Mary Cliff Returns
Mary Cliff, the longtime host of "Traditions," the acoustic music program that lost its slot on WETA when the public radio station went to an all-classical format last week, is back on the radio.
Cliff's show will move to WAMU (88.5 FM) starting Saturday night at 11 p.m.
The move cements WAMU's decision to offer two personalities to distinct audiences in the Washington area, focusing on news and talk during the week and then shifting to a lineup heavy on what they're calling "traditional American music" on weekends. Far from killing off the bluegrass, early jazz, and traditional country that the station has over time moved from daily fare to the weekend schedule, WAMU is now adding to that lineup Cliff's show, which features blues, folk, gospel and other acoustic genres.
It's another sign that big public radio stations can be successful without adopting the 100 percent dedication to a single format that WETA has chosen with classical music. Cliff's show of course fits in much better on WAMU; hard core fans may not like the late hour of the show's new time slot, but WAMU was in a tough position: the earlier show on Saturday nights, Hot Jazz Saturday Night, also has a powerfully devoted fan base.
The text of the station's press release is after the jump:
Washington--On Saturday, Feb. 3, WAMU 88.5 will begin airing Traditions with Mary Cliff from 11 p.m., Saturdays, until 1 a.m., Sundays. Since 1970, Cliff has hosted the acoustic music show, keeping fans up to date on the local music scene. Her new, 2-hour show on WAMU 88.5 will be similar to her former, longer show, which aired on WETA-FM until their recent format change. Traditions with Mary Cliff, with its mix of blues, ballads, ethnic, and traditional music, will provide a musical bridge from the traditional jazz of Rob Bamberger's Hot Jazz Saturday Night, which airs 8-11 p.m., Saturdays, to the traditional bluegrass music heard on WAMU beginning at 1 a.m., Sundays, with Bluegrass Overnight.
"I love the continuity of bringing this show to WAMU 88.5," said host Mary Cliff. "Traditions is a community-oriented show, and I'm excited to bring it to such a community-focused radio station."
"During our recent program changes, we've heard from many, many listeners who encouraged us to add this show to our line-up," said Caryn G. Mathes, WAMU 88.5's General Manager. "I feel that the addition of Traditions with Mary Cliff is a great way to finalize our schedule, and I welcome Mary to our on-air staff."
WAMU 88.5 continues to add to its music line-up, firmly establishing it as the home for traditional American music on the Washington, D.C., dial. Traditions with Mary Cliff also links the station with the local music community of musicians and fans.
"When I started here, the only disappointing thing to me was that we didn't carry Mary Cliff's show," said Jen Hitt, Music Manager for WAMU 88.5. "Now we have her here, and I couldn't be happier."
American University's radio station since 1961, WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington, D.C., area, with more than 590,000 listeners in the region. WAMU 88.5 is "your NPR news station in the nation's capital."
By Marc Fisher |
January 29, 2007; 5:46 PM ET
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