Georgia Public Broadcasting finally released its schedule today, the day after it officially launched its partnership with Georgia State University's 88.5/WRAS-FM.
This means public radio fans in Atlanta who want to hear news/talk all day can now do so easily on the FM dial.
Compared to the preliminary schedules that came out a month ago, GPB provided no major changes, save for the eight hours GPB relinquished at the last second on the weekends.
About 32 of the 90 weekly hours GPB has control over WRAS's airwaves, once all the future new programming is factored in, will be non-duplicative with 90.1/WABE-FM's main feed. Most of the programs not heard locally before airs during the weekdays when WABE runs classical music from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Signature morning and drive-time shows 'Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" will be heard on both WRAS and WABE, which is not affiliated with GPB. Business show "Marketplace' will air at 6 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. over at WABE. At WRAS, Bradley George provides the morning show local commentary and news. (Steve Goss does so at WABE.) Rickey Bevington is the WRAS/GPB host for "All Things Considered." (Dennis O'Hayer does so for WABE.) Later this fall on WRAS, Celeste Headlee will host a daily 9 a.m. one-hour news show, supplanting the final hour of "Morning Edition."
During the six hours when WABE is playing music, GPB provides the following shows: "On Point With Tom Ashbrook" from 10 a.m. to noon, "The Takeaway" with John Hockenberry at noon, "Here & Now" with Jeremy Hobson from 1 to 3 p.m. (save for "Science Friday" on Fridays from 2 to 3) and "Fresh Air" from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and "Political Rewind" on Friday. (WABE airs "Fresh Air" from 7 to 8 p.m. in Atlanta.)
On Saturday, after "Weekend Edition" at 8 a.m., WRAS is set to air "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" at 10 a.m., "Car Talk" at 11 a.m. and "This American Life" at noon. All are heard on WABE. This will be followed by story-telling programs "Snap Judgment" and "Moth Radio Hour," neither of which is heard on WABE's main FM feed. At 3 p.m., WRAS will air a game show called "Ask Me Another" that WABE normally runs at 7 p.m. Fridays. At 4 p.m., GPB offers a local news show hosted by Bill Nigut. at 5 p.m., WRAS will air an hour of the weekend edition of "All Things Considered."
On Sunday, there are plans for local programming from 10 to noon at some point, including the promised show for GSU students. Then there will be six programs: "On the Media," "America's Test Kitchen," "Splendid Table," "Travel With Rick Steves," another airing of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and an hour of "All Things Considered" (Weekend edition). "On the Media" is heard at 2 p.m. Sundays on WABE. "The Splendid Table" is on at noon on Saturdays on WABE. "America's Test Kitchen" and "Travel with Rick Steves" are new.
The deal was announced May 6 to the surprise of the WRAS student-run management and alumni. Since then, the students tried (and failed) to get their signal back, save for eight hours on the weekends. They were promised an HD channel and on-line streaming, which would provide a fraction of the listeners. Plus, they were offered unspecified internships at GPB and access to a TV studio that would more likely benefit the TV broadcasting students.
GPB itself gets access to a 100,000-watt signal in metro Atlanta, a region it has not been able to have access to via the radio for decades.
Foes of this partnership are still trying to place pressure on GSU management and GPB to unravel the arrangement.
Over the weekend, about 100 WRAS fans led a protest at Hurt Park against this partnership. This morning, about 20 protesters (at different times) showed up at the entrance of GPB in Midtown, asking drivers to honk in support of saving WRAS, as they are calling it. Organizers are thinking of doing weekly protests.
At around 11 a.m., GPB president Teya Ryan, with an assistant, came out to walk her dog. She skirted the protesters, choosing not to say anything. When they saw her, they started chanting, "Hey! Ho! GPB has to got to go!" She smiled and walked back into the building.
Later, GPB employees came out with water bottles, ice and a cooler.