WORT-FM 89.9 in Madison, Wisconsin

Station History Cultural Programming

The History of WORT-FM

WORT has carried NEW AMERICAN RADIO from its beginning. In 1995 it joined New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. and KPFA-FM (Berkeley, CA) in commissioning composers Terry Riley, Christine Baczewska, and Mikel Rouse to create new works for radio. The commissions were funded with a grant from the Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. The works will be distributed as part of NEW AMERICAN RADIO's 1996-97 season.

Cultural Programming at WORT-FM:

For 20 years WORT has provided a voice in the community to groups and individuals who do not otherwise have access to the media. WORT's award-winning news and cultural affairs programming is headlined by locally-produced weekday shows such as "A Public Affair," a noontime talk show that features provocative national and local guests in dialogue with the host and with callers, and "In Our Backyard," a locally-produced local news program each evening. Other weekly programs are devoted to African-American, Latino, Asian-American, and gay-lesbian cultural and political issues. WORT strives to meet the needs of the community by providing outstanding special-interest programming to meet special community needs, providing both outreach and education to the community at large. WORT's music programming provides an alternative to mainstream radio programming.

In addition to its extensive alternative music programming, WORT features 25 hours per week of jazz programming, and five continuous hours on Sunday nights of contemporary
and experimental music. Weekday evening music programs have long features a "new Disk at Nine" format, providing uninterrupted album-length premieres of newly-released music. WORT has a strong interest in supporting and promoting locally-created music, with regular local band showcases and special programs.

WORT hopes to challenge the average community listener to try something new and different. Through a broad range of news, cultural, political and music programming, WORT encourages the listening community to experience many different viewpoints, to broaden their horizons, and ultimately to use WORT as a community-access radio station to express themselves.