hoped to bring WMNF in line with the typical rhythm of most radio stations -- where listeners are given more information-oriented shows in mornings and during drive time, with music provided in midday and night, when people are more likely to be listening for leisure.
Still, the relocation of some public affairs shows and its local newscast are still a reaction to WUSF. WMNF saw its own public affairs shows pull in half the donations they usually provide during a recent pledge drive, leaving the program director convinced fans who once turned to his station when WUSF went into classical music were now sticking with the other guys.