Tomorrow, Essential Public Media takes over the management of WDUQ-FM. On July 1, 2011, most jazz disappears from 90.5 FM. (Until the FCC actually approves the sale of the station by Duquesne University, the station call letters will remain WDUQ, but they will be mentioned as little as possible and will eventually change.) The new schedule is now available.
Given that the new schedule is mostly one of news and information, it looks promising. Nearly all the programs that have been airing on WDUQ show up in the new schedule, though programs have been moved around a bit. Commonwealth Club, for example, has been moved from 6 AM Saturday to 6 AM Sunday. Too bad it will not be broadcast at a more civil hour. A repeat of Fresh Air at 10 PM weeknights is a welcome addition; not everyone can listen at 3 PM.
I have two serious disappointments. The quirky but fascinating Radiolab has not been picked up, nor has Riverwalk, Live from the Landing. I was hoping to see the latter, though, as a jazz program—one both entertaining and educational—I didn’t really expect it to make the cut. On the other hand, I was just as happy not to see The Diane Rehm Show in the lineup. Sad to say, Diane Rehm has become very hard to listen to.
I am, of course, pleased to see Rhythm Sweet and Hot with my friend Mike Plaskett and sidekick Dale Abraham in the schedule, even if the program keeps moving earlier and earlier on Saturday night. (A few years ago, I used to be able to listen to the end of the program after I went to bed.)
Finally, although I find Indian music about as hard to listen to as whatever it is they play on WYEP, I think it was a good decision to retain Music from India. If jazz is hard to find on the radio, Indian music is nearly nonexistent.
Update, 7/1/2011: The Web site for the revamped station can be found at http://www.essentialpublicradio.org/.