Public Radio Changes
Former KAZU DJs move variety show down the dial.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
JT Mason and Robin Roberts, popular hosts of KAZU''s long-running talk-music program "The Roadside Cafe," have taken their show over to public radio station KUSP at 88.9FM. Their new morning show "The Open Road" makes its debut Feb. 3 at 11am as part of an all-new line-up at the Santa Cruz station.
KUSP station manager Peter Troxell says the new schedule has been a year in the making, and was developed after extensive polling of member listeners.
The new line-up includes a 5 percent increase in national programming, which will now make up 30 percent of the station''s airtime. One new national show is "Democracy Now," produced by Pacifica.
In addition, Troxell says, "we heard the cry from KAZU fans about losing their opera," so KUSP has opened up a Sunday slot for opera from 11:30am to 2pm, followed by world music from 2-6pm. Some regular hosts have had their schedules shuffled, but Troxell says everyone will be used somehow within the new format.
"The Open Road," scheduled 11am-1pm weekdays, will feature Mason and Roberts Monday through Wednesday mornings, and other local hosts on Thursday and Friday. Roberts says the format will resemble that of "The Roadside Cafe," although they will only do music-oriented interviews-no book reviews or literary events, for the time being.
"We''re calling it singer-songwriter, Americana-based music, with dipping into various other genres from time to time."
"The Roadside Cafe" went through a shake-up last summer when KAZU dropped virtually all of its local programming. Mason and Roberts finally resigned Nov. 1. "They wanted us to have the same sound as the rest of the station," says Roberts. "That would have meant eliminating the music, and we didn''t want that." She and Mason are, she says, "very happy to be working together again."