Radio | St. Louis Public Radio


John Wolbers' adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life" for Metro Theater Company is set at a fictional 1949 St. Louis radio station.
Jennifer Lin

Metro Theater Company’s Julia Flood was looking for a classic holiday show this fall — one that would also speak to Metro’s mission as a theater company inspired by the intelligence and emotional wisdom of young people. Her colleague John Wolbers’ fresh take on the story of George Bailey and the town of Bedford Falls aspires to fit the bill.

Set at a fictional St. Louis radio station 70 years ago and framed as a radio play within a play, the local playwright’s retelling of “It’s a Wonderful Life” aims to build a generational bridge. The 50-minute production opens this Sunday at the Grandel, with the cast introducing younger theatergoers — and audiences of all ages — to the golden age of radio as well as a long-beloved tale.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Wolbers joined host Sarah Fenske to talk about his adaptation ahead of its opening matinee (performances run Nov. 17 through Dec. 15). Also joining the broadcast were cast members Alicia Revé Like, Abraham Shaw and Chris E. Ware. The trio presented a scene from the play during the talk show, complete with Foley sound artistry.

Joshua Johnson is the host of the new nationally-distributed public radio show 1A.
Stephen Voss | WAMU

We’re building this program as a safe place to be heard: a place where everyone is treated with respect and empathy, even as we discuss (or argue about) the major issues we face. If you’re tired of bracing for discussions with clenched fists and sharp elbows, then you’ll love 1A. We’re more of an “open arms” show. And we’ll talk about solutions, not just problems.

Jarl Mohn has been NPR's CEO since 2014.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, St. Louis Public Radio had a special visitor: Jarl Mohn, the CEO of NPR. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh had a few moments to talk with him about the future of public radio, his thoughts on covering the Trump administration and the state of media literacy.

Mohn joined NPR as CEO on July 1, 2014. Prior to that, Mohn founded E! Entertainment Television and held senior leadership positions at MTV, VH1 and CNET.

Below, we’ve summarized some of the most interesting points from the conversation:

On the Trump administration…

Richard 'Onion' Horton spent the majority of his years on the radio at WGNU.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Updated with funeral and memorial arrangements. - Richard “Onion” Horton, one of the most colorful figures in St. Louis talk radio for more than three decades, has died.

Mr. Horton immersed himself in the facts, figures and statistics he gleaned daily from media sources. It was his battle raiment for his radio programs that aired on various St. Louis radio stations over the years; his longest run was at WGNU.


Money problems are forcing a St. Louis-area jazz radio station to expand its format.

“We've not been able to monetize the jazz format so we've chosen to expand that a little bit by adding blues,” says Doug McIlhagga, the executive director of marketing and communications for Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. The university runs WSIE, which started broadcasting in 1970.

From grief springs Show Me Arts Academy

Mar 3, 2015
Show Me Arts Academy kids rehearse to Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk"
Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

Frustration gripped local singer and actress Marty Casey in the days after Michael Brown’s death at the hands of then-Officer Darren Wilson. This weekend, a little more than six months later, Casey and 10 other people launched Show Me Arts Academy, the organization born from her call.

Provided by The Public Radio

Last week NPR’s All Tech Considered featured The Public Radio, a small single-station radio that lives in a Mason jar.  At the time the project’s Kickstarter campaign had yet to reach its goal of $25,000. To-date the project raised more than $65,000, and the developers have 20 days to go before their campaign expires.

Davie Lee
Provided by the family

Davie White’s father thought his son was a conscientious student who liked rising early to get ready for school. Often, Davie would be up and half-dressed when his father awoke. Andrew White didn’t realize that he was catching his son undressing for bed after a nightclub gig.

“He would sneak out and would just be coming in,” laughed his wife, Lou White. “So, he would have to get dressed again and go to school without any sleep.”

view of studio
Thomas Crone for the Beacon

The move of community radio station KDHX from the former bakery on Magnolia Avenue to the newly rehabbed building in Grand Center was completed Sunday. The "Songwriters Showcase" broadcast from the old station from 10 a.m. to noon.

Smash, left, and Twist
Thomas Crone | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 25, 2013: At some point around half past 4 on Monday afternoon, I had to consider which Kardashian sister I would eat, which I'd chew on and which I'd spit out. Well into my fifth decade, I've spent a lot of time specifically not thinking about the Kardashian sisters. So to be asked about them with a microphone open to a St. Louis audience, well, that's the kind of thing that can only happen inside a guy-talk radio station.

(via Flickr/ines_saraiva)

Motorola Solutions has been awarded a $75 million contract to design a radio system for first responders in St. Louis County.

The system will allow more than 150 police departments, fire departments, paramedics and other public safety agencies to communicate directly with each other by radio. Officials say their inability to do that makes it difficult to respond to disasters effectively.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 6, 2009 - The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has sold radio station KFUO-FM to Joy FM , a local religious broadcaster, for $18 million plus interest for a total of as much as $26 million over a 10-year term.

The synod said is looking into ways to continue the classical music programming that KFUO has provided. Until the sale is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, it will continue to broadcast classical music at 99.1 FM. If the deal proceeds as expected, it could close in the spring.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 28, 2009 - Measures are being taken by members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to make sure that lovers of classical music on the radio in St. Louis won't miss a beat.

Following a committee report to the synod's board last week on the possible sale of KFUO-FM, the board voted 10-1 to continue discussions on the sale and at the same time pursue options to allow the programming on the station, known as Classic 99, to continue uninterrupted.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 24, 2009 - The future of KFUO-FM -- and classical music on the radio in St. Louis -- could be determined later this week.

A committee presentation last week to the board of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which operates the station, did not result in any final action, the synod said in a statement Monday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 8, 2009 - First, classical music fans began worrying whether they would be losing their radio station. Now, jazz fans are fretting over the same concern.

WSIE, at 88.7 on the FM dial and known as the Jazz Station, operates out of the Edwardsville campus of Southern Illinois University. A campus committee, which convened to consider the future of the station, has turned its recommendations in to Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 5, 2008 - University City stay-at-home-mom Stacy Braeske was standing on the corner of Midland and Delmar boulevards ushering her 4-year-old princess into her Halloween parade when a car passed with music blaring -- not with Jay-Z or even with "Monster Mash," but with "Sleigh Ride" by Johnny Mathis.