The bluegrass shows on KUMR-FM (88.5) are getting a new host.
Wayne Bledsoe, who has been KUMR’s bluegrass host for more than 25 years, is taking a hiatus from the station while he is a candidate for representative for the 149th District in the Missouri State Assembly. Federal Communications Communication rules regarding the “political activity” of radio personalities require the leave, at least until after the November election.
Bob Fossey, a research specialist for more than 25 years in the Rock Mechanics and Explosive Research Center at UMR, will serve as interim host of the three bluegrass shows. He has previously assisted Bledsoe with the shows and has helped out during the membership drives. Fossey lives in Shannon County with his wife, Janet, two cats and seven dogs, including Willie, a red tick hound who is a listener and a member of KUMR.
Bledsoe considers Fossey “a good radio person who knows bluegrass,” but found the most difficult part of finalizing his decision to file as a candidate was knowing he could not continue hosting KUMR’s radio shows.
“The love of bluegrass harmonies will always pulse through his veins, along with the relationships he’s developed with many KUMR listeners through the years,” says Jim Sigler, KUMR general manager. “Still, Bledsoe is motivated to serve the Rolla community which he has called home for quite some time, and KUMR is proud to see one of its endeared hosts exercising the privilege of running for public office. Wayne will definitely be missed. There’s no doubt about that, but we couldn’t be more fortunate given Bob Fossey’s degree in broadcasting, his past radio experience which began in the 1970s, combined with his longtime appreciation of bluegrass music.”
The original bluegrass show, “Bluegrass for a Saturday Night,” airs Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. “Sunday Morning Sounds,” airs Sundays from 7 a.m to 9 a.m and “Grass Master’s Review,” airs the latest bluegrass releases Thursdays from 7 p.m to 8 p.m.
KUMR is a 100,000-watt non-commercial public radio station. Licensed to the Curators of the University of Missouri System, KUMR offers a mixed format of news from National Public Radio, nationally and locally produced talk shows, and a wide range of music, including classical, jazz, acoustic folk, blues, big band, Celtic, bluegrass and Caribbean. KUMR is located at 88.5FM (96.3 FM in Lebanon) and streams its programs online at www.kumr.org.