BYU Radio adds storytelling segment to the weekly line-up

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Sam Payne recording an episode of "The Apple Seed." (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)
Sam Payne recording an episode of “The Apple Seed.” (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)

BYU Radio has added a new show, focused on storytelling, to the weekly line-up. The nationwide show, “The Apple Seed,” airs Monday–Friday at 12 p.m. MT.

“It’s a great new show, and it’s doing really well,” said Andy Bay, producer of “The Apple Seed.” “We’re getting a lot more traffic to our website, and the word’s getting out in the storytelling community.”

The show is hosted by Sam Payne, a storyteller, musician and radio host from Alpine. He was chosen because of his experience telling stories and his comfortability in a radio studio.

A typical show consists of an introduction to the day’s theme, a prerecorded and produced story or two, often an interview segment or, occasionally, a contextualization of the theme and a few more stories before closing.

“There’s great storytelling that you can find in bits and pieces on NPR,” Bay said. “On Saturday you can hear once a week ‘This American Life’ with Ira Glass and you can catch little pieces of ‘StoryCorps’ on Friday on morning edition, but to have an hour-long weekday show on national radio, that’s pretty incredible!”

“The Apple Seed” is not the traditional Mormon programming typically associated with a BYU broadcasting channel. The show airs on SiriusXM radio channel 143 in addition to its spot on BYU Radio and byuradio.org.

“We aren’t a local audience; this is to a national audience,” Bay said. “We are not an LDS-specific audience at all. It’s very general, so it’s a really fantastic opportunity for both BYU Broadcasting and BYU Radio to really shine in a unique way country wide.”

The program has been successful largely in part to contributions from the Ashton Family Foundation, which also stands behind the Timpanogos Storytelling Institute and Festival.  Co-founder Karen Ashton played a major role in the development and execution of the show.

“The Ashton Family Foundation understands the value of storytelling on a variety of levels from bringing families and people together to learning about the world,” Bay said.

“Storytelling is something that unites people,” Bay said. “It brings people together. You’re less judgmental of people when you hear their story. You start to see dimensions to people in a story that you don’t in another way, and people can join together.”

Students echo that the stories shared on the program could be a nice distraction from a hectic life.

“I can see its value as an entertaining distraction from school and stress,” said Kyle Higbee, a molecular biology major from San Ramon, Calif.  “A lot of people like to listen to stories because it helps them forget what’s going on in their life. Sometimes that’s helpful if your life is crazy.”

Story ideas are being accepted on the show’s official website, or through email at .

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