Sounds of Silence: Public Radio's Canceled Program Archive

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Failure is an option. In fact, some of our best (and favorite) national programs in public radio are no longer broadcast. Why do some programs survive, even thrive, while others perish? This wiki archive calls on public radio professionals to help crowdsource a definitive list of syndicated shows that have gone silent, along with descriptions of the programs, key personnel, memories of powerful content, and analysis of why the program faded away.

We hope this wiki will expand the discussion and build a useful resource – not only for those nostalgic for by-gone days with a story to tell, but a repository for what worked and what didn’t. Failure is not a straight line. Buried in each are useful lessons that may inform those looking to invent the next big thing.

We invite you to share your stories by contributing information regarding nationally syndicated programs you were involved with. What was brilliant? Who made it tick? And what was behind its demise? Did the funder pull the plug; did carriage shrink; did a concept run its course; did a primary host move on?

Special message from AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt:
AIR offers offers this public resource on behalf of its 880 media practitioners for free, but that doesn’t mean we’re able to maintain it at no cost. If you find it useful, we hope you’ll take a moment to let us know in the form of a donation. We suggest $25, but we’ll accept any amount, smaller or larger. You can make your contribution now via Paypal, or email us at info <at>airmedia.org. Thanks in advance. Donate.gif via Paypal

So, here are the parameters: For now, we are documenting only national programs, services and series, not local or regional shows or short-term pilots. And we ask that you approach this constructively and professionally. This is not a blog. If you include a personal opinion, please attribute it accordingly (Joe Smith says, "..."). In other words, please don't write that a program sucked, its host was intolerable, the management was stupid or everyone got screwed by the network. These opinions may reflect your truth, but they aren't actually helpful to our purpose, which is creating a knowledge network that enables public radio producers, stations, funders, and program makers to learn from our industry’s collective past. AIR will respectfully review and edit postings as deemed appropriate.

Now go ahead and edit this wiki. Anyone can create a login by clicking on link at upper right hand corner of this page, Then, you can add new listings, update information, correct errors, etc. Visit the AIRwiki Editing Guide for the simple rules for doing just that or our AIRwiki FAQ for more details about how to contribute to the site - both located in the navigation bar to your left.

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A


Anthem

Broadcast Start & End Date: Jan. 3, 1998-Sept. 1999
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced and distributed by NPR.
Description (less than 100 words): Anthem was a two-hour magazine about popular music and culture. NPR launched Anthem along with Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, to attract more weekend listeners--specifically NPR's weekday news audience, who tended to listen to music stations on weekends. Each week, the program featured a live musical performance, as well as regular segments such as singing lessons, "Favorite Poems" (a collaboration with Robert Pinsky), samplings from recent CD releases, and Advice for the Video Lorn, during which listeners receive "video prescriptions for their personal problems". The show's hosts were chosen in part for their relaxed on-air demeanor and
Reason for Cancellation:
Lessons Learned: Some stations were initially suspicious of the show because they felt it had been artificially marketed toward a specific demographic. Erik Nycklemoe, programming director for KNAU, Flagstaff: "Basically, people are suspicious that this show was generated by committee" (source: Current.org).
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Bonnie Grice, Rick Karr, hosts. Neenah Ellis, senior producer. Margaret Howze, music producer. Andy Trudeau, music producer. Alice Winkler, producer.
Links: Current.org article on Anthem: http://www.current.org/rad/rad723w.html

Art Beat

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Ask Dr. Science

Broadcast Start & End Date  : 1984-2008
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre; Distributed by APR/PRI
Format: Comedy module series
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Links: http://www.waverec.com/

B

Been There Done That

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Links: http://www.whyy.org/91FM/btdt/about.html http://www.whyy.org/91FM/btdt/archive.html

