On Point with Tom Ashbrook Announces National Tour

Mary Shedden, news director at member station WUSF, talks with On Point host Tom Ashbrook at the #OnPointListens event in Tampa, FL. (Stephen Glass/WUSF)
Mary Shedden, news director at member station WUSF, talks with On Point host Tom Ashbrook at the #OnPointListens event in Tampa, FL. (Stephen Glass/WUSF)

WBUR is thrilled to announce that On Point with Tom Ashbrook will launch a national tour “Listening to America” in 2017. Host Tom Ashbrook will broadcast from a variety of stations across the country in markets coast to coast and north to south. The tour kicks off early next year and will include Charlotte, North Carolina, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Spokane, Washington, among others.

“Our country is divided and, post-election, we’ve simply got to talk things out,” said host Tom Ashbrook. “Every day on the show, we draw passionate listeners and live callers from across all ages and political categories. This first-ever national tour is a major initiative to do one thing: listen. To probe. To navigate the ground between left and right and look for what unites us all.”

On Point is a daily two-hour live program born in the aftermath of NPR’s 9/11 special coverage. As a veteran journalist, Ashbrook is known for his genuine curiosity, a deep understanding of what’s going on in the world, and a mental agility that allows him to speak eloquently on a range of topics. He’s had a remarkable journey from his childhood spent on a farm in Bloomington, Illinois, to his formative years at Yale and abroad in India, and then on to a career punctuated by years living in Asia and working for The Boston Globe.

Ashbrook’s omnipresent inquisitiveness on behalf of listeners resonates with NPR audiences, who can be part of the discussion and hear differing perspectives from across the country in a respectful setting. On Point, carried by more than 250 NPR stations, is one of the fastest-growing programs on the air with the number of listeners nationwide tuning in at any given 15 minutes of a show (or AQH) up 95%* and weekly cume up 74%* over the last five years.

“NPR’s mission is to work with member stations to create a more informed public, and taking On Point on the road is a great way to accomplish this,” said NPR CEO Jarl Mohn.  “With Tom Ashbrook’s signature blend of engaging interviews and lively discussion, this tour will bring even more local voices into the important national conversations that take place in On Point every day.”

“Listening to America” marks the show’s first national tour. However, On Point has broadcast from other cities over its 15 years on the air including Buffalo, Cleveland, Denver, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, St. Paul, Santa Barbara, Tampa and Shanghai, China.

“Post-election, the country is struggling to come together and there’s no better voice to help tackle these issues than Tom Ashbrook,” says WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz. “When it’s this important, where else would you turn besides On Point?”

*Source: ACT 1 based on Nielsen Audio Nationwide, Spring 2011- Spring 2016, Persons 12+

© 2016 The Nielsen Company. May not be quoted or reproduced without the prior written permission of Nielsen.


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