Nine new programs coming to WBHM beginning March 7

New programming will include “Sound Opinions,” “Bluegrass Breakdown,” “Highway 61,” “Ask Me Another,” “The Splendid Table,” “Travel with Rick Steves” and “On Being,” as well as expanded classical music and a Friday rebroadcast of “Fresh Air.”

WBHMProgramJoomlaNine new programs are coming to WBHM beginning Saturday, March 7.

“It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders,” “Sound Opinions,” “Bluegrass Breakdown,” “Highway 61,” “Ask Me Another,” “The Splendid Table,” “Travel with Rick Steves” and “On Being” are scheduled for weekends, and weeknights will now include “Marketplace.”

In addition, classical music will begin at 8 p.m. weekdays and at 10 p.m. Saturdays, and the rebroadcast of “Fresh Air,” which currently airs Monday through Thursday from 7-8 p.m., will include Fridays. 

Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM is a listener-supported service of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“These new programs represent some of the best that public radio has to offer,” said Michael Krall, WBHM’s program director. “We encourage you to listen to these new programs, and we are confident that you will find the programming to be substantive, enlightening and entertaining — exactly the sort of quality public radio programming you have come to expect from WBHM.”

The impetus for WBHM’s programming change came with the announcement that PRX, a program distributor, is canceling “Studio 360” after 20 years of production. The show’s archive will remain online, according to PRX, and the final episode will air Saturday, Feb. 29, at 1 p.m., and again Sunday, March 1, at noon.

“We are continually evaluating our schedule and listening to new program offerings,” Krall said. “But with the space left by ‘Studio 360,’ we had an opportunity to move a few shows around and feature some programs our listeners have been requesting.”

The station will also no longer broadcast jazz in the evenings. Jazz enthusiasts are encouraged to listen to WAJH, formerly WVSU-FM from Samford University, which is now Birmingham’s only dedicated jazz-exclusive radio station. Acquired by The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 2018, WAJH plays both classic recordings and new releases, with a focus on Alabama artists.

“Marketplace,” airing weekdays from 6-6:30 p.m., is public radio’s daily magazine on business and economic news “for the rest of us.” The 30-minute program, with an irreverent reporting style all its own, boasts the largest audience for any business program in the United States on radio, cable or network television. In conjunction with “Marketplace Morning Report,” this package of financial programming covers listeners from wallet to Wall Street. 

“Sound Opinions,” airing Saturdays from 5-6 p.m., is where people who love music can come together. Whether you are an expert or just a casual fan, “Sound Opinions” is your source for smart and engaging music criticism and conversation. Each week on the show, nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis interview artists, talk about pop culture and music industry news, review new record releases, and give trends a historical context. And, because, on “Sound Opinions” “everyone’s a critic,” listeners are invited to join in the debate. 

“Bluegrass Breakdown” airs Saturdays from 8-9 p.m. Produced by WPLN in Nashville and hosted by Dave Higgs, the show is “an emotionally charged, heart-rending, paint-peeling, splinter-kicking one-hour bluegrass show.” 

“Highway 61,” airing Saturdays from 9-10 p.m., is an award-winning, one-hour blues program from Mississippi Public Broadcasting hosted by Scott Baretta at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. Baretta is a writer and researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail, former editor of Living Blues magazine and author of “Mississippi: State of the Blues.” Each week, “Highway 61” delivers the best in blues music and culture: past, present and future. 

If you are exhausted by the news but cannot seem to focus on anything else, this weekly show with former NPR political reporter Sam Sanders will help. “It’s Been a Minute,” airing Saturdays and Sundays from 9-10 a.m., is an irreverent, casual space to process the pace of current events and get introduced to new favorites in music, TV and more. It is a wrap of the week paired with deep-dive interviews with musicians, actors and newsmakers. As Sanders says, “The world is complicated; let’s talk it out.”

Recently, CPB and NPR partnered with public media stations to launch Gulf States Newsroom, with WBHM in Birmingham serving as the hub.

“Ask Me Another,” airing Sundays from 11 a.m.-noon, brings the lively spirit and healthy competition of your favorite trivia night right to your ears. With a rotating cast of funny people, puzzle writers and VIP guests, it features the wit of host Ophira Eisenberg, the music of house musician Jonathan Coulton and rambunctious trivia games, all played in front of a live audience.

“The Splendid Table,” airing Sundays from noon-1 p.m., is hosted by award-winning food writer Francis Lam. A culinary, culture and lifestyle program, it has hosted the nation’s conversations about cooking, sustainability and food culture and has introduced us to generations of food dignitaries. Lam delivers a modern, multicultural weekly snapshot of the food world, exploring different cultures, cuisines and ideas, as well as the small personal stories that come out of the expansive world of the table. As a former restaurant cook and culinary school graduate, Lam can handle virtually any food query and loves taking listeners’ calls. He is keenly interested in people and their stories and believes that one of the keys to understanding people better is to learn what they cook and how they eat. “The Splendid Table” frequently visits with the test cooks at “America’s Test Kitchen” to discuss a wide range of topics including recipes, ingredients, techniques and kitchen equipment. 

“Travel with Rick Steves,” airing Sundays from 1-2 p.m., showcases America’s most respected authority on European travel, Rick Steves, who empowers Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable and culturally broadening. Steves produces a best-selling guidebook series, a popular public television show, a weekly public radio show, a syndicated travel column, and free travel information available through his travel center and website. “Rick Steves’ Europe” also runs a successful small-group tour program taking 30,000 travelers to Europe annually.

“On Being,” airing Sundays from 6-7 p.m., is the only program in American media dedicated to the large questions at the center of human existence and how these questions of meaning find practical resonance in our lives. Each week, the show takes up the big questions with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers. Host/executive producer Krista Tippett was awarded the 2013 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.”