Bridges: A liberal/conservative dialogue

Broadcast Start & End Date: July 8, 1994-February 15, 1999
Program Producer & Distributor: The Radio Foundation, Inc.
Description (less than 100 words): Bridges is a forum for liberal-conservative dialogue about a range of issues, including civil rights, welfare, foreign policy, civil liberties and the government's role in the economy. During a time when the traditional divisions between liberal and conservative thought appeared to be weakening, Bridges seeks to "start and sustain the dialogue" between liberal and conservative thinkers through a variety of formats, including one-on-one profiles, debates between liberal and conservative guests, and panel discussions.
Reason for Cancellation: Loss of funding.
Lessons Learned: Josephson on conservative talk radio: "The reason for Limbaugh's success, besides the disaffection of the white middle-class male, is the death of the fairness doctrine...People can hatch conspiracies about Hillary [Rodham Clinton] and the death of Vincent Foster and no one can go after them." (Advocate, 2 May 1995)
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: The show's guests include Francis Fukuyama, William F. Buckley, Jr., George Gilder, Lynn Cheney, Midge Decter, Michael Lind, John O'Sullivan, Glenn Loury, Michael Novak, David Blankenhorn, Hilton Kramer, Alvin and Heidi Toffler, Paul Craig Roberts, Cal Thomas, Ralph Reed, James Q. Wilson, P.J. O'Rourke, Kevin Phillips, Charles Murray, Robert Bartley and William Kristol.
Key Personnel: Larry Josephson, host.
Links: Info: http://www.radioart.org/bridges/
List of programs: http://www.radioart.org/programs/
Audio: http://www.radioart.org/listen/

Bryant Park Project

Broadcast Start & End Date  : 2007-2008
Program Producer & Distributor: National Public Radio
Description (less than 100 words):
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Key Personnel: Alison Stewart, Luke Burbank, Hosts; Matt Martinez, Producer
Links: http://www.npr.org/blogs/bryantpark/

C

Calling All Pets

Broadcast Start & End Date: Went on the air in 1994. The final new program aired on May 9th, 2008, and encore programs ended June 2009
Program Producer & Distributor: Wisconsin Public Radio
Description (less than 100 words):
Reason for Cancellation: WPR said: "These are very challenging times, and we’re called upon to very carefully allocate resources while also dealing with increasing expectations from our listeners and web visitors. Calling All Pets has been without a national distribution partner for several years now, so we've been producing and providing it to stations ourselves. WPR management decided that was no longer sustainable. And we have provided Calling All Pets to stations for free, which means that there has been no revenue to offset our expenses. In evaluating our priorities for the current fiscal year, we decided that it was time to retire the program rather than continue to commit the significant resources (about $130,000 annually) needed to make the program successful on a national level."
Lessons Learned:
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Key Personnel: Co-hosts Patricia McConnell and Larry Meiller
Links: http://www.wpr.org/pets/ http://wpr.org/webcasting/audioarchives_display.cfm?Code=cap

CBC Sunday Morning

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Links: http://archives.cbc.ca/programs/682/

Comedy College

Broadcast Start & End Date: 2001-2004(?)
Program Producer & Distributor: Producer: Prairie Home Productions/Minnesota Public Radio. Distributor: American Public Media.
Description (less than 100 words): Comedy College presents classic comedy routines. The format consists of the "unedited presentation of complete works", including live stage performances, scripted material and improvised sketches. Each program focuses on a single comedian or comedy team. Hosts provide commentary and background information on historical recordings.
Reason for Cancellation:
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Key Personnel: Garrison Keillor, executive producer. Tiffany Hanssen, producer. Steve Martin, Rita Rudner, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, hosts.
Links: Website with audio links: http://comedycollege.publicradio.org/

Common Ground

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1980-April 27, 2004
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by The Stanley Foundation. Distributed by
Description (less than 100 words): Common Ground offered news and analysis of world affairs. Each program consisted of several shorter documentaries and interviews. The topics of these short segments ranged from profiles of international aid workers to reports on military coups, and a single program frequently presented stories from many different countries, often from journalists working abroad.
Reason for Cancellation:
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words: "This is the final broadcast of Common Ground. Our program was launched in 1980 and we would like to thank the hundreds of radio stations across the country who have carried Common Ground over the last 24 years. And we also thank our listeners who have supported us as well."
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Jeff Martin, Jim Berard, Mary Gray-Davidson, Keith Porter, Kristin McHugh; producers and hosts.
Links: Program website: http://commongroundradio.org/
Audio archive and transcripts: http://commongroundradio.org/shows.shtml

