July 13, 2012 — The University of Virginia's community radio station is shaking up its schedule. Beginning Monday, WTJU listeners will find more live music, consistency in afternoon drive-time shows and new and deeper connections to the community.
The work that led to these changes began last August, and the process has been "a thoughtful, considered and remarkably cooperative effort on the part of the Programming Committee and the entire station," Nathan Moore, the station's general manager, said.
WTJU 91.1 FM, which celebrated its 55th year on the air June 2, made the changes "to best fulfill our mission, airing diverse music programming and expanding the platform for independent and creative expression," he said. The changes will "broaden our base to deepen our connection to the community, to encourage continued listening throughout the day and week, and to encourage new listeners to tune in.
"We sought to bring several key elements to the new program schedule," Moore said, including bringing consistency to the weekday 4 to 6 p.m. "drive time"; arranging the schedule to create more possibilities for live music and live remotes; and setting up a locally produced public affairs show and airing it where it has the potential to succeed.
Though some things are changing, some things are staying the same. WTJU's new schedule still includes a balance of classical, jazz, rock, folk, world and more, and almost all of the station's DJs are continuing in the new schedule.
WTJU's production studio is undergoing renovations to make it easier to produce its new, 60-minute community affairs program, called "Soundboard." The program, which debuted in March with volunteer hosts, has been airing Friday afternoons. It will switch to 9 a.m. starting July 16 and gradually expand to five days a week.
WTJU will also air "With Good Reason," an award-winning half-hour public radio show that features the work of teaching faculty at Virginia's public colleges and universities, on Mondays at 5:30 a.m. and again as part of the new show "Soundboard." "With Good Reason" is sponsored by the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium and is produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
The show's host, Sarah McConnell, said, "I'm already a WTJU fan and love gaining an audience that values diversity and creativity. I also think the new community affairs show is an inspired idea for this news-hungry town."
Moore added, "This is a program grid that I'm comfortable having for the next few years, trying to build audience around it, figuring out on a deeper level what the best roles for the station should be within the University and surrounding communities."
"We're excited to roll out the new schedule. It's the same creative and independent WTJU you love – but even better," Moore said.