Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Ingredients and Moving Parts Define "A Lively Experiment"

Beginning in May, A Lively Experiment – democracy with a Rhode Island accent – will undergo the biggest changes in the show's 24-year history.

Our local political affairs program moves to a new day and time: Friday nights at 8:30 p.m., beginning May 13. This move creates a one-hour block of political punditry, with Washington Week, the national political affairs show, leading at 8 p.m. (Re-broadcasts of A Lively Experiment on Sundays at noon on WSBE Rhode Island PBS, and Saturdays at 7 p.m. on WSBE Learn will remain unchanged.)

A Lively Experiment will feature a new moderator, Dyana Koelsch. Dyana is a former award-winning political and investigative journalist for NBC 10, and the former RI Assistant State Court Administrator for the Rhode Island Judiciary. Ms. Koelsch owns DK Communications, a PR and strategic communications firm in Cranston, RI.

Framing the new host, new day, and new time will be a new look and a new set. The sharply curved horseshoe desk will be reshaped to permit more face-to-face discussion. Murals of Rhode Island landscapes against a photogenic blue field will provide the backdrop for more dynamic camera work. The opening sequence and music will also be new, and the format may also incorporate short taped segments or news footage to establish an issue's context.

"We're very excited about these improvements," said WSBE President and CEO David W. Piccerelli. "We're especially pleased to welcome Dyana to the program. Her experience as a journalist and a legislative strategist bring the right balance of objectivity, insight, and incisive inquiry."

Ms. Koelsch said she was honored to be hosting A Lively Experiment. "As a long time viewer, I know the show has a proud history of informing and creating uncensored dialogue around the important issues impacting our state – something that is critically important given today's economic and political climate. I look forward to participating in this next phase of this 'lively experiment.'"

Ms. Koelsch is only the third permanent moderator in the show's 24 years, and the first woman. Former radio broadcaster Steve Kass moderated the show from 1987 until 2005, when he accepted a position in the Carcieri administration. James Hagan, former president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, has moderated the show since 2006.

With all of these changes, one thing will remain the same: fast-paced analysis of the week's political events by news makers and opinion leaders. A Lively Experiment will continue to ignite spirited debate, opinion, and commentary about Rhode Islanders' favorite local pastime: politics and government. Representing independent and partisan viewpoints, a revolving panel of television, radio, print, and online journalists, political scientists, pundits, economists, elected and appointed officials, and other Rhode Island personalities will examine local and state issues.

Another staple: the popular “Outrage of the Week.” Typifying the essence of the show’s political commentary, this segment features an eclectic collection of each guest's single most significant issue, often under-reported failings and foibles of Rhode Island officials.