The local news/classical station WABE-FM earlier this month moved national classical program "Performance Today" from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The station used to air just one hour of "Performance Today," which is created by American Public Radio. In its new time slot, WABE can air the entire two-hour program.
John Lemley, who is the local music host on the station from noon to 3 p.m., continues in that role, filling in local spots from 1 to 3 p.m. as Steve Goss does during "Morning Edition" or Denis O'Hayer during "All Things Considered." He also continues to host the four-year-old "City Cafe" at noon, featuring local arts stories interspersed with classical music. He no longer picks the music from 1 to 3 p.m., though. "This gives him more time to work on City Cafe," his boss John Weatherford said. "And if he felt he had the time, he could work on special programming."
The station is also in the midst of its largest billboard campaign to date, investing $100,000 in marketing over six weeks. Currently, the station draws about 400,000 listeners a week. In 2010, they tried a more limited $25,000 billboard campaign and saw an increase in listeners. Weatherford hopes to a jump this time around, too.
They are using different rotating digital billboards, with 33 different ads synchronized to time of day at 50 locations around metro Atlanta. For instance, classical host Lois Reitzes will be featured from 9 to noon weekdays when she's actually on.