You Want More News, Drama, Interviews and History: WVPB Member Survey Results

Jul 22, 2017

You said you want more programming about our past - such as "This Week in West Virginia History" being taped in this photo with Bob Powell and Colleen Anderson.

All I can say is, WOW! I am so impressed that more than 1,300 members took our 2017 programming survey.

And what you told us reinforced some of our ideas and challenged others.

On radio, we asked what sort of programming in general you wanted to hear more often.

Topping the list are interview programs such as Fresh Air, and news programs such as Morning Edition.

In the middle are popular music programs such as "Mountain Stage," and entertainment programs like "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me."

The two least popular radio options were food, travel and how-to shows, and classical music.

We also asked you what show you want to replace "Car Talk," which is going off the air. Based on your feedback and audience research, we plan to move "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" to 10 a.m. Saturdays, and begin airing NPR's puzzle and quiz show, "Ask Me Another" Saturday mornings at 11, starting in August.

On TV, you said you wanted more programming in the following categories, in order of popularity: history and culture, science and nature, drama and mystery, music and performing arts, news and public affairs, food and travel, and how-to.

Finally, we asked what programs you'd like to see on Saturday. We are making changes based on several factors, including program availability, popularity and cost.

First, Saturday morning. Based on your feedback and audience research, we plan to bring you a variety of travel programs, such as Rick Steves and Globe Trekker.

And on Saturday evenings, you said you preferred music performance shows. We plan to add "Music from the Mountains" to our lineup.

For many reasons, West Virginia Public Broadcasting is saying goodbye to some of our programs on both radio and TV.

Some of the reason is financial – a $1 million budget cut is leading us to make some difficult programming choices. In other cases, the shows are no longer being produced (Car Talk) or are so old, they can no longer be played back on our equipment (certain BBC TV shows from the 70s, 80s and 90s.)

Radio

“Car Talk” has been a popular part of our Saturday morning routine for more than 30 years at WVPB. But after the death of host Tom Magliozzi, the show has been 100 percent reruns, and the producers have announced they are ceasing production in September.

TV

After more than 20 years, we will say goodbye to the British comedy lineup on Saturday morning television. These programs are delivered via old broadcast tapes, which makes them difficult to air using our newer equipment.

Also, the cost to air these re-run programs continues to increase. Meanwhile, the BBC and other distributors are decreasing the shows they make available to us, in favor or their proprietary streaming and cable services.

We also say goodbye to “The Lawrence Welk Show” on Saturday evenings. We realize the show has a loyal following, and generates much nostalgia among many of us.

Unfortunately, the cost of airing this program has grown to about 25 percent of our non-PBS acquisition budget, and is no longer feasible for WVPB. The viewership and financial support for “Lawrence Welk” has declined over the years, and the program no longer pays for itself.

You, our viewers and listeners, have a big impact on our programming choices. Thank you!