“RadioWest” is taking the summer off, but it's absolutely, positively returning — with a few changes — according to KUER-FM 90.1.
The host of the weekday radio interview show, Doug Fabrizio, broke the news on-air and online Monday morning. The show will continue to air weekdays at 9 a.m. (with a 7 p.m. repeat) through the end of the week; the monthslong hiatus begins Monday, May 27.
“This isn’t a goodbye,” Fabrizio assured listeners, “it’s like what you wrote in your friend’s high school yearbook about hoping they have a great summer and that you’ll see them in the fall.”
When, exactly, the show will be back hasn't been determined, according to Joel Meyer, KUER's director of programming. “We don't have an exact date. We're just saying the end of the summer.”
The plan is for Fabrizio and the show’s production staff to spend the summer months recharging their batteries while they rethink the show that’s aired five days a week for 18 years.
“When this show went on the air, there was no podcasting, there were no smartphones, no social media,” said KUER General Manager Maria O’Mara. “And those have all had, I think, implications on the way the audience consumes the product.
“And then the other big reason is that Doug needs a break. Doug needs a chance to just reassess and think about the show creatively. I think that's really important for his creative energy.”
Whatever changes “RadioWest” undergoes are more likely to be tweaks than major overhauls. Fabrizio told listeners not to expect any big changes when the show returns.
In the meantime, KUER will air “BBC OS” — a news program produced by the BBC — weekdays at 9 a.m.; a repeat of “1A” will air weeknights at 7 p.m. (Beginning Monday, “Marketplace” and “The Daily” will move up three hours on the schedule, to 3 and 3:30 p.m., respectively. The three-hour “All Things Considered” will slide back an hour to 4 p.m.)
Station management considered airing “RadioWest” repeats through the summer, or bringing in guest hosts.
“And as we were talking, we realized that if the show’s on the air that the staff of ‘RadioWest’ is engaged, even if it’s in repeats,” O’Mara said. “They are going to need to be making daily decisions about things. The draw to be pulled back in to the daily grind is just too overwhelming.
"So we thought a real hiatus — a real break — it allows you to step off of that constant production wheel.”
“It’s hard to reinvent the plane while you’re flying it,” Meyer said.
Both Fabrizio and station managers repeatedly made it clear that “RadioWest” is just taking a temporary break.
“It’s our most important product here at KUER,” Meyer said. “It’s the jewel of our station, and maintaining the creative spark that has driven the show for so long is really important. And that’s why it was worth it to us to make a change like this for the summer, which is a little bit unorthodox for a daily show.”