When the Morning Edition show wraps up and classical music begins, there’s a portion of Kansas Public Radio 91.5 FM listeners who immediately dial away to another station.
Hey, not everyone’s a classical junkie, KPR news director J. Schafer said. Same for jazz, KPR’s other signature music genre.
“We do have a wide variety of programming, but for people who are just interested in news and talk … you like to have an alternative to serve them,” he said.
In June Kansas University-based KPR launched a new frequency from its Lawrence transmitter — KPR2 at 96.1 FM — that broadcasts only news and talk radio shows, all day.
National Public Radio’s signature newsmagazines, “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” will be simulcast from 5 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays, according to a KPR announcement. BBC World Service shows will make up the bulk of the remaining programming.
Programs on KPR2 96.1 FM that aren’t available on 91.5 FM include “Radiolab,” “Freakonomics” and “New Yorker Radio Hour,” among others.
The range of 96.1 FM is not as far-reaching as 91.5 FM, Schafer said. But listeners across Lawrence, Douglas County and parts of neighboring counties should be able to tune in, including Tonganoxie.
KPR2 existed previously as KPR’s HD service, but it was only available to listeners with special HD radios or via live streaming through the KPR website.
KPR2 also was broadcast over FM in the Manhattan area, Schafer said. A “frequency swap” enabled KPR to broadcast over 96.1 FM in Lawrence instead.
“Since 1952 when KANU, or KPR, first went on the air, it’s been trying to be all things to all people all the time,” Schafer said.
There is no change to programming on KPR 91.5 FM. It will continue to carry NPR news and entertainment shows, classical music, jazz, local and Statehouse news.