The Connection

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1994-Aug. 5, 2005.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by WBUR. Distributed by PRI.
Description (less than 100 words): The Connection was a call-in program about domestic and international current events. Each two-hour program consisted of conversations with scholars, politicians, artists, activists and journalists. A typical program featured two guests or groups of guests talking about two different topics (for example, "The Legacy of Lance Armstrong" and "The North Korea Problem"), and alternated between the host's interview and call-in comments and questions.
Reason for Cancellation: Dick Gordon called the show's cancellation a "bolt out of the blue" and said he was unsure why the show was suddenly pulled in August, 2005. After its cancellation, The Connection was replaced by On Point on WBUR.
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: In 2003, the program went on the air from Baghdad for ten days, as part of its coverage on the War in Iraq.
Key Personnel: Christopher Lydon, host (1994-2001). Dick Gordon, host (2001-2005).
Links: Audio archive: http://theconnection.wbur.org/

Crossroads

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Description (less than 100 words): Weekly, half-hour, multicultural news magazine.
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Key Personnel: Elisabeth Perez-Luna, Host and Executive Producer; Len Perskie, Technical Director and Engineer;
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Cultivated Gardener

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D

Day to Day

Broadcast Start & End Date: July 20, 2003 - March 23, 2009
Program Producer & Distributor: NPR
Description (less than 100 words): One-hour daily news magazine produced from NPR West/Los Angeles. Sought to boost midday listening by providing NPR magazine style programming for that time. Partnership with Slate.com. Exceeded NPR carriage targets.
Reason for Cancellation: Alex Chadwick: "In budget crunch of 2008, NPR canceled all NPR West original programming while maintaining online." Some speculate it was a decision marking a new strategic direction away from new radio programming. At a time of digital media expansion, does NPR believe radio is a dying medium?
Lessons Learned: Public radio stations interested in a new NPR program offering should consider whether the company will stand behind it over the long term.
Parting Words: Alex Chadwick: "We love LA."
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Hosts: Alex Chadwick, Madeleine Brand; EP's: JJ Sutherland, Leith Bishop, Jeff Rogers, Deborah Clark; Producers: Steve Proffitt, Chip Grabow, Neal Carruth, Christopher Johnson, Kathryn Fox, Jacob Conrad; Editors: John Buckley, Martha Little, Neal Carruth; Newbies: Shereen Meraji, Martina Castro; Technical Director: Leo del Aguila
Links: http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=17 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_to_Day

Derek McGinty Show

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1991-Jan. 30, 1998
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by WAMU. Distributed by NPR.
Description (less than 100 words): The Derek McGinty Show was a daily general interest talk show. During each 2-hour show, McGinty interviewed "musicians, actors, film directors, Nobel Peace Prize-winners, athletes, comedians, journalists, photographers, artists, politicians, authors, poets, and scientists" (Source: npr.org). National and international syndication of the show's second hour began in 1996.
Reason for Cancellation: In 1998, McGinty left the show to begin a television journalism career as a correspondent for CBS's "Public Eye with Bryant Gimble".
Lessons Learned:
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Memorable Moments: Won, CPB's Gold Award for public affairs programming, 1994.
Key Personnel: Derek McGinty, host. Ellen Silva, producer.
Links: Current.org profile of McGinty: http://www.current.org/people/peop423m.html

