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Listeners Have Spoken; New Programs come to 88.9 KETR

A photo of a live Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me recording.
Jerry Schulman Photography
NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me is a production of WBEZ 91.5 in Chicago - the show is recorded 'live-to-tape' using a very real panel game show format.

We have great news for 88.9 KETR listeners! Your station is adding four new programs:

  • BBC World Service, The international leader in round-the-clock news and information
  • Invisibilia, One of the most popular new programs in public broadcasting
  • Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, A hilarious current-events quiz show from NPR
  • The Thomas Jefferson Hour, A look into the life and thought of our nation's third president

Starting this Friday evening, 88.9 KETR will be replacing its overnight music mix with nonstop news from BBC World Service. This change will allow us to reconnect with third-shifters, overnight listeners, folks just passing through the region, and anyone else who may wish to know or follow what’s going on in the world after the sun goes down. The nighttime hours will still lead off with the latest NPR newscast, and we will still provide local weather and other newsworthy information as necessary. We’re just partnering with another globally recognized and trusted source of news and information in order to make good on our mission, even overnight.

The other new programs will debut this weekend. Invisibilia will air Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at Noon. Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that could ultimately make you see your own life differently.

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me has been requested by many listeners, as it's a Saturday-morning mainstay on most public radio stations.  88.9 KETR will present the beloved news panel game show at 9 a.m. following Weekend Edition Saturday. A rebroadcast will air at 3 p.m. on Sundays.

The Thomas Jefferson Hour, hosted by historian Clay Jenkinson, presents themes of citizenship and critical thinking. The program has become a huge favorite among public-radio listeners who enjoy its historical accuracy, emphasis on civility in politics, and efforts to apply Jefferson's thinking to our own times.  88.9 KETR will broadcast the show Saturdays at 6 a.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.

See the full weekly schedule here.

In public broadcasting, part of our job is to engage with the communities we serve in order to learn about 

A photo of Clay Jenkinson dressed as Thomas Jefferson
Credit jeffersonhour.com
Host Clay Jenkinson portrays the third President of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson, each week on The Thomas Jefferson Hour.

what would make our service the most valuable. As a 100,000-watt FM radio station and an online news and entertainment service, our reach is enormous. Our signal is capable of reaching nearly 250,000 homes in rural northeast Texas – that’s over a half-million people!

While everyone who CAN listen may not always BE listening, we still take very seriously our mission to serve northeast Texas citizens with entertaining, educational, and informative programming. Our desire, which is also that of our donors, friends, corporate supporters, and grant support organizations, is that this station keeps the tenets of public broadcasting in the forefront while appealing to a broad potential listenership.

In many cases, 88.9 KETR listeners can only get one radio station. In even more cases, 88.9 KETR listeners have no home access to the internet, or they have limited or no browsing or streaming capabilities through smartphones. Many of us take for granted how easily we can gain access to information about our region and the world, and don’t consider that free over-the-air broadcast is not only still the primary means of media consumption for many rural denizens, but also continues to have growing audience numbers year after year.

For these reasons and others, we must be certain that what we’re doing day-to-day through our channels is in alignment with the needs and the desires of our listeners – particularly those for whom we are their primary window on the world. The adjustments to our program offerings listed herein have been informed by countless conversations with you, our listeners, and by surveys and other means of engagement. We appreciate and value the opportunity to serve you.

Some of our regular weekend programs will slide around the schedule to find new homes. A Prairie Home Companion, for instance, will still air originally at 5pm on Saturdays, but the Sunday rebroadcast will come at 10 a.m., which we believe will allow the program to be discovered by a new audience. Some programs which no longer provide the value expected by those whose support dollars we steward have been removed. You may find the updated program schedule at this link.

Change is never easy. We often structure our lives around people and events and use them as mile markers 

A photo of Invisibilia hosts Lulu Miller, Alix Spiegel, and Hanna Rosin
Credit NPR Photo
Invisibilia hosts Lulu Miller, Alix Spiegel, and Hanna Rosin

and posts in our routines. And when change happens, those routines require adjustment. But this much is true: I’m confident in the research that our team has conducted, and in the engagement process of which we’ve all been a part. I’m confident that the programming 88.9 KETR will begin to offer beginning at 11 p.m. on the evening of June 17 will better serve current and future listeners in Northeast Texas. And I’m confident that this station’s donors, sponsors, and supporters will be pleased with the service that they help to make happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week on radios, computers, and mobile devices across northeast Texas and around the world.

It’s an honor and a thrill to provide this region with such an invaluable service, and I look forward to growing together in the months and years to come.

Jerrod Knight
General Manager

Jerrod Knight oversees station programming, news and sports operations, individual and corporate development efforts, business and budget planning and execution, and technical operations.