Thursday, September 25, 2008

Weekend Schedule Tweaks

It's been almost a year since Vermont Public Radio split its programming into two distinct services: VPR and VPR Classical. In that time, we've heard from literally thousands of listeners with cheers and jeers, as well as suggestions, requests, and questions. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, we are so honored that so many of you care deeply enough about your public radio station to take the time to let us know what you think.

And we work hard to do our best by our listeners. As a result of your comments over the last year, we're making a few tweaks to our weekend lineup beginning this Saturday. Here they are, in short:


12-1pm: The Splendid Table (moved from 3pm)
1-2pm: Marketplace Money (moved from 4pm)
2-4pm: World Cafe (moved from noon)
4-5pm: The Sound of Young America (moved from 6pm Sunday)


6-7pm: This American Life (moved from 2pm Sunday)

Check out our full schedules for VPR and VPR Classical (and even print out a handy PDF schedule grid) at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Terrific Way to be Stuck in Vermont

Thank you to everyone who attended our listener picnic last weekend at the UVM Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge. The weather was perfect, the horses magnificent, the music fantastic...and then there's you! It is a joy and a real honor to meet and speak with our loyal listeners. You always tell us that you love being able to put faces to voices you hear on the radio - well, the same goes for us. We love meeting the people who power public radio in this state.

For a true taste of the day, check out this video postcard of the picnic. It was produced by Eva Sollberger of Seven Days' Stuck in Vermont video blog:

Also, visit our website for tons of photos and the audio of Jane Lindholm's interview with On Point Host Tom Ashbrook. If you have photos, we hope you'll add them to our Flickr group!

Friday, September 19, 2008

VPR and VPR Classical on your Internet/Wi-Fi Radio

A number of listeners have emailed recently with questions about Internet Radios (aka Wi-Fi Radio). If you've never heard of it, internet radios are just "radios" that very conveniently play online streams. It's just like streaming a radio station on iTunes or Windows Media Player except you're using a small radio, not a computer.

The most common question from listeners has to do with errors in the station frequencies or listings. One listener looked up WNCH 88.1FM expecting to hear VPR Classical, but heard VPR instead. Our President & General Manager Mark Vogelzang was using an Internet Radio and he could only find a low-bandwidth option for VPR Classical and not the high-bandwidth stream. These sorts of errors are common right now (since this is a new technology). The reason is that these radios look up database directories to find the streams and these listings are prone to errors. The good news is that many wi-fi radio manufacturers provide easy-to-use websites that let you correct errors and add new listings to the directory.

Which leads to the next question: how can I add VPR and VPR Classical if I don't find it in my Wi-Fi Radio? This varies among the different radios, but every brand has some way of adding your own favorites if you don't find it in their lists. To do that, you'll need these web URLs for the streams:

VPR high-bandwidth:
VPR low-bandwidth:
VPR Classical high-bandwidth:
VPR Classical low-bandwidth:

If you have questions or feedback about Wi-Fi Radio, send them along.

Jonathan Butler
Online Manager
Vermont Public Radio

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What happened to All Things Considered on Sunday?

You were probably surprised to have heard Marketplace Money in place of All Things Considered last Sunday evening. That's because the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS), the system NPR uses to get audio from there to VPR, suffered a complete outage of its audio distribution service just before 4 p.m. as the result of a tripped circuit breaker in the power supply chain.

Due to the severity of the outage and some unanticipated problems in transferring operations to the back-up operations center, All Things Considered did not reach VPR, and thanks to the quick response by our board operators, we were able to put on Marketplace Money in its place.

While outages like these are never ideal, technical problems are an occasional part of broadcasting - it's just the nature of an industry that relies heavily on technology. Sometimes, if we're lucky, it becomes a blessing in disguise. As a result of this outage, NPR is working to improve its backup and response plan in the event that this happens again, in order to maintain service with minimal interruption.

VPR is evaluating its backup plan as well by working to keep a ready supply of programming that may be aired in the event that an audio feed from NPR is unavailable. We're also working to improve our communications about such outages to you, our listeners, so we can keep you in the loop as well.