“For all of public radio’s successes, the part of our mission we’ve always neglected the most is innovation. Our biggest shows —All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, Fresh Air, A Prairie Home Companion — are decades old. The average age of our listeners keeps creeping upward. At 53, I am one of the younger public radio stars. My show has been on the air 17 years.
We need to make space for new shows, new talent, new ideas. That’s our mission, and ultimately, it’ll be good business, too, to have exciting new shows bring in new audiences.”
See, on the one hand I kind of agree with Ira’s argument. Making space for new shows allows great new ones (like Wait Wait, which Ira references and, yeah, I still think of it as “new” even though it’s been on air for 14 years now) to join the party.
On the other hand, though… a world without Car Talk on Saturday and Sunday mornings is a terrifying thing to contemplate. As I believe I’ve banged on about before, growing up in a house where the radio is always on means that all those shows and sounds and voices become a nigh inextricable part of existence. I can barely function when I hear of a beloved host’s retirement, and when one passes on it’s even worse. To lose a whole show is terrifying. But, you know… we’ll carry on.
I’ll love to hear Car Talk on the radio as long as it airs– even once Tom and Ray have gone into their mostly-retirement. Maybe sometime I’ll even get a car (or, at the very least, a driver’s license). I imagine it won’t be on the schedule forever, and when that last show plays? It’ll be the end of an era, but I guess I’ll figure it out.
Thank god for archives, though, amirite? Future family, thou shalt not escape the glory!