COLUMBIA — Paul Pepper signed a contract with radio station KBIA/91.3 FM Monday, bringing his community content from television to the radio.
In May, after 27 years, KOMU announced the “Pepper and Friends” program would air for the last time on Sept. 18. Marty Siddall, KOMU general manager, said budget issues were the reason for the show’s cancellation.
The KBIA version, dubbed “Radio Friends with Paul Pepper,” which is to debut Oct. 5, will air Monday through Friday during Morning Edition in a 10-minute slot instead of its previous television allotment of one hour.
However, it will feature much of the same subject matter as its predecessor.
“We talked to Paul about concentrating on two things: the arts community and what we call the service community, which is all the different organizations around the city that provide services to people,” said Mike Dunn, KBIA general manager.
Columbia resident Dan Peek said a town meeting in response to KOMU’s decision to cancel the show is planned for Aug. 5 in the Arts and Science Building at MU.
Although Pepper said he was sad about losing "Pepper and Friends," he also said that he was looking forward to continuing to highlight the community on KBIA.
"I feel very good about that because at least we will be able to do some of the segments from 'Pepper and Friends' on KBIA," Pepper said. "I think it's wonderful for the community because what KOMU did by canceling our show was simply silencing a voice in our community. I think KBIA has had the foresight to see that there really is a need for organizations and community. That doesn't mean that I don't feel sad about the end of 'Pepper and Friends.'"
Pepper’s contract is for six months, which Dunn said would give both parties a chance to try out the partnership.
In addition to the radio segments, the show will be videotaped and placed online for viewers.
What do you think of Paul Pepper's show switching from KOMU to KBIA?