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NPR's Changes To 'Morning Edition' Clock Mean More Vermont News

Scott Finn took over as president of VPR in March, and says the station should stay focused on audio storytelling.

Update for 2/16/15:  Due to popular demand, we have reconfigured the top of each hour during Morning Edition to bring back the Eye On The Sky Forecast from Mark Breen. You'll hear his reports at 6:06, 7:06, and 8:06, following NPR and VPR news. The 6:31 (recreational), 7:31, 7:50 (weather journal), and 8:31 forecasts will stay the same. We hope you like what you hear!

Original Post: Beginning Monday, November 17, you will notice some changes to Morning Edition as NPR implements some long-planned changes to its program clock. 

A program clock is essentially the template NPR uses to sync its programming with local stations, and determines what you hear when. The changes are affecting stations across the country and will make Morning Edition sound different -  but they also present an exciting opportunity to improve our service to you. 

The biggest change you’ll hear is an additional NPR and VPR newscast each hour between 6-9 a.m. Instead of two newscasts at the top and the bottom of each hour, you’ll now hear three NPR and VPR newscasts per hour, a longer version at :01 after the hour, and shorter news updates at :19 and :42 past. With these additional newscasts, you’re certain to be up to date on the latest news, no matter what time you tune in!

The other exciting change is the new clock provides additional windows for VPR News throughout the morning, you’ll hear more of the in-depth reports and interviews that explore the important issues affecting our region.

The new clock will take some getting used to – we know many of you rely on what’s on VPR to tell you when it’s time to get up, when you need to be out the door, and when you’re running late! We promise we'll do our very best to make sure you're still getting everything you need from VPR every morning. Read on for specifics of where to find what! 

Download the VPR Fan's Guide to the New Sound of 'Morning Edition.'

More Frequent Newscasts
Instead of two newscasts per hour from NPR and VPR, you’ll now hear three each hour during Morning Edition, so you know that no matter when you tune in, you won’t have to wait long for the latest news and weather. A longer newscast is at the top of the hour, with shorter versions at :19 past and :42 past.

More VPR News
The new clock also gives VPR the opportunity to offer what you’ve been asking for: more in-depth stories, features, and interviews that explore important issues and the character of our region. And if you’re not an early riser, you’ll hear more local news in the 8:00 hour. VPR News brings you in-depth reports and interviews at 6:45, 7:46, and 8:44 each morning.

Eye On The Sky Forecasts
You’ll continue to hear the Eye On The Sky weather forecast at the end of each VPR newscast. The longer Eye On The Sky forecasts by Mark Breen are at 6:31 and 7:31, and 8:31. The Recreational Outlook is at 6:31 and the Weather Journal is at 7:50.

Sports Report
Mitch’s sports report is at 6:49.

VPR’s daily commentary will broadcast at 8:50, with Art Hounds on Fridays at that time.

The Writer’s Almanac
The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor has moved to 8:54.

Frank Deford
Frank Deford's sports commentaries will now broadcast at 7:51 on Wednesdays, barring any changes for breaking news.

All Things Considered
In addition to Morning Edition, the All Things Considered clock is changing slightly. You’ll hear an additional in-depth story or feature at 4:45 p.m., and a new five-day Eye On The Sky forecast at 6:20. On Fridays, that forecast will provide a weekend outlook.

Weekend Mornings
On Saturday morning, you’ll hear an additional Eye On The Sky forecast right before the 9 o’clock news. On Sunday morning, the Eye On The Sky forecast moves to 8:37 a.m. BirdNote will move from Saturday to Sunday morning at 8:35 a.m. The Sunday Puzzle stays at 8:40 a.m. on Sundays!

We're sharing feedback with NPR about these changes as they roll out. If you have questions or comments, please share them with us here.

New Morning Edition Clock, minute-by-minute:

6:00: NPR Newscast
6:04: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
6:07: Morning Edition
6:19: NPR Newscast
6:20: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
6:22: Morning Edition
6:31: Eye On The Sky Forecast & Recreational Outlook
6:33: Morning Edition
6:42: NPR Newscast
6:44: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
6:45: VPR News
6:49: VPR Sports Report
6:51: Marketplace Morning Report
7:00: NPR Newscast
7:04: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
7:07: Morning Edition
7:19: NPR Newscast
7:20: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
7:22: Morning Edition
7:31: Eye On The Sky Forecast
7:33: Morning Edition
7:42: NPR Newscast
7:44: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
7:46: VPR News
7:50: Eye On The Sky Weather Journal
7:51: Morning Edition
8:00: NPR Newscast
8:04: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
8:07: Morning Edition
8:19: NPR Newscast
8:20: VPR Newscast & EOTS Weather
8:22: Morning Edition
8:31: Eye On The Sky Weather
8:33: Morning Edition
8:42: NPR Newscast
8:44: VPR News & Interviews
8:51: VPR Commentary (Art Hounds on Friday)
8:54: The Writer's Almanac

Update, November 12, 11 a.m.: Thanks to listener feedback, we decided to change the time for the Eye On The Sky Recreational Forecast to 6:31, which we believe will be more useful for folks who are planning a day of outdoor adventure. We've revised the rundown in this post to reflect the change. 

Also, we've heard concerns that the new clock will result in more repetition and shorter, less in-depth stories. While these changes are affecting NPR member stations around the country and will be quite an adjustment for those of us who depend on Morning Editionwe don't expect repetition to increase or the depth of the stories you hear to decrease. We know that’s not why you listen to public radio. You'll continue to hear a compelling mix of local, national and international news, but the structure is better tailored to the way most people are using radio today. 

We listen to radio quite differently than how we consume most media. Audiences tend to tune in and out, especially during busy mornings. Morning Edition has always repeated select top stories to accommodate this listening pattern, we don't expect that to increase with the addition of a newscast each hour - instead, both NPR and VPR will work even harder to provide fresh content throughout the morning.

The stories you hear during Morning Edition from NPR and VPR will be just as long as before, so you can expect the same level of in-depth reporting and storytelling you’ve always enjoyed. In fact, the new clock actually opens up a window for VPR to air an additional in-depth story or interview each day. 

Michelle leads the team that oversees station branding, marketing, events, communications, and audience services. She joined VPR in 2002.
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