Only a Game, Live from Here and the second hour (11:00 am) of On Point have all been discontinued by their producing stations, effective in October. Maine Public Radio regrets losing these programs, as we know many of you counted on and enjoyed them. In addition, a couple of familiar Maine voices — Robin Rilette and Sara Willis — are retiring. We congratulate and thank them for their years of service BUT we also want to assure YOU that the music both of these individuals provided WILL continue!
Here is what we have in place going forward:
Maine Calling will be moving from the 1:00 pm weekday afternoon hour to 11:00 am, replacing the second hour of On Point . Going forward, On Point will focus exclusively on the 10:00 am first and only hour, with host Meghna Chakrabarti hosting all five days. Moving Maine Calling to 11:00 am gives it the ability to reach more listeners and complete a terrific and relevant morning public affairs lineup — from Morning Edition to the BBC, to On Point, Maine Calling and Here and Now.
In addition, each Saturday morning at 7:00 am, in place of the discontinued Only a Game, we'll offer another chance to hear one of the interesting Maine Calling programs from the previous week. Please note that there are no other public radio sports programs available in the public radio system at this time. We are aware that Only a Game became a favorite of many of you; we will miss it as well!
At 1:00 pm weekdays, in place of Maine Calling, we'll now be able to bring you the second hour of The NPR/WBUR partnership news program Here and Now. Here and Now has been steadily growing in popularity as interest in the day's important news and issues has increased and more listeners are able to tune in during the midday period.
Robin Rilette is retiring and leaving us after a transformational six years as Classical Music Director with Maine Public Radio AND Maine Public Classical. For several years, Robin was our primary classical host — on both services! More recently, Robin has been working to bring you more Maine hosted classical music with the addition of Sarah Tuttle, Sydney Anderson, Gale Parmelee and Aaron Engebreth to the Maine Public Classical hosting team. Going forward, both Aaron and Gale will be regulars during Robin's shifts — the music lives on!
And after nearly two decades as the Maine champion of "singer-songwriter" folk music, Sara Willis is also retiring, but she will still be heard! With the recent addition of the 24/7 In Tune Music Stream we have hours and hours, make that weeks and weeks and weeks of non-repetitive great music! So going forward, the stream will continue, as will Sara's on-air programs on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons!
And by now you may have heard Mountain Stage on Saturday evenings, which has replaced Live from Here and leads into In Tune Saturday night. Mountain Stage, produced in West Virginia, is also a live performance program and will be bringing us many wonderful performances from great performers not unlike those you've heard on Live from Here or can still hear on In Tune.
During the weekday 10:00 pm In Tune slot, we'll be offering many listeners another chance to hear weekend programs they might have missed including the New Yorker Radio Hour, Hidden Brain, Planet Money/How I Built this and Ted Radio Hour.
At 9:00 pm weeknights, we are excited to welcome in a new news program that we've had requests for over the years. As It Happens is produced by our neighbors to the north at the CBC. It's a daily evening news program, presented in a friendly Canadian style, and brings an international perspective as it covers both the important — and interesting — stories of the day.
Also of note is that our Sunday afternoon 2:00 pm broadcast of the Moth Radio Hour will move to Sunday evening at 7:00 pm, and now help provide an interesting evening of entertainment and storytelling from This American Life through to Selected Shorts and LA Theater Arts. At 2:00 pm on Sunday, we'll sample Freakonomics Radio, which looks at important and relevant topics in an informative and interesting style that only public radio can — and does.
While we know listeners will miss their favorite programs — and hosts — we hope you know and understand that while change can and does happen; Maine Public Radio is committed to providing you with the most relevant and valued public radio service possible. In addition, nothing in our schedule is ever set in stone; we are constantly evaluating our schedule. If something is not working we will change it. As always, thank YOU for your support of Maine Public Radio!
Charles Beck; VP for Content; Radio and Television