A New Year, A New WMUK!

Overview
New Program Schedule
Radio Frequencies Guide
FAQ


OVERVIEW

The new year brings an exciting opportunity to enhance our service and continue feeding into our community for years to come.  As of Monday, January 20, 2020, WMUK expanded its programming across two channels to include a full line-up of news and information programming on 102.1 FM, as well as a dedicated channel for classical music and the arts on 89.9 FM.

WMUK has been dedicated to sharing knowledge and the arts as well as serving our listening community for almost 70 years; and with enhancing our services it enables us to play an important role in our community for years to come. 

Our mission is to share knowledge, explore ideas, and tell compelling stories.  It’s an extension of what we’ve always been here to do, serving as a vital public service of Western Michigan University.  We are expanding on that commitment by becoming the NPR station of choice for listeners across Western Michigan.  

102.1 FM NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT

Your one stop source for local, national and global news, thoughtful analysis and conversation every day of the week.  

On January 20, WMUK doubled the amount of news and information programming hours available on 102.1 FM, and on our livestream at wmuk.org.  We've added great new weekday programs like  NPR’s Fresh Air, On Point and 1A as well as The Takeaway from PRX, and The Daily from The New York Times. 

Weekend programming now features popular new shows such as This American Life, Radiolab, Milk Street Radio, A Way with Words and Live Wire.  We’ve also expanded local hosting for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  This exciting new line-up is sure to answer all your news and information needs. 

Click here to see the full schedule of news and entertainment programming.

89.9 FM CLASSICAL WMUK

Kalamazoo’s only dedicated 24/7 classical music station.  

WMUK has brought a new dedicated classical music station WMUK 89.9 FM and WMUK HD-2, doubling the amount of classical programming to our audience. To celebrate, we’ve added new shows like SymphonyCast from American Public Media, and the return of Pipedreams.

Live Metropolitan Opera Radio broadcasts also finds a new home on this channel. This brand new classical music service is also being simulcast on the secondary HD-2 audio channel of 102.1 FM. (More than half of all new cars are now factory-installed with HD Radios.)

Click here to see a full schedule of classical programming.

OUR MISSION FOR 2020

Building on WMUK’s strength as the local NPR station of choice for the region, our news reporters and arts producers are working more closely together to provide better coverage of local issues, including cultural coverage.  Our focus will continue to be on our listeners, which is why our new visual identity focuses on “u” as a unique identifier for our service.

Additionally, listeners will find a number of new national news, information, entertainment and music programs added to our schedule, to provide a better listening experience overall.  We are excited to bring you this new service – one intended to deepen our commitment to providing quality local and national journalism, meaningful information, and continued coverage of the arts.

“With two distinct formats, we believe the listening experience will be improved,” said Stephen Williams, General Manager of WMUK.  “Our listeners across the region will be able to enjoy without interruption the kind of programming they prefer 24/7.”


NEW PROGRAM SCHEDULE

See below for a full listing of WMUK’s new program schedule for news and information on 102.1 FM and classical music on 89.9 FM / WMUK HD-2.  (More information on radio frequencies further below.) 

If you are unable to view the embedded program schedule, please click here to download the document directly.

RADIO FREQUENCIES GUIDE

WMUK 102.1 FM continues to be heard across Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana.  Our new Classical WMUK service can be heard on most FM radios one of two ways: 

  • On 89.9 FM in Kalamazoo.
  • On the HD-2 channel of WMUK 102.1 FM (in newer model vehicles). 

Classical listeners outside of Kalamazoo will need an HD Radio, which is found in most new cars as a standard or optional feature.  Set top HD Radios can also be purchased.  There are various manufacturers who make HD Radio models.  Please see FAQ for more information.  Additionally, if you do not have or choose to purchase an HD Radio, Classical WMUK can be streamed through our website or mobile app.

Below is a full coverage map of our two signals. 

If you are unable to view the embedded coverage map, please click here to download the document directly. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why are you changing WMUK’s format now? 

