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XM to Start Public Radio Channel

XM to Start Public Radio Channel

In a continuing effort to broaden its audience, XM Satellite Radio is creating a channel for public radio programming. The channel, called XM Public Radio (XM Channel 133, is set to debut on Sept. 1.
The foray into public radio programming is new for XM; Sirius has 4 channels dedicated to public radio programming. Two channels are devoted to NPR programming and the other two are dedicated to Public Radio International and BBC World Service programs, which PRI distributes in this country.
The relationship between NPR and Sirius is exclusive.
The new XM channel will contain a mix of programming produced by XM and various public radio program suppliers, such as Public Radio International, Boston pubcaster WBUR(FM), and American Public Radio, the new distribution arm of Minnesota Public Radio. APR will provide programming from MPR and Southern California Public Radio.
The anchor program for the new channel will be a morning daily news magazine show featuring former NPR anchor Bob Edwards. “The Bob Edwards Show” is slated to debut Oct. 4.
“The Bob Edwards Show” will feature in-depth interviews with newsmakers, journalists, entertainers, and others. Former NPR producer Mark Schramm will serve as the show’s executive producer.
There will be an internal production team to support the show, said David Butler, an XM spokesman.
As XM has done for its other channels, a studio will be devoted to the Edwards show.
Programs on the new channel will contain underwriting announcements, but details of how those would be sold and how the money is to be distributed among the partners has not been made public, Butler said.
NPR replaced 25-year Host Edwards with two anchors of “Morning Edition” in March and named Edwards a senior correspondent. Winding up a book tour, he’s due to begin working at XM next week.
In a statement, NPR management said: “Bob has informed us of his decision to end his distinguished tenure at NPR and in public radio. We wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor and thank him for the contributions he has made to public radio.”
Schramm will lead the team of people working on the new morning program. He’s worked in public radio 20 years including producing stints on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “Weekend Edition Sunday,” as well as director of NPR Sports.