Public radio station 89.1, WEMU has added the syndicated program Jazz 24 to its week night programming from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Monday though Friday, replacing ‘Evening Sounds’ with Evelynn Hawkins which was canceled for budget reasons. Jazz 24 is also WEMU’s current overnight service.
“It was an extremely hard decision to cancel our local program on week nights in favor of a syndicated service” said General Manager, Mary Motherwell. “Evelynn Hawkins is a talented announcer and she did a good job with the show. But, even though our fundraising dollars have increased, they are not enough to entirely offset the $100,000 budget cut WEMU incurred this year so we had to make a change.
“By making this change we believe that we can keep the prime-time core of our locally produced music programs intact. WEMU is committed to remaining a hyper-local community public radio station.”
“Fortunately Ms. Hawkins was able to transition into another position here at Eastern Michigan University at no loss to her salary and benefits. I’m very happy about that and we all wish her well in her new position”
WEMU is finishing the third year of a self-imposed three year budget cut of $250,000 implemented when funding to higher education was cut by 15% in 2011. The station was able to avoid cuts to its programming in the previous two years through increased fundraising and cuts to off-air staff positions. Although the current fiscal year was a record one in terms of listener contributions, they were not enough to cover all costs.
Jazz24 can be heard from 7:00pm to Midnight weekdays. This is in addition to its current scheduled slots of Midnight to 5:00am seven days a week and 10:00pm to Midnight Saturdays and Sundays.
Jazz24 features jazz greats like Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Dave Brubeck alongside today's top talent like Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, Pat Metheny and more. Blues, funk and Latin jazz are also added to mix. The tunes are selected by legendary jazz programmers and played by longtime jazz hosts and aficionados. Jazz24 is a service of Seattle area public radio station KPLU; more information can be found at jazz24.org.