E

EarPlay

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1971-1990s.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by Karl Schmidt; Distributed by NPR; Started at WHA, Madison, WI
Description (less than 100 words): Earplay was NPR's longest-running radio drama series. Rather than reviving old radio dramas, Earplay commissioned new works by leading contemporary playwrights, incuding Edward Albee, Tom Stoppard, David Mamet and Arthur Kopit. The series also produced adaptations from films and novels, including Star Wars and Don Quixote.
Reason for Cancellation: Loss of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lessons Learned: Karl Schmidt: "If we had the opportunity to really do it intelligently, we could run all the remnants of 1930s radio right off the air and make them hide their heads in shame." Schmidt contrasted the cancellation of Earplay with the continuing vibrancy of radio plays in Great Britain. Earplay was originally intended as an alternative to Top 40 radio programs, offering 5-10 minute radio plays. Hour-long radio plays replaced the shorter format as the series progressed. David Mamet: "Writing for radio, I learned the way all great drama works: by leaving the endowment of characters, place, and especially actors up to the audience."
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: Several Earplay radio plays were produced as live theater, including Edward Albee's Listening and Arthur Kopit's Wings. Earplay won two Ohio State awards, two Armstrong awards, a Peabody award, and the Prix Italia, widely regarded as the one of the most prestigious international honors in radio broadcasting.
Key Personnel: Karl Schmidt, producer; Howard Gelman, assistant producer
Links: http://otrarchive.blogspot.com/2009/09/earplaynpr.html

Enfoque Nacional

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The Environment Report

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F

Fair Game with Faith Salie

Broadcast Start & End Date: Jan. 2007-May 30, 2008
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by New York Public Radio. Distributed by PRI.
Description (less than 100 words): Fair Game with Faith Salie is a satirical "variety show for the highest common denominator". Each program starts with a conversation about the day's news between Salie and a correspondent. The program would continue with interviews, live music and comedy segments like "Thank You, State Department" and "Seemingly Simple Solutions to Intractable Problems". Salie's humorous, down-to-earth style attracted a large audience, notably among the 25-44 demographic. Fair Game featured interviews with actors, musicians, politicians, journalists and comedians, including Michael Keaton, Joan Rivers, Tom Brokaw and Jimmy Carter.
Reason for Cancellation: PRI canceled the show after it failed to attract a major national underwriter.
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: Anthony Hopkins performed an Elvis impression on-air.
Key Personnel: Kerrie Hillman, creator and executive producer. Faith Salie, host.
Links: Program website: http://www.pri.org/fair-game.html

First House on the Right

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Program Producer & Distributor: Minnesota Public Radio
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The Future of Medicine

Broadcast Start & End Date:
Program Producer & Distributor: Samanna Productions, Inc.
Description (less than 100 words): 3-4 minutes modules about advances in research about medicine
Reason for Cancellation: loss of funding
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Key Personnel: Ira Flatow - Host, Exec. Producer, Dan Keller - Producer
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G

Good Dirt

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1992-1994
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by WAMU. Distributed by NPR.
Description: Designed to the the "Environmental 'Car Talk,'" the program was originally hosted by Doug Wheeler of the World Wildlife Fund and Dave Morine who had worked for the Nature Conservancy. The two joked with each other and with callers and answered questions about the environment. There were also taped 2-ways with guests and an "Eco-Fable" where Dave would tell a funny story with an environmental moral. A few weeks after the show went on the air, Doug was asked by California Gov. Pete Wilson to be his secretary of environment. At the time Wilson had presidential ambitions and Doug took the job, thinking he'd come back to Washington as Secretary of Interior. Doug was replaced by Bil Gilbert, a gruff, woodsy nature writer. Dave and Bil didn't have the same chemistry that Dave and Doug had had.
Reason for Cancellation: Loss of grant money.
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: "If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down."
Key Personnel: Dave Morine, Doug Wheeler, Bil Gilbert, hosts. Richard Paul, original producer.
Links: Sports Illustrated article about Good Dirt: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1140586/index.htm

Good Evening

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1988-1989.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by Minnesota Public Radio. Distributed by [?].
Description (less than 100 words): When Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion went off the air in 1987, Minnesota Public Radio created Good Evening as a replacement. Noah Adams temporarily left All Things Considered to host the show, whose combination of musical acts, storytelling and humorous sketches was reminiscent of A Prairie Home Companion. Good Evening had the same time slot as Keillor's show, and was also broadcast from the World Theater in St. Paul, MN. Minnesota Public Radio
Reason for Cancellation:
Lessons Learned: The show received criticism (cf. a review in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 Jan. 1998) for being too derivative of A Prairie Home Companion. Indeed, many radio stations ran reruns of A Prairie Home Companion instead of Good Evening, and Keillor's show returned to the air full-time in 1993.
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Key Personnel: Noah Adams, host.
Links: Philadelphia Inquirer review: http://articles.philly.com/1988-01-11/news/26285426_1_lake-wobegon-minnesota-public-radio-world-theater

