Saturdays on public radio station WUNC (91.5 FM) will feature three new shows in a restructured line-up.
``Riders Radio Theatre,' ``Whad' Ya Know?' and ``AfroPop Worldwide' will be added beginning in October, while ``Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company of the Air' and ``Gary Shivers on Jazz' will be dropped.``The programs we added - or in the case of 'Riders Radio Theatre,' brought back - are ones we've gotten lots of requests for,' said WUNC program director Craig Curtis.
Dropping Garrison Keillor was a tough decision. ``It became a financial consideration,' Curtis says. ``The cost of the program continued to escalate while the number of listeners diminished.'
Dues to American Public Radio are $8,000 per year, and the cost of ``Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company of the Air' is an additional $18,000 per year. The Keillor program is the only American Public Radio program the station uses.
``We never expected the show to generate the wild enthusiasm that 'A Prairie Home Companion' did,' Curtis says. ``But in monitoring the mail, phone calls, even cocktail-party chatter, one of the most damning things I found was that people didn't care anymore.'
Those who do still care in the Greensboro area can tune in to Keillor's show on WFDD (88.5 FM) from 6-8 p.m. Saturdays.
``Gary Shivers on Jazz' has consisted of rebroadcast tapes from the WUNC archives since Shivers left the station in February to become manager and director of broadcasting at a Kansas station.
``Whad' Ya Know?' is a comedy broadcast from Madison, Wis., for more than a decade. Host Michael Feldman talks with celebrity guests, members of the studio audience and callers.
``Riders Radio Theatre,' a music-variety show with host group Riders in the Sky, is back by popular demand. One Fayetteville listener held a petition drive for it after it ended a 13-week run last year.
But Curtis thinks ``AfroPop' will create the most excitement.
`` 'AfroPop' is one of the best music shows being produced for radio today,' he says. ``I think it will have some crossover appeal from Fiona Ritchie's show.
``AfroPop Worldwide' is a program of African and African-inspired music featuring live performances, studio recordings and interviews with artists. Cameroonian George Collinet, heard regularly by 80 million listeners in Africa, is the show's host. It will explore African-inspired music across the world, including Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Cuba, Paris and London.
The Saturday changes are:
``Whad' Ya Know?' - 1-2 p.m. (following ``Car Talk')