PULLMAN, Wash. — Northwest Public Radio is expanding “Inland Folk” with Dan Maher and adding a new program with Mary Hawkins, “The Saturday Show,” to its NPR and Classical Music service heard in communities across Washington state, parts of Idaho and northeastern Oregon.

The new schedule will enable the service to broadcast uninterrupted, locally-produced music shows between “Car Talk” and “A Prairie Home Companion” every Saturday. As of Jan. 4, “Inland Folk” airs from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. and “The Saturday Show,” with blues and acoustic music, is broadcast from 2-5 p.m.

The program change was instituted when it came time to replace “True Blues” after host Ron Gordon left the area to pursue other interests. “We auditioned 20 programs from national sources like NPR and Public Radio International,” said Hawkins, NPR program director. “There are a lot of great shows out there, but none that was just right for our audience in that time slot.”

Music director Robin Rilette suggested Hawkins host the show, and the program director agree. “It’s still going to have a strong blues and roots feel about it, but also include favorite new and old music from a variety of contemporary genres.”

Hawkins said the new program is also in response to listener feedback, asking for a continuous music alternative throughout the day. “I hope we become a constant Saturday companion in the homes and cars of many weekend listeners.”

“Inland Folk” and “The Saturday Show” can be heard on NPR and Classical Music Stations, including KFAE-FM 89.1, Richland/Pasco/Kennewick; KNWP-FM 90.1, Cottonwood/Grangeville (Idaho); KNWP-FM 90.1 Port Angeles/Victoria (B.C.); KNWY-FM 90.3 Yakima; KNWV-FM 90.5, Clarkston/Lewiston (Idaho); KNWR-FM 90.7, Ellensburg/Wenatchee/Moses Lake; KRFA-FM 91.7, Moscow (Idaho); and KZAZ-FM 91.7, Bellingham.