Gray Matters

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1994-Nov. 26, 2010
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, PRI. Distributed by PRI.
Description (less than 100 words): Gray Matters explored advances and problems in neuroscience. Program topics include neuroethics, how the brain experiences music and cutting-edge imaging technology. The Dana Alliance's stated mission is to "champion the public stake in brain research". The program sought to introduce an audience of non-specialists to neuroscience through interviews with and profiles of physicians, researchers and patients.
Reason for Cancellation:
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Key Personnel: Mary Beth Kirchner, producer. Judy Woodruff, Mandy Patinkin, Garrick Utley hosts.
Links: Podcasts and transcripts: http://www.dana.org/danaalliances/programs/graymatters/

H

HEAT

Broadcast Start & End Date: Feb.-Oct., 1990.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by Murray Street Productions. Distributed by NPR.
Description (less than 100 words): John Hockenberry on HEAT: "A way to break some boundaries between news and arts and politics...inviting the left brain and the right brain to party together at the end of the day." Heat was a two-hour nightly news program. An essay or live sketch from John Hockenberry opened each program and would be followed by conversations with and commentary by the show's guests, live music performances, or stand-up comedy.
Reason for Cancellation: Loss of funding.
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: The program won a Peabody award in 1990.
Key Personnel: John Hockenberry, host. Ted Bonnitt, RJ Cutler, Ira Glass, Joe Richman, Marika Partridge, and Eileen Delahunty; producers. Steve Rathe, creator.
Links: Audio archive: http://www.prx.org/series/17060-heat-with-john-hockenberry

Horizons

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I

In The Loop

Broadcast Start & End Date: July 2005 - March 2010
Program Producer & Distributor: Minnesota Public Radio
Description (less than 100 words): In The Loop combined news, (original) music, and humor with a large dose of audience-generated and audience-inspired content. It was initially thematic in scope, and in later years became more closely tied to national and international news. Format evolved from an intermittent studio show (2005-'06) to a live audience monthly show ('06-'07) to a weekly live audience pilot season (fall '07) to a weekly half-hour studio show ('08-'09) to a weekly podcast ('09-'10). It was a heavy user of MPR's Public Insight Journalism tools, as well as social networking, to generate content. The show also produced a number of In The Loop "Story Slam" open mic events for radio.
Reason for Cancellation:
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words: "You had a good run." (final words of an original song which ended the last episode)
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Jeff Horwich (host) Sanden Totten (producer) Michael Skoler (executive producer) Leith Bishop (managing producer, weekly pilot season); many other valuable producers and contributors
Links: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/in_the_loop/

The Infinite Mind

Broadcast Start & End Date: December 1999 through December 2008
Program Producer & Distributor: Lichtenstein Creative Media
Description (less than 100 words): Art and science of the human mind.
Reason for Cancellation: Producer announcement in November 2008 that program was being retired after 10 years.
Lessons Learned: The brain and human behavior are inextricably linked.
Parting Words: Copyright 2008.
Memorable Moments: Trauma broadcasts after 9/11; Kurt Vonnegut and Suzanne Vega live from Second Life; John Updike on insomnia; Richard Lewis on addiction; Laurie Anderson, Cowboy Junkies, Loudon Wainwright III, Philip Glass, and Emanuel Ax, and the casts of the Broadway hits “Avenue Q” and “Wicked.”
Key Personnel: Bill Lichtenstein, senior executive producer; producers included Marit Haahr; Emily Fisher; Eva Neuberg; Deidre Kennedy; Sharon Lerner. Hosts Dr. Fred Goodwin and Dr. Peter Kramer; commentator John Hockenberry.
Links: Lichtenstein Creative Media: http://www.LCMedia.com The Infinite Mind web store: http://lcmedia.stores.yahoo.net/infinitemind.html Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Infinite_Mind

