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Comments from Jimmy Sanders, General Manager WUGA FM

Manager’s Minute

Please support WUGA FM, your local Public Radio Station.

WUGA to broadcast Presidential Debate
WUGA will present NPR's coverage of the upcoming debate between nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

NPR News will provide live, anchored special coverage and analysis.

All Things Considered host Robert Siegel will anchor the debate special..

Wednesday, October 19: Presidential Debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
This debate will follow the same format as the first presidential debate. It will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by Fox’s Chris Wallace, the moderator. Wallace will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

WUGA Audience Research Project

In the Fall of 2015, WUGA engaged a national research firm to develop a comprehensive study into the current listener needs for public radio in this area. Nearly 500 listeners participated in an in-depth online survey and then we conducted six, in-person, focus groups made up of regular WUGA listeners. The research was then analyzed by the national firm and a summary of audience needs and desires were presented to WUGA management. The survey results were also shared with the members of WUGA's Community Advisory Council in early 2016. .The overwhelming needs expressed in the audience research was for more news and informational programming in the key radio time periods (From 6am to 7pm, Monday-Friday) and for more in-depth, local news reporting.

To address audience concerns, the following initial steps were being taken to make WUGA an even more vital and relevant part of the lives of our listeners and to better achieve our mission:

After several months of research and deliberation, some exciting programming changes were made to our broadcast schedule. With the goal of meeting audience desires for more news and information, we added these outstanding programs to our Monday-Thursday program schedule:

1pm Here and Now
3pm The Takeaway

We will continue to broadcast interviews with local arts and civic groups.

On Fridays, our afternoon schedule look like this:
1pm Athens News Matters (a second broadcast will air Sundays at 12noon)
1:30pm With Good Reason
2:00pm Science Friday
3:00pm Political Rewind

The other key parts of our daily program schedule remain unchanged. In the evenings, we air a block of informational programs 8-9pm (including This American Life on Thursdays), followed by an hour of variety/contemporary music at 9, with classical and jazz music being broadcast 10-11pm. Jazz music has been expanded to two nights a week, on Friday and Saturday nights. Our locally-produced program, African Perspectives, expands to one hour, airing Sundays at 4pm. We have reinstated Latino USA to our schedule, Friday nights at 8pm. Our locally-produced public affairs program, Athens News Matters, is now broadcast twice a week, Friday afternoon at 1pm and Sundays at noon.

Through our relationship with Grady College, a graduate assistantship has been developed which will yield in-depth health reports for WUGA's local newscasts. We are grateful to Dean Charles Davis, Vice President Karri Hobson-Pape and to Professor Pat Thomas for creating this project, which began a two-year term in August 2016. We continue to have discussions with Grady faculty about radio journalism in other areas beyond health.

Thank you for your support of WUGA and please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

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