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Michael Krall named WGUC classical music director

Michael Krall joins Cincinnati Public Radio in June as WGUC classical music director.
Michael Krall
Michael Krall joins Cincinnati Public Radio in June as WGUC classical music director.

The New York native has 25 years of experience in radio programming, as well as hosting classical music on five stations.

Michael Krall's love of classical music, which began by attending symphony concerts at a young age with his father, carried through his college years when he hosted a Saturday morning classical music show known for its alternative music format on the University of Maine's campus.

"There were specialty programs on the weekend, and I got to play classical music Saturday mornings from 6-8 a.m. That was my first radio 'job,' " says Krall, who joins Cincinnati Public Radio's WGUC-FM in June as classical music director. "Over the years that weekend show changed broadcast times, but I held that shift for all four years of college."

He replaces John Nasukaluk Clare, who left the station in March after two years.

The Poughkeepsie, N.Y., native started his professional radio career as an announcer at WSCL-FM, a public radio station in Salisbury, Md., which broadcast NPR programs and some classical music.

"I really grew and sharpened my classical skills of hosting, programming and interviewing some pretty amazing artists when I worked in Memphis (as WKNO-FM music director), in Peoria, Ill., (program director at WCBU-FM) and in Birmingham, Ala., (program director at WBHM-FM)," he says.

Krall spent 24 years at the Birmingham public radio station. In the second half of his career at WBHM-FM, the station added more NPR news and talk, but he was "still able to prioritize classical music and cultural programming on the radio working on an arts magazine and continuing with interviews of classical musicians. And, of course, I would still attend symphony and chamber music concerts," he says.

Most recently, Krall has been interim program director at WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C. He also did consulting after leaving the Birmingham station a year ago.

Krall was selected from 80 applicants for the position, says Jenell Walton, Cincinnati Public Radio vice president for content.

"Michael brings over 25 years of radio programming experience to WGUC as our new classical music director. Most recently, he spent 25 years at WBHM in Birmingham. He served in many roles during that time, including programming classical music and conducting and preparing live and edited interviews with various local, national and international artists," Walton says.

"Michael's achievements include being a part of the award-winning team at WBHM, earning Radio Station of the Year, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence. He also earned second place for his interview: ‘R.E.M’s Mike Mills: Classical Music Isn’t Stodgy,’ " Walton says.

Krall, who grew up in the Hudson River Valley, earned a journalism degree from the University of Maine. He immediately got involved with the student station doing a bit of everything — music, news (as a reporter and producer) and some sports (including broadcasting college hockey games).

"Originally I thought I wanted to do television news. But after an internship on the TV side, I realized I wanted to do something else, and it was around that time I discovered public radio and then went on to intern with Maine Public Radio," he says.

He played trumpet from grade school to college, performing in concert band, orchestra and jazz band.

"My father loved classical music and used to take me to concerts starting when I was quite young," he says. "When I was much older we used to try to guess the piece that was playing on the radio."

Krall says he's "excited to be part of the WGUC team and can't wait to experience Cincinnati. Just learning about the history of classical music here is incredible."

Updated: April 15, 2024 at 12:39 PM EDT
John Kiesewetter's reporting is independent. Cincinnati Public Radio only edits his content for grammar and style.
John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.