Today's Question: Paul Pepper moves to KBIA

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | 3:35 p.m. CDT

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?

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Charles Dudley Jr July 28, 2009 | 6:04 p.m.

Why didn't CAT3 pick it up for a half hour a day concentrating on the same thing?

(Report Comment)
Mary Hussmann July 29, 2009 | 11:30 a.m.

This is the wrong question to be asking. "Pepper and Friends" could and should still be on KOMU-TV. The radio show is only 10 minutes long and could supplement the TV show that has such a good variety of guests and interesting local discussions.
I want "Pepper and Friends" on TV to continue!

Those who want to ask about why "Pepper and Friends" was cancelled and what we can do to keep this valuable show on KOMU-TV should attend the Town Hall public meeting on Wednesday, August 5 at 7p.m. at the MU Arts and Science Building Room #113.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr July 29, 2009 | 2:33 p.m.

Mary Hussmann how in the hell are they supposed to finance something if there are no finances to cover the costs?

Maybe your group of citizens should go before City Council and beg for money that is not there either like other private entities have done of late. Maybe you should contact every 501c3 in the county and beg for money that is not there either. Maybe you can get some of the CMHS money to help fund the show that we all know that the money is not there either.

Why don't you try getting CAT3 to run it as a half hour show or get P & R to run it in a time slot with the money that is obviously not there.

Maybe ask for a spread sheet on the break down of the costs of running that show on air daily might help you to understand finally that the money is just not there and as alot of citizens have stated that obviously it is time to move forward.

Money is tight everywhere and if you think it is bad now just wait awhile it can and could get alot worse.

Just wait till Bill Watkins throws out the numbers for the FY2010 City Budget coming out soon. Then you will see real crying begin.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 29, 2009 | 3:50 p.m.

@Mary Hussman:
I know your heart is in the right place and I too would like to see Pepper and Friends continue as is. Do your thing, Mary, but unless the money is there and/or management wants to keep them on, their days at KOMU-TV will end.
Radio will still give Pepper and Friends a voice. I would also like to see local TV stations give these guys visibility as Public Service announcement spokesman and "on the scene" reporters in the community. They should be on the invitee list of every community service agency in this town and MC special events and promotions. They are still local celebrities, in my book.

(Report Comment)
Mary Hussmann July 29, 2009 | 9:04 p.m.

The finances have never been explained by KOMU-TV as to why "Pepper and Friends" is being cancelled. Paul Pepper even said he would take a cut of half of his salary to keep the show on longer, but the general manager would not consider this offer or say what it would to take to make it possible for "Pepper and Friends" to stay on the air. This is why the public meeting is important and we hope those who made the decision will explain more to the Mid-Missouri community.

(Report Comment)

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