PR Newswire

Statewide Public Radio News Program Broadcasts From Waco studio

Thursday, Oct 20, 2016

“Texas Standard,” Texas public radio’s statewide news program, puts Waco on its map by broadcasting its Thursday program from Waco public radio station KWBU, 103.3-FM.

Host David Brown and a crew of three will work from the KWBU studio early Thursday morning, aided by another four staffers at “Texas Standard’s” Austin home base.

The hourlong program will go on the air locally at 10 a.m., with a repeat at noon, its usual airtime in Waco.

Brown will speak at a noon KWBU luncheon at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative and had suggested doing the Waco broadcast while he was in town, something he had done for a San Antonio public radio affiliate. KWBU officials readily agreed.

Brown hosted the American Public Media business news program “Marketplace” from 2003 to 2005 and brought some of that program’s personality and audience perception to “Texas Standard.”

“We didn’t want it to sound parochial but wanted to talk about things that Texans are talking about,” he said.

“Texas Standard” looks more at news that affects Texans rather than limiting it to stories that take place in the Lone Star State. News from the Middle East, for example, can impact the oil and gas industry, affecting the business and lives of millions of Texans.

At the same time, “Texas Standard” is pitched to everyday Texans, the kind that shop at H-E-B or pick up their kids after school.“We’re a complementary voice to the news. . . . We have fun with it, but voices that really don’t have a platform, we can amplify,” Brown said, speaking from Austin while waiting to pick up his daughter Magnolia from school.

The weekday program went on the air in 2015, and the Waco station was one of the first to pick it up outside the public radio stations of Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

“Waco was huge for us,” Brown said.

90 percent of state

“Texas Standard” now airs on 25 public radio stations, covering about 90 percent of the state. KWBU also serves as a model for serving its market and produces stories that “Texas Standard” can use for its statewide listeners, he said.

“They produce terrific content that’s well done,” he said.

Brown said Waco, often a dateline for tragic or controversial news, is on the ascendant in outsiders’ perception. The national attention to “Fixer Upper” and the couple at its heart, Chip and Joanna Gaines, plays a part in that, but Brown said Waco’s attractions and quality of life are appealing to those in larger cities tired of expensive housing, traffic and other urban problems.

“Waco has a world-class university, Interstate 35, the comfort of small-city life and a sense of safety and stability,” he said.

At the same, Waco is also trying to address issues such as poverty that other communities sidestep or downplay.

“Waco seems to be experiencing a real renaissance,” he said.

At a time where the media landscape is shifting, “Texas Standard” has found a niche.

“ ‘Texas Standard’ represents something novel. It’s the first statewide news network to our knowledge,” Brown said. “We hear from our listeners, and social media helps us, too. It’s like a statewide town hall.”


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