Our stated vision is to become the NPR station of choice for listeners in our region. That means celebrating the best of what our community has to offer and making our most listened-to genre (news and information) available and easily accessible. We turned to two nationally-recognized consulting firms, as well as WMU’s own Haworth College of Business to help navigate our strategic planning and decision-making process.

Based on our research, with two distinct formats we believe the listening experience will be improved. Audience reports, surveys and focus group research showed that the majority of our listeners prefer and would like more news and information programming.  Additionally, this change allows us to introduce NEW national news and entertainment programs as well as NEW classical programs. 

What are the new programs that WMUK is now offering?  

We are thrilled to expand programming with the following new national programs on 102.1 FM and encourage you to learn more about them: 

  • On Point, a live talk show from NPR and WBUR.
  • The Takeaway, a news talk show from PRX, WNYC and WGBH
  • 1A, a daily news talk show convening a conversation about the most important issues of our time. From WAMU and NPR.
  • Fresh Air, an award-winning weekday conversation program hosted by Terry Gross. From WHYY and NPR
  • The Daily, an evening news show from The New York Times

The new entertainment programs on 102.1 FM programs

  • This American Life, a weekly program from WBEZ that reports on a different aspect of Americans' lives, explored in multiple acts.
  • Radiolab, a weekly show devoted to investigating a strange world through the lens of science, philosophy and sound. 
  • Milk Street Radio, a weekly program about food and culture from PRX
  • A Way with Words, a weekly show discussing language in everyday life
  • Live Wire, a weekly radio theatre variety show

The new classical music programs on 89.9 FM and WMUK HD-2 (“Classical WMUK”): 

What is happening with music?

Music is not going away.  Classical music will now be available on “Classical WMUK.”  If you live in Kalamazoo or Portage, chances are good that you’ll be able to listen to Classical WMUK on 89.9 FM.  If you live outside of these communities, this channel can be heard on the secondary HD channel of our 102.1 FM signal.  You only need an HD Radio, which is found in most new cars as a standard or optional feature.  Set top HD Radios can also be purchased. If you have a virtual assistant device like Alexa and are looking for our classical station, simply as her to “Play WMUK 2”

And the acoustic music on Sundays will remain on the primary 102.1 FM signal, including favorite programs like Grassroots, American Routes and more. 

How do I find the new programs on my radio? 

Please go to our website:  wmuk.org and click on the box on the right sidebar.  That will take you to a program schedule in which you can find the WMUK and Classical WMUK frequencies.  You can even download and print the schedules here

How do I find my favorite programs?  How do I know when to listen to my favorite program? 

Simply click here to view and download a program schedule in which you can find your program by its name and see when it now airs and on which stream (WMUK or Classical WMUK). 

Why did you move classical music to the 89.9 FM signal, instead of the other way around?  How did you decide on the formats for the two streams? 

When we look at our listenership numbers and behavior, the overwhelming majority of our audience tunes in for the NPR news magazines, Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  Many of those same listeners indicated a strong preference for news programming at middays as well.  So in order to provide continuity for the greatest number of people, we kept news on WMUK 102.1 FM. 

The midday and weekend classical programming previously found on 102.1 FM has been moved to 89.9 FM in Kalamazoo, and will remain on the HD-2 102.1 FM frequency as well as online at wmuk.org. 

 

Will there still be newscasts during classical music? 

Yes. We understand that some classical music listeners are also news consumers.  So we’re still offering five-minute newscasts at the top of the hour for Classical WMUK. 

However, apart from the top of the hour, both programming services will be distinct from each other.  In the same way that news consumers may prefer at times to find respite by switching to the new Classical WMUK music stream, classical music listeners can easily switch between our stations to find more news and non-classical music on the new WMUK 102.1 FM. 

Why didn’t you put all the music programs together on one stream? 

We have a classical music constituency who will benefit from a stream dedicated purely to classical music. Additionally, we will continue to explore the wide world of non-classical music on WMUK 102.1 FM.  These non-classical music programs, such as Grassroots, have always been grouped with the talk, information and entertainment programs found on our Sunday morning lineup.  This led to the decision to keep that grouping and keep the non-classical music programs on our 102.1 FM signal, where there was time and space for programming on Sunday afternoons and evenings. 

