Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: May 29, 2012

Starting Saturday, June 2nd, 89.7 NPR News will pilot two new summer programs from NPR.   

The TED Radio Hour (2 pm Saturdays) explores ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to teach and learn. 

Each year, TED hosts conferences that bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less about their ideas in technology, entertainment, design and more. 

TED Radio Hour focuses on a theme each week and weaves together its TEDTalks centered on the topic with innovative soundscapes and conversations that spark ideas. The Washington Post just featured a profile of the new NPR program.

Ask Me Another (3 pm Saturdays) is the other pilot NPR program airing on 89.7 FM.  This show’s improvisational mix of banter, brains, and music shines brightly in those funny, unexpected moments. Host Ophira Eisenberg guides listeners through each episode as she puts questions to a rotating band of puzzle gurus, audience members and “mystery” guests.

As part of this new approach to piloting content, 89.7 NPR News and NPR will invite the listening audience to provide feedback about these pilot programs. TED Radio Hour will air Saturdays at 2 p.m., followed by Ask Me Another at 3 p.m. in June and July.


    The premise is faulty. NPR does not depend on federal funds. Local stations depend on federal funds and that’s where federal funds go. Each local station is governed by its own local community and provides programming for its local community per its local board policies and its community advisory boards, based on local needs and interests. Each station chooses to buy, or not buy, programs from individual production companies and producers, for example, American Public Media, Public Media International, NPR, Association of Independents in Public radio, etc. Each station also produces its own programs. Some local stations, mostly in rural and smaller communities, depend on federal funds for up to 50% of their budget. Stations in the larger markets may get less than 5% federal funds. So to cut federal dollars is to prevent the smallest communities the opportunity to have locally controlled public media. Based on the facts, the discussion is very different from the one being presented.