BRATTLEBORO -- For the past eight years WKVT has been giving Brattleboro residents a place to talk politics, promote arts and community events and call in about anything that might have been on their minds during Live and Local.
On weekday mornings, from 9 a.m. to noon Steve West, and then Chris Lenois, sat in the chair behind the radio console in the station's studio to talk, and listen, to what was important to the people of Brattleboro.
Lenois is still going to be sitting in that chair Monday but he's going be slipping his key in the front door a little earlier.
The local WKVT morning program, which will now be named Green Mountain Mornings, is moving to 6 a.m. and will run until 9 a.m.
Green Mountain Mornings will premier Monday, July 7 and it will air on 1490 AM and 100.3 FM.
Lenois said that while the 9 a.m. to noon time slot gave him a vehicle for bringing guests into the studio and talking for 30 minutes or an hour, more people tend to be listening during the earlier time period when they are getting ready for the day and then driving to work.
A potentially bigger audience, and maybe some additional advertising revenue, motivated the station to make the switch.
"For being one of the larger towns in Vermont, Brattleboro is in a bit of a new vacuum. We don't have a local television station or radio station focusing on local news this time of day," Lenois said. "We want this show to provide that local voice.
Lenois said the show is going to be very similar to Live and Local, though with the understanding that the audience will probably be more fluid.
During the 9 a.m. to noon slot the show was structured as one long conversation with each half hour or hour devoted to a guest or subject.
During the earlier time period, he said, listeners will be more likely to tune in for shorter periods as they get ready for their day.
Lenois said he will pre-record interviews, bring in a little more entertainment, and possibly repeat important stories or community information briefs to make sure the person who tunes in at 8:30 a.m., but who missed the original announcement at 6 a.m., is still up to date on what is going on in Brattleboro.
Station Manager Peter "Fish" Case, said it was a change the station has been contemplating for a while now.
Fish hosts his own program on WKVT 92.7 FM from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., but that show features music and national and international news and entertainment briefs.
Case stressed that the focus during Green Mountain Mornings is going to be on Brattleboro and Windham County.
"We do not want to lose everything that we've developed over the past eight years with Live and Local," Case said. "It's going to be a work in progress and we'll pay close attention to what is working and what isn't."
Lenois grew up around Brattleboro and when West announced that he would be leaving WKVT Case said he waited until he found the right person to sit in the host's chair every weekday morning.
Lenois was that person. Case said he was the right host to establish his own show and develop it into an important part of Brattleboro's mornings.
"I trust Chris," Case said. "I trust his reputation and his connections to Windham County. He knows what Brattleboro is all about."
Live and Local always had a focus on what was going in Windham County, but it also kept an eye on Montpelier and found local connections to national and international news and weather and sports.
"We'll provide a forum for area organizations, artists promoting events and local voices on state and global issues," Lenois said. "We'll continue to take as much of a big-tent approach as the time and format allows."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 279.