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‘The Fabulous 413’ celebrates one year anniversary

'The Fabulous 413' hosts Monte Belmonte and Kaliis Smith

The local radio show on NEPM is like no other

Feb. 20, 2024, SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — This week, New England Public Media’s popular local radio show “The Fabulous 413” celebrates its first anniversary on 88.5 NEPM. Over the course of a year, hosts Monte Belmonte and Kaliis Smith have cultivated a unique approach to covering what’s happening in their beloved western Mass. Through interviews, live music, field segments, and regular guest appearances from U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern; Emily Brewster, senior editor at Merriam-Webster; Salman Hameed, Hampshire College astronomy professor; and others, “The Fabulous 413” invites its audience to celebrate western Massachusetts — its quirks, its triumphs, and its vibrant community.

“I’m not one to generally look back or laud anniversaries, but I’m very proud to be a part of this program that Kaliis and I have built with the team over the past year here at NEPM,” said Belmonte, show host and executive producer. “We originally likened this show to ‘Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood’ for adults, and I hope we’ve done our best to live up to that lofty goal. And whether you’re working in public media or not, what better role model is there to aspire to than Fred Rogers?”

When asked about the show's concept at launch, NEPM President Matt Abramovitz said it came directly from the community, from the listeners. NEPM spent 2022 conducting a listening tour of the region and its audience to understand how NEPM could help meet the needs of the community. The answer was clear: more local content and stories.

“When we started this journey one year ago, we had a simple goal for ‘The Fabulous 413:’ to create a space to be able to convene community, in all of the wonderful forms that that takes here in western Massachusetts,” said Tony Dunne, director of content for NEPM. “I’m really proud to say that over the past 12 months, we have done just that. On any given day you can listen to the show and hear a diverse cross-section of so many of the amazing things that make up this place we call home — be it agriculture, art, civics, or music and performance — it all has a home here.”

Over the course of 240 episodes, Monte Belmote and Kaliis Smith have introduced listeners to a huge number of interesting and passionate people who are making a difference in our region. People like Dr. Khama Ennis whose documentary, “Faces of Medicine,” celebrates the paths of Black female physicians both throughout the United States and in Massachusetts; Larry Spotted-Crow Mann whose latest book, “The Adventures of Kehteau,” teaches children about Native culture; and Amy Calandrella of Western Mass. Tradeswomen who’s advocating for more gender equity in the local construction workforce. They’ve also had the opportunity to talk with Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, and British band Modern English. GZA, a founding member of The Wu Tang Clan, was among their very first guests.

“I think our biggest praise has been from folks who have actively been using our show to go out and enjoy the area,” said Smith, show host and producer. “It's been a blast to find where those things are happening, and this coming year we're eager to find even more.”

The show has also helped spearhead new content initiatives across NEPM, including Hunger Awareness Week in November 2023. The weeklong reporting effort featured a variety of stories about how local people, businesses and nonprofits across western Massachusetts are finding innovative and sustainable ways to fight hunger in the region. It came ahead of the 14th Annual March for the Food Bank, led by “The Fabulous 413” host Belmonte, who continued the tradition he began as the morning host on The River 93.9/WRSI.

“When I first heard Monte on the radio, I knew he was a talented host,” said Abramovitz, president of NEPM. “But what really got my attention was his commitment to his community. His annual march against hunger is a testament to his belief that local broadcasters have a responsibility to raise awareness about the issues that matter and try to make life better for our friends and neighbors. That's a big part of our mission in public media and I knew he belonged with NEPM.”

Gov. Maura Healey marched alongside Belmonte for the first time, and over $450,000 was raised for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts during the 2023 march.

“As wine drinkers, Monte and Kaliis understand terroir — the distinct character of a wine that comes from the land where it’s grown,” said Abramovitz. “With 240 episodes and counting, they’ve captured the terroir of western Massachusetts by introducing us to the interesting and passionate people who make this region special. NEPM aspires to be the indispensable guide to western Massachusetts and ‘The Fabulous 413’ plays a big part in that effort. Join me in raising a glass to this radio dream team!”

“The Fabulous 413” airs weekdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. on 88.5 NEPM, and is available as a podcast.


“The Fabulous 413” is a daily afternoon radio show hosted by Monte Belmonte and Kaliis Smith, celebrating life in western Massachusetts. Airing on 88.5 NEPM and available as a daily podcast, the show tells stories, creates connections, and celebrates the extraordinary people and experiences of the fabulous 413. With a commitment to storytelling and community engagement, “The Fabulous 413” continues to be a beloved fixture in western Massachusetts' cultural landscape.

Monte Belmonte, host and executive producer of NEPM's “The Fabulous 413” was born and raised in Massachusetts and has been a radio host in western Massachusetts for the last 20 years, Prior to NEPM he spent 17 years doing the morning show on The River 93.9/WRSI. During his time as host of “Mornings with Monte”, he developed several local fundraising campaigns, including the annual pre-Thanksgiving “Monte’s March” for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. He also serves as the volunteer president of the board of the nonprofit Shea Theater Arts Center in his hometown of Great Falls (Turners Falls), Massachusetts. He is married to Smith College Spanish lecturer Melissa Belmonte, and has three incredibly creative kids, Atticus, Enzo and Pax.

Kaliis Smith is host and producer for NEPM's “The Fabulous 413.” She was most recently host and producer at The River 93.9/WRSI where she appeared on “Mornings with Monte” for the Nerdwatch segment and hosted weekday evenings. A guitarist, she’s in several local bands including Ex-Temper, The Brass, and Soul Magnets, and is the author of “Finger and Thumb.” Her latest, “Sir Morien,” a children’s book co-written with New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, was released in 2023. Kaliis is originally from Roxbury, and now lives in Springfield, Massachusetts.


New England Public Media enriches people’s lives in western Massachusetts and beyond by nurturing curiosity, inspiring community engagement, and reflecting the unique joys of living here. NEPM is the region’s source for PBS and NPR programs and for locally produced news, video and music content.

For more information, visit nepm.org or follow NEPM on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Vanessa Cerillo
Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Events
New England Public Media