by August Berkshire
At our November meeting we announced that we were not going to renew our contract with KTNF AM 950 radio due to cost. Instead, we were going to create a live podcast of our program, which would cost us almost nothing. Now it looks like we're going to have the best of both worlds.
KTNF did not want to lose us, so they made a lower, counter-offer, which we accepted. We have signed a contract to continue for the first six months of 2009.
However, KNTF would like to charge us the full rate again after those six months. The only way we can do this is to find a co-sponsor who will pay for half. With that in mind, we are open to experimenting, by changing our show into an "Atheist-Theist News Hour" and finding a religious co-sponsor.
We know our point of view will sound more reasonable than a religious point of view, and there might well be things we agree on. Moreover, we think a program that has some debate will attract a larger audience. (College atheist-theist debates always draw a bigger crowd than either side alone.) So, the program would be a combination of news and interviews with both sides collaborating on the topics. It would continue to be turned into a podcast afterwards.
Meanwhile, we will move our standard "Atheists Talk" to being a live podcast, at a set day and time each week, which can be streamed live on computers and turned into a podcast afterwards. We will get a special phone number so people can call in. We will also operate a live on-line chat room for questions and comments. A further advantage of this setup is that we would not have any commercials.
There is also a possibility that KFAI (Fresh Air) radio would be interested in our "Atheists Talk" program, but it could take a long time before there would be an opening for us.
The new year will also bring some key personnel changes. Mike Haubrich is stepping down as our program's host in favor of Stephanie Zvan, who has already hosted a few shows and received favorable reviews. After a year of being the director, I will be turning over the reins to Mike Haubrich. Both Mike and I will continue to occasionally interview people on the show.
Continuing as other interviewers, we have Lynn Fellman, Scott Lohman, Grant Steves, George Kane, Cynthia Egli, Bjorn Watland, and Steve Petersen. For technical support we will have Bjorn Watland and Drew Hau. Paul Nelson and John Funk will also be contributing their talents to the program.
In the past two months we aired programs 43-51 of "Atheists Talk." Mike Haubrich hosted the programs in November and Stephanie Zvan hosted the program in December. Those programs were:
Nov. 2 - "The State of Science Education in Minnesota" with Scott Lanyon, Randy Moore, and Sehoya Cotner, interviewed by Lynn Fellman.
Nov. 9 - Veterans Day Special: "Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF)" with Kathleen Johnson, interviewed by Steve Petersen.
Nov. 16 - "Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer" with Todd Allen Gates, interviewed by Mike Habrich.
Nov. 16 - "Fundamentalisms" with Grant Steves, interviewed by August Berkshire.
Nov. 23 - Thanksgiving Special: "Finding Your Family and the Shoah Project" with Matt Kaplan, interviewed by Lynn Fellman.
Nov. 30 - "Inerrant the Wind: The Evangelical Crisis in Biblical Authority" with Robert M. Price, interviewed by Grant Steves.
Dec. 7 - "The Islamic Threat to Secular Society" with Austin Dacey, interviewed by George Kane.
Dec. 14 - "American Humanist Association" with Maggie Ardiente, interviewed by Scott Lohman.
Dec. 21 - "Secular Coalition for America" with Lori Lipman Brown, interviewed by Steve Petersen and August Berkshire.
Dec. 28 - "The Year in Biological Sciences" with Perry Hackett, interviewed by Lynn Fellman.
Even though we got a reduced rate contract with KTNF, we still need your support for our program. You can send a check (with "Radio Fund" in the memo line) to Minnesota Atheists, P.O. Box 6261, Minneapolis, MN 55406, or make a dedicated donation with PayPal or a credit card on our website (MinnesotaAtheists.org).
Also, don't forget to support our sponsors who support our radio show with their advertising: the American Humanist Association, the Humanists of Minnesota, the Secular Coalition for America, and Q.Cumbers restaurant in Edina.
After almost every radio show our crew heads over to Q.Cumbers restaurant (7465 France Ave. S., Edina, MN 55435) at 11:00 a.m. We'd love to have you join us. Don't forget to print out an Atheists Weekly E-mail or show your Minnesota Atheists newsletter to get a $2.00 discount!