Michael Krall

Program Director



If you’ve ever had a question or comment about the station’s programming, or were looking for a story from WBHM or NPR, chances are you’ve spoken with WBHM’s Program Director Michael Krall. His job includes managing the sound of the station -- from overseeing the on-air staff to curating the program schedule.

You can hear Michael hosting Morning Edition or All Things Considered from time to time, and listen out for his interviews with artists and other interesting people who make their way through Birmingham.

Michael came to WBHM in 1998 from WCBU in Peoria, Illinois. A graduate of the University of Maine, he’s spent his entire career in public radio working in WKNO in Memphis and WSCL in Salisbury, Maryland, as well as Maine Public Radio.

In his free time, Michael enjoys hiking, attending concerts, and playing Scrabble.

Blocking Off Some Time

Weekends on WBHM are a time when we add a little variety to our programming mix. We still keep you up to date with the news, however the programming is slightly different. You’ll hear analysis of the week’s events, long-form journalism, personal storytelling, and music from our region. Part of the programming secret sauce is […]

A Special Interview for Our Lissa-ners…

Some voices are so familiar and comforting to you that it’s like listening to an dear friend. Lissa LeGrand is that dear friend, and I’m writing about her because 2021 marks her 40th year of working at WBHM! To celebrate her service, I’m interviewing her for this week’s column. When did you start working here? In […]

Clocks, Clocks Everywhere…

Last month, I wrote about technology and time, and I specifically mentioned clocks that sync every mission critical system at the station. Today, I’m writing about a different kind of clock – a programming clock. “Clocks” are the specific templates used at NPR, WBHM and other stations to tell us the precise timing of all the […]

Welcome to the World of EAS

You’ve no doubt heard these harsh tones on our air at random times. These tones activate a computer-generated voice that sends out severe weather warnings. The system is tested weekly and interrupts programming – sometimes at very inopportune times. To broadcasters, it’s known as The Emergency Alert System (EAS), a national warning system in the […]

The Secret to Good Radio is…

Want to know the secret to good radio? Airchecks. What’s that? It’s regular listening sessions with WBHM hosts where I offer feedback on their on-air performance. We talk about what works well and the opportunities to continuously improve. Most of us do our jobs every day and maybe we get feedback once a year. Consider an […]

Technically Speaking…

Technology plays a crucial part in the daily operation of WBHM. As program director, I don’t have to understand the nuts and bolts of how a piece of equipment works or know how to fix it. But I do need to have a big picture idea of how something works. Sometimes I feel like I’m the universal translator […]

Why Does that Announcement Air All the Time?

As promised, here’s the second part of my column from last week. And, like last week, the answer has to do with how listeners like you use radio and the time spent listening to WBHM. We air 30-second announcements throughout the day (including the overnight hours) which usually promote specific programs, fundraising, special events, or […]

Why Do I Hear the Same Thing All the Time?

“Why do you air the same stories over and over?” “How come you repeat some programs?” I hear comments like this often and the answers have to do with how listeners use radio, programming economics, and the time spent listening to WBHM. Morning Edition is actually a two-hour program, and savvy listeners know that between 5-7 […]

Breaking News…What Goes on Behind the Scenes

Usually, my newsletter comes out on Tuesday, but given this past Tuesday’s special coverage of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, we decided to wait until today. You might be wondering what goes into airing special coverage on WBHM. The short answer? A lot more than you might think. When special coverage is about […]

My Favorite Driveway Moment…

This week’s column features one of my all-time favorite stories on NPR. Before I share the link, you have to promise me you won’t read this story online, you’ll listen to it. I’ll wait…Okay, promise? Good! See, at NPR.org, in addition to the audio, they also make the transcript available. That’s not a bad thing. Many people go to […]

It’s that Time of Year Again…

What’s the one phrase that repels public radio listeners faster than anything? On-air fund drive. But wait!! Before your eyes glaze over, it’s important to realize that when it comes to fundraising, WBHM (and all of public radio) have grown up over the years. Fifteen or so years ago public radio asked listeners how they perceive fundraising both on an […]

Public Radio’s Core Values

If someone asked you what WBHM sounds like, what would you tell them? Could you put it into words? And if you could, what would those words be? Enter Core Values. A while back, the Public Radio Program Directors Association (yes, there is such a thing!) asked the top producers in public radio to come […]

