Connecticut Public Radio extends to area


July 31, 2012
WNPR News Director John Dankosky spoke with Timothy Brennan, executive director of The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, former City Councilor Amaad Rivera, Nancy Urbschat of TSM Design and Aron Goldman of the Springfield Institute as part of two broadcasts from the Bing Arts Center last week.
Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs
By G. Michael Dobbs

chrism@thereminder.com

SPRINGFIELD — The Bing Arts Center has so far been the venue of art exhibits, live music and locally made films, and last week it served as the studio for two live radio talk shows broadcast by WNPR from Hartford, Conn.

The two live shows were part of a way for WNPR, of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, to introduce itself to the Springfield. WNPR News Director John Dankosky explained to Reminder Publications that WAIC — 91.7 FM — is now carrying the WNPR line-up of programs.

In the morning, WNPR News Director John Dankosky presented his daily talk show "Where We Live" and Colin McEnroe hosted his daily show in the afternoon.

Both shows featured panels of guests from Springfield speaking about the city and some of its issues. Dankosky had a panel that included Timothy Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Nancy Urbschat of TSM Design, Aron Goldman of the Springfield Institute and former City Councilor Amaad Rivera.

McEnroe's panel featured Jill Monson, representing the Young Professionals of Springfield, Blogger Bill Dusty of The Springfield Intruder (www.springfieldintruder.com), Guy McLain, director of the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, Blogger Katie Stebbins of www.byofamily.com and this writer.

Subjects ranged from the emergence of gay rights to the casino issue to the things people enjoy about the city. Dankosky described his approach as "more serious" as opposed to McEnroe's, which set a more whimsical tone by using "The Simpsons" theme as its opening song.

Dankosky explained the station "started slow" with making its presence known in the city and added that American International College (AIC), where WAIC is located, has "been a great partner."

He noted that WFCR/WNNZ, which is moving its offices from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to downtown Springfield and WAMC, which has a reporter based at Western New England University, are already in the city.

What makes WNPR different, WNPR News Director John Dankosky said, is the station, which carries news and talk, has three locally produced talk shows each day.

What he envisions is a "long form conversation not just about Connecticut, but of the region."

Dankosky sees "obvious linkage" between the Springfield area and Hartford that include transportation and the creation of high speed rail, the improvement and use of the Connecticut River and a similar population that shares concerns about topics such as education.

He plans to have more reporting from Massachusetts and believes what WNPR can offer is additional services from which listeners can chose.

The appearance at the Bing was not a one-time event, Dankosky added. He is working with AIC officials to bring live broadcast events to the campus.

The addition of WAIC extends the reach of the WNPR's signal. Dankosky explained that repeater stations cover the entire state of Connecticut and there is a repeater station on Long Island, N.Y. The programming is also heard on several other college stations in Connecticut.

"In a perfect world, we would be up here on a regular basis," he said.

To hear the shows online go to www.cpbn.org and follow the links for the two shows. Chose the episodes for July 26.


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