Why did you cancel [my favorite show]? 

It’s true that some of our past shows can no longer be found on WMUK.  Thankfully, the amount of shows that were not continued is relatively small. 

Our mobile app and NPR’s free audio app, called “NPR One,” will give you access to some of the programs on-demand that we do not carry on our air.  You can install these free apps via Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store

Why are some shows repeating? 

On the new WMUK 102.1 FM, we wanted to give listeners a second chance to hear some of the NPR programs they might not otherwise be able to catch.  This includes shows like Fresh Air and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me! 

On Classical WMUK (89.9 FM and WMUK HD-2), you’ll also find repeat airings of Performance Today, as well as the new addition of Performance Today Weekend

Is this the final version of the program schedule? 

Yes, this is the finalized version.  However, WMUK is always evaluating our programming to better serve our growing audience.  Any scheduling changes are always carefully considered, and mission-based. 

 

Why did you pick this date (January 20) for the realignment to begin? 

20/20 vision is popularly understood as possessing clear vision, which coincides with WMUK’s new vision, identity, brand and outlook for the new year and coincides with the year in which it was launched.  We’ve branded this new vision and identity, “Relaunch 2020.”  In keeping with “Relaunch 2020,” we’re starting our new service on the 20th. 

I don’t live in Kalamazoo, and can’t receive the 89.9 FM signal. 

That’s okay – we have several ways to enjoy our classical service through the simulcast on WMUK’s HD-2 service on our primary 102.1 FM signal.  Additionally, most new cars have HD radios factory-installed, which allow you to listen to the primary HD-1 signal, or secondary programming on HD-2. 

Here are a few models which you may wish to consider: 

You can also tune to Classical WMUK on our website and mobile app. 

I’m having other reception problems. 

If you are having other reception problems, please contact us directly by sending an email to feedback@wmuk.org  Each reception issue can be unique and often requires individual attention; so please allow time for us to respond. 

I’m a sustaining member of WMUK, where is my money going now? How do I designate my donation to WMUK or Classical WMUK? 

First, we appreciate your support.  For almost 70 years, WMUK has offered a wide variety of programs, including national and international news, local and global music, as well as niche programs such as radio theater and storytelling.  And we know that everyone has their favorite genre.  At this time, we’re not able to designate individual membership gifts to one particular show or program service. We’re a united station group, so all gifts go towards maintaining and expanding all of our work. 

However, if you are interested in making an endowment level gift through a bequest, trust or other planned giving, WMUK is very much able to dedicate your contribution to a specific funding area targeted at specific programming or services. 

Why are you adopting the format of other news-format NPR stations? I already turn to them for some of these new shows.

Fundamentally, we wanted to meet a pressing need that our listener research revealed:  a clear majority of our listeners say they want more news and information, particularly at middays.

We want to give more people reason to stay with their local public radio station, based and originating here in Western Michigan.  We think our balance of local reporting and cultural coverage, in addition to our new network programming and the creation of Classical WMUK, provides a compelling new reason for listeners to stay with WMUK throughout the day for their news, information and music needs.

Now that you’ve made this change, what’s next for WMUK? 

Our vision is to become the regional NPR station of choice for a growing community of public radio listeners and supporters.  We will continue to work towards that vision in everything we do. 

Our mission for the station is to share knowledge, explore ideas and tell compelling stories that engage listeners and communities across Western Michigan and beyond.  We intend to play an active role as a community convener and to help build a healthy community of informed citizens. We are open to developments in our industry and beyond, and embrace innovation that allows us to provide even better service to our region. 

 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS / COMMENTS?

You can send your comments to the attention of WMUK’s General Manager: 

  • Via email:  feedback@wmuk.org   Please be sure you make your subject line “WMUK Relaunch 2020”
  • Via postal mail:  WMUK, 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5351