The wait is over, as WDET- FM (101.9) — a public service of Wayne State University — unveils today a dramatic and exciting change to its weekly programming schedule.
Music has returned to WDET’s midday slot in the form of CultureShift, a new show that provides listeners with a weekday “soundtrack” to discovering Detroit. The show will air weekdays, beginning July 27, from noon to 3 p.m. It will be co-hosted by Travis Wright and Amanda LeClaire, along with other WDET contributors, and executive produced by Alex Trajano. The show will re-air from midnight to 3 a.m. each night.
But it won’t just be all about playing tunes not found anywhere else. CultureShift expands upon Wright’s previous one-hour weekly arts and culture program, Culture City, and will include coverage of local music, arts and food, as well as a curated guide to what’s happening locally (restaurant openings, concerts, events).
“Detroit has always been a place that breeds creativity and innovation,” said WDET General Manager Michelle Srbinovich. “We believe Detroit is the perfect place to be building the future sound of public media, and CultureShift will ultimately provide some unique opportunities to take creative risks and develop up-and-coming talent. I envision it as a lab, where we can experiment with new ideas for programming and audience engagement.”
The show’s format is new to the scene and is a hybrid between a music show and a “magazine,” similar to National Public Radio’s increasingly popular news magazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
“Detroit deserves daily local radio programming that reflects who we are outside of politics and sports, all the other fun stuff that defines us culturally,” Wright said. “Musically, we know Detroiters hold a deep appreciation for a number of genres, and CultureShift will weave them all together in a way that respects their intelligence.”
Srbinovich said she’s unaware of any other radio program in public or commercial media that is hosted live and combines curated music discovery with stories from a number of contributors.
“Although CultureShift will be very music-driven in the beginning, it will feature an increasing number of contextual interviews, stories and the kind of sound-rich features public radio is known for,” Srbinovich said. “The proportion of music to talk will evolve and we don’t expect that the show listeners hear today will sound like the show they are hearing in October or six months from now.”
CultureShift replaces nationally syndicated programs The Takeaway and q, which airs locally on the CBC. One-hour storytelling and entertainment programs including The Moth and This American Life that currently air in the 1 p.m. hour will continue to be broadcast on weekday evenings alongside a second hour of curated one-hour shows.
New additions to the 10 p.m. to midnight block include the investigative journalism show Reveal and music review show Sound Opinions, both distributed by Public Radio Exchange. Radiolab, from WNYC Studios, will move to 3 p.m. on Fridays and WDET’s own Modern Music with Jon Moshier will move up to 8 p.m.
“WDET is doubling down on its commitment to being a truly Detroit station by investing in more local programming,” Srbinovich said. “We re-launched Detroit Today, our daily talk show, and expanded our newsroom, and the ratings are the highest they’ve been in a decade. Now we’re doing the same with our coverage of arts and culture.”