WVTF Public Radio and RADIO IQ announce schedule changes that include a lineup of new programs coming in mid-May. 

New programs include “Ask Me Another” and the “TED Radio Hour” from National Public Radio, “BackStory” produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and “Your Weekly Constitutional” from the Appalachian School of Law. In addition to the new programs, the popular “Radiolab” series will be given a permanent home on RADIO IQ and the environmental program “Living on Earth” will move from Saturdays to Sundays on RADIO IQ.

“We want to know what our listeners think of the new spring/summer lineup and ask that they email us; write to us at WVTF Public Radio, New Program Comments, 3520 Kingsbury Lane, Roanoke, VA 24014; or call program director Rick Mattioni at 540-989-8900,” says general manager Glenn Gleixner.

NPR's “Ask Me Another” will air on Saturdays at noon on WVTF. This is a lively hour of puzzles, word games, and trivia. “Ask Me Another” is a descendant of the “Puzzle” segment from NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” with Will Shortz infused with the vibrancy and quick wit of “Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me”. Listeners can play along with competitors from a live audience and test their knowledge of a wide range of subjects including history, geography, literature, grammar, spelling, pop culture, and mathematics.

“Ask Me Another” host, noted comedian and storyteller Ophira Eisenberg, guides listeners with her witty banter aided by the comedic riffs and songs of house musician Jonathan Coulton. Each episode features an interview with a mystery guest who may be a notable actor, comedian, or author whose identity is revealed via puzzle clues throughout the show. The mystery guest then takes a turn in the contestant's chair to answer trivia questions written especially for him or her.

“BackStory” will fill the 7 p.m. Saturday timeslot on RADIO IQ and will air on WVTF on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. This passionate and intelligent public radio program uses an irreverent approach to bring historical perspective to current events. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh take a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring historical relationships to today’s news. Together, they drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections and disconnects between past and present. The producer of “BackStory” also produces the popular “With Good Reason” that airs on WVTF on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and RADIO IQ on Sundays at 1 p.m.

“Radiolab” will take a permanent home on RADIO IQ on Saturdays at 1 p.m. Recently featured on CNN’s “Next List” with Sanjay Gupta, “Radiolab is a unique show about curiosity where sound illuminates ideas and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. NPR Science Correspondent Robert Krulwich joins creator Jad Abumrad in the studio as co-host. Each week they focus on topics of a scientific and philosophical nature. The show approaches broad and abstract topics such as time, words, darkness, and morality in an accessible and light-hearted manner. Abumrad’s distinctive editing, sound design, and audio production style has earned him the title “the “Gershwin of Journalism.” “Radiolab” was recognized with a 2010 Peabody Award for broadcast excellence and the show gained Abumrad a 2011 MacArthur Genius Award.

“TED Radio Hour” will follow “Radiolab” on RADIO IQ on Saturdays at 2 p.m. Each year, as part of the “TEDTalks” series, TED hosts the world's most fascinating thinkers, convention-breaking mavericks, icons, and geniuses who give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less about the best ideas in Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) and more. Through this exciting co-production between TED and NPR, each episode will focus around a theme such as "Happiness" and TEDTalks that put ideas about the theme through the paces.

The “TED Radio Hour” on RADIO IQ offers a fresh step back from the sometimes frenetic pace of news. By pulling back from immediate events to explore the ideas underlying them, a whole new, connected picture is revealed. “TED Radio Hour” is hosted by Alison Stewart.

Living on Earth” with Steve Curwood will move from the 1 p.m. Saturday timeslot to the 3 p.m. Sunday timeslot on RADIO IQ. The show also airs on WVTF on Mondays at 7 p.m. The WVTF broadcast is a 30-minute program while the Saturday afternoon RADIO IQ broadcast is a full hour. “Living on Earth” is a weekly environmental news and information program distributed by Public Radio International. Every week, approximately 300 Public Radio stations nationwide broadcast “Living on Earth's” in-depth treatment of environmental news, features, interviews, and commentary on a broad range of ecological issues.

 “Your Weekly Constitutional” will air on RADIO IQ on Sundays at 7 p.m. Host Stewart Harris focuses on interesting and controversial issues in constitutional law. Each show features interviews with knowledgeable lawyers, scholars, and others about timely issues in constitutional law, such as church-state relations, states' rights, and the constitutionality of secession. The program also includes regular features such as profiles of prominent figures in constitutional law and the “Constitutional Quiz.”

Stewart Harris, host and creator of “Your Weekly Constitutional” holds the title of associate professor of law at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. He has been heard on WVTF Public Radio and RADIO IQ state and regional news programs as an expert on constitutional law. He is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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