About 5 Years Ago…

I once received a phone call that started like this: “About five years ago…I heard this piece of music…that had bells in it…do you know what it was?” My answer was “Maybe? Let me take a look.” The interstitial music you hear on WBHM can come from either a network program or originate in our […]

Worth Reading: NPR’s Public Editor

Every so often, I get an e-mail from NPR’s Public Editor, and when I do, I always read it. The Public Editor is a source of independent accountability and serves as a bridge between NPR’s newsroom and the audience. The office strives to both listen to the audience’s concerns and explain the newsroom’s work and ambitions. […]

On the Radio, You Can’t be Clear Enough.

At the beginning of the year, you may have noticed something sounded a bit different when you listened to WBHM but you couldn’t put your finger on it. You were right! Something is different. Previously, we identified ourselves as Public Radio for the Heart of Alabama as well as Your NPR Station. For consistency and clarity we made a […]

Live: 2020 Election Updates And Results

November 3rd was the final voting day of the 2020 election. The presidency as well as several key Senate, House and gubernatorial races were on the line. Follow NPR’s coverage and results.

Live: Final Presidential Debate Between Trump And Biden

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden held a debate October 22 in Nashville, with Kristen Welker of NBC News moderating. This final debate had new rules established by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Follow updates and analysis.

Watch Live: Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett would fill the seat left vacant with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Watch the hearings live. (Oct. 12-14 starting at 8 a.m. Central. This special coverage will preempt our regular schedule.)

Live: The 2020 Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris debated in Salt Lake City. Their only face-off of the 2020 campaign comes with a wave of uncertainty with President Trump undergoing treatment for COVID-19. Follow updates and fact-checks on the debate.

Live Updates: 1st Presidential Debate Between Trump And Biden

Follow NPR’s live coverage of the first 2020 presidential election debate, including fact-checking and analysis. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were in Cleveland for the event, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News.

Fact Check: Trump’s RNC Speech

President Trump is accepting the Republican nomination for president on Thursday. NPR reporters are providing analysis of his remarks live.

RNC Live Coverage: Thursday, August 27

Follow live updates and analysis of Day 4 of the Republican National Convention. President Trump caps off the week with his address. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Central

RNC Live Coverage: Wednesday, August 26

Follow live updates and analysis of Day 3 of the Republican National Convention. Vice President Pence headlines the night. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Central.

RNC Live Coverage: Tuesday, August 25

Follow live updates and analysis of Day 2 of the Republican National Convention. First lady Melania Trump headlines the night. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Central.

RNC Live Coverage: Monday, August 24

Follow live updates and analysis of Day 1 of the Republican National Convention, where the party is set to formally nominate President Trump as its presidential nominee. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Central.

Fact Check: Biden’s DNC Speech

Joe Biden formally accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president on Thursday. NPR reporters are providing live analysis of his remarks.

DNC Live Coverage: Thursday, August 20

Follow live updates and analysis of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is speaking Thursday night. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Central.

DNC Live Coverage: Wednesday, August 19

Follow live updates and analysis of the Democratic National Convention. Wednesday’s speakers include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Central.

DNC Live Coverage: Tuesday, August 18

Follow live updates and analysis of the Democratic National Convention. Tuesday’s speakers include New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former President Bill Clinton. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. Central

DNC Live Coverage: Monday, August 17

Follow live updates and analysis of the Democratic National Convention. Monday’s speakers include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former first lady Michelle Obama. Coverage begins tonight at 8 p.m. Central.

Roger James Retires From Alabama Symphony Orchestra After 35 Years

COVID-19 put an abrupt end to the 99th season of the ASO and that meant no public send-off for those who are retiring. Roger James reflects on learning to play the violin, how to keep the passion when playing familiar songs, and when to make an exit.

2020 Program Change FAQs

As valued listener, we want you to know about some new and exciting changes to our program schedule. Beginning Saturday March 7, 2020, nine new programs are coming to WBHM! Weeknights will now include Marketplace and more classical music. Weekends will include It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Sound Opinions, Bluegrass Breakdown, Highway 61, […]