OPB Radio overhauls schedule; drops six shows, adds seven

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Oregon Public Broadcasting is making major changes to its broadcast radio lineup as of Aug. 6, reports The Oregonian.

“All the long-form music programs are going away from OPB radio,” John Bell, director of member communications for OPB, told the newspaper. Gone are The Thistle and Shamrock, the Celtic music show the station has carried since the 1980s; the local In House and American Routes are moving to opbmusic.org and HD radio.

The variety show eTown is canceled, as are the comedy program Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? and Garrison Keillor’s daily literary short, The Writer’s Almanac.

“There’s not any program that’s not popular with some audience,” Bell said. “There just are so many other shows, and we’ve found with shows like Radio Lab and The Moth, there’s a wealth of great programs out there that we think deserve a spot on the radio. As our audience has changed, we’ve found that they’re coming to us more for news and information than music. There’s just so many hours in a day.”

Among seven new shows coming to OPB Radio: America’s Test Kitchen, Moyers & Company, the Ask Me Another quiz show and Back Fence PDX, what Bell describes as a local version of The Moth storytelling hour.

Also, OPB Radio will continue airing Car Talk after its hosts retire in October. “It’s still the most-popular show we have,” Bell said. “We’re going to leave it on the schedule and evaluate what happens, whether we think the quality suffers or we hear from people that they’re tired of the show and want something new.”

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