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WMNF To Add Some BBC Headline Newscasts On October 11th

Rob Lorei about almost 5 years ago

In our recent listener poll the voting is finished and the result was very close: 619 people voted for NPR News Headlines, 629 People voted for BBC Headlines. The result was a virtual tie. The comments, and there were more than 600, were very instructive. WMNF listeners feel passionately about news. Some think there's no need for WMNF to carry either the BBC or NPR. Others love the BBC because (as they said frequently) that the BBC carries more stories about the world that are ignored in this country. Supporters of the NPR Headlines often said that NPR Headlines are more relevant to their lives. I listened carefully to the BBC (making lists of stories carried by the BBC and NPR.) Here are my thoughts:

  1. The BBC Headlines were more repetitive than NPR (BBC would lead with the same story throughout the day. NPR makes an effort to change and update headlines)
  2. NPR incorporated more sound and reporter’s stories into their newscasts
  3. BBC strayed far away from stories central to the lives of our Tampa Bay audience: cricket scandals, the private life of German pop stars, etc.
  4. NPR gave us up-to date coverage of recent domestic events: the primary elections, Tea Party activism, environmental reports- especially the BP disaster (which the BBC tended to ignore)
  5. While the long-form BBC News is famous for covering social movements- the headlines concentrated on the natural disasters and crimes (i.e. stolen paintings), giving us very little reportage on social movements around the world.
  6. NPR does have underwriters while the BBC does not (they are entirely funded by a government tax in the UK.) But the NPR underwriters are not all giant corporations. NPR's underwriters included many non-profits and public policy organizations that are aimed toward charity, peace and social justice.

Both BBC and NPR headlines cost money. We already pay for and carry BBC programming on our new HD3 channel The Source. Our station manager Jim Bennett was able to negotiate with the distributors of the BBC to have the fee waived for a year. So this is what we are going to do: We'll carry both NPR and BBC headlines with this new schedule beginning Monday, October 11th. Here's the schedule:

4AM BBC (new time for news)







Noon NPR

2PM BBC (new)


4PM NPR for three minutes followed by Hightower


After carrying this schedule for ten months- we'll review the decision to see how well it's working.

Post your comments below- we want to know what you think.

Rob Lorei News/Public Affairs Director 813 238 8001 x115

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Why bother?

Why bother having a poll when you ignore the results? More than 50% of listerners who cared enough to respond voted for BBC news yet you force us to continue to listen to NPR 75% of the time. If you're genuinely interested in giving listeners what they want, why don't you take the results of the poll into consideration and broadcast BBC news at least 50% of the time. It would be a welcome gesture to those listeners who disagree with the politics of this left-leaning station and voted for BBC for that reason.

great choice

Not much of a majority. I'm glad BBC went along with waiving the fee, and thanks for the input on NPR's programming advantages.

Give Peace A Chance

Yeah! It doesn't matter what the majority wants. If the majority had their way, this country would be ruled by republicons!

I Forgot

I forgot --what was the vote for? Was it for BBC -OR- NPR or was it for BBC -AND- NPR? I missed it.

NPR is relevant.

I think that is a good balance as long as one of them is not the station money at present. If it comes down to one I continue to feel that BBC has very little news that relates directly to important issues of the day concerning the good ole USA. We need that national focus. It is nice to hear the European point of view at times, but not at the expense of news that Americans need to know. NPR provides that with very little fluff.

budget crisis

why pretend that the station needs money when it is spent on BBC news for HD3 ! shocking consider return to roots


you just spent a week begging for money so yu can spend it to buy news programmming?????????WTF


The station doesn't really need munny. They are expanding their services. I agree with the previous posters; stick to your roots: good and varied music, no news, no politics.

NPR redundant

NPR is already on the air at 89.7 FM whats the point of putting it on two stations simultaneously? have an intern read the front page of the newspaper on the air for free

Where's the support for WMNF in St. Pete Times?

there's a lot of naysayers posting comments to Eric Deggans' blog on WMNF and the fundraising struggles. Where's the WMNF tribe? show your support!

Act Like Adults

One thing that I don't like about the WMNF news is how they get a foreigner to read the news. What is the reason for that?? Do they think it lends authenticity to have a news story from Guatemala read by a Guatemalen? Or an article about China read by an Asian woman with a thick accent? I think it's silly and pompous. Just give me the news read by someone I can understand.

And Another Thing...

I agree --the attempt to look sophisticated by having immigrants read the news is childish. La di da!

Won't Accept Corporate Sponsorship?

I have to laugh when I hear the announcer's frequent claim that this station won't accept money from corporate interests. There is not a commercial or corporate interest on this planet that would give this station a dime! WMNF is not commercially viable and is almost certain to fail.

Like that's a bad thing?

Maybe the fact it is not what companies like is a good thing, after all, companies love to wreck lives, destroy towns, and sell America to the highest bidder (soon to be the Chinese). perhaps when your children and grandchildren grow up taking orders from someone in Asia, they might wish someone did not care what corporations wanted.


I can't understand what you're saying or the point you're trying to make. Are you saying that uncontrolled, unbridled business is inherently bad? Are you Chinese? Are your grandchildren Chinese?

this is wmnf

I'm surprised by all the negative comments about wmnf's politics. This has always been, and always will be a left leaning station. Those are the values it was founded on, and codified in It's mission statements. Read the "about" section of this website. If you don't like it, there are plenty of right wing stations to listen to on the am dial, or if you prefer, commercial fm garbage. I'm glad this station exists, and I supported it in this fund drive despite personal financial hardship, because we need this now more than ever. I'm glad they decided to keep npr too.

You Admit It

Glad to hear someone at WMNF admit that the station is leftist. Rob Lorei denies it on a daily basis. He always claims to be fair and balanced and totally unbiased. But it's painfully obvious to anyone who listens for any length of time, that WMNF is leftist and supports anti-American causes. Donors who support WMNF are responsible for supporting pro-communist and anti-American propaganda.

I Listen for Free

Thanks for supporting WMNF despite personal financial hardship, Bryan. I listen for free thanks to you. Six years and counting. :)