WKGC dropping NPR affiliation, picking up BBC, APM shows

By Ben Mook

WKGC in Panama City, Fla., will replace NPR’s newsmagazines with BBC news programs distributed by American Public Media.

The station, which is also dropping its NPR membership, cited duplication of NPR programs in the market as the reason for the schedule change, which takes effect Oct. 1, reports the local News Herald.

During morning and afternoon drive times, BBC World News and NewsHour will air on the WKGC instead of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

WKGC is licensed to Gulf Coast State Community College and shares its service area with WFSU in Tallahassee, operated by Florida State University.

“So, after many hours of discussion and too many sleepless nights, we made the decision to discontinue our affiliation with NPR,” said Harley Pummill, WKGC operations manager, in a Sept. 25 statement posted to the station’s website. “Effective October 1st, this station will be an American Public Media affiliate. News will be provided by the BBC, with a 90-year history of journalistic excellence.” The new schedule also includes the weekly APM series Wits and The Splendid Table.

In June, Salt Lake City pubcaster Wasatch Public Media, licensee of KCPW-FM, also dropped NPR programs from its schedule. It sought to save money and differentiate its service from other pubcasters in the market.

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