J

Jazz Alive

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Justice Talking

Broadcast Start & End Date  : 1999-2008
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania; distributed by NPR
Description (less than 100 words): Thematic editions. Initially, the program featured one-on-one debates recorded before a live audience and edited for broadcast, along with pre-produced background/set-up pieces and other elements. Eventually, JT developed into more of a magazine-format with a diversity of elements on the theme.
Reason for Cancellation: loss of funding from Annenberg Foundation
Lessons Learned:
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Key Personnel: Margot Adler, Host; Kathryn Kolbert, Executive Producer; Julie Drizin, Producer (1999-2003); Sheryl Flowers, Producer (1999-2002); Kara McGuirk, Producer (2000 - 2008); Erin Mooney, Producer (2002-2007); Steve Mencher, Producer (2002-2005); Ingrid Lakey, Producer (2005-2008); Viet Le, Producer (2006-2008); Julie Mashack, Producer (2006-2008); Jeanne Baron, Producer (2007-2008); Gary Kalman, Communications (2001-2005); Laura Sider, Outreach (2003-2008); Marvin Li, Webmaster (2003-2004); Gary Gehman, Webmast (2004-2008)
Links: http://www.justicetalking.org http://www.justicelearning.org

K

KidsAmerica

Broadcast Start & End Date: 10/83- 12/31/1987
Program Producer & Distributor: WNYC, PRI
Description (less than 100 words): Daily, live, call-in radio show for kids. Segments included "Duke of Words," "Martha's Mishaps," "Xeno the Alian," "Marcy's Party," "Paging Dr. Book." Grew out of "Small Things Considered."
Reason for Cancellation: Lost funding from CPB & WNYC chose to cancel
Lessons Learned: Just give Kathy O'Connell a microphone
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: First hosts of "Small Things Considered" walked off 15 minutes to airtime, leading to O'Connell & Orfaly hosting when board op O'Connell was told "we need you to help us out."
Key Personnel: Hosts Kathy O'Connell & Larry Orfaly, Producer: Keith Talbot, Engineer: David Nolan, Assoc. Producer: Marcy Mankoff, Joan Grossman Contributors: Stuart Leigh, Dan Hagen, Martha Dodge, E.A. Haas, Marjorie Van Halteren
Links: Audio archive: http://kidscorner.org/html/mediaroom.php

L

Latin File

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Modern Times

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Monitor Radio

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Motley Fool Radio

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Links: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126928150

N

New American Radio

Broadcast Start & End Date  : 1987-1998
Program Producer & Distributor: Producer: New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. Distributor: ?.
Description (less than 100 words): New American Radio broadcast experimental music, sound art and radio plays, as well as "environmental compositions" and "associational documentaries". The program commissioned and then broadcast works by sound artists, musicians, writers and performance artists from all over the world.
Reason for Cancellation:
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Key Personnel: Helen Thorington and Regine Beyer, producers.
Links: Program website: http://somewhere.org/NAR/index.htm
Audio archive: http://somewhere.org/NAR/catalog/full.htm

New Sounds

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New Voices

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News and Notes

Broadcast Start & End Date: December 16, 2004-March 20, 2009
Program Producer & Distributor: Nicole Childers, executive producer. Distributed by NPR.
Description (less than 100 words): News and Notes focused on issues affecting the African American and African diaspora communities. The program replaced The Tavis Smiley Show when Tavis Smiley decided not to renew his contract with NPR in late 2004. Tony Cox on the show's mission: "Our show is more Afrocentric and Afro-American-centric. We really focus on the black experience in America and in Africa." Alongside interviews, news and analysis, News and Notes featured the "News and Notes Roundtable", a discussion among black politicians, scholars, journalists, bloggers, business people and media personalities on current events.
Reason for Cancellation: On Dec. 10, 2008 NPR announced that it would cancel two daily programs, Day to Day and News and Notes to help close a $23 million budget shortfall. Interim President and CEO Dennis Haarsager, 2008: "Neither program was attracting sufficient levels of audience or national underwriting necessary to sustain continued production under these tough financial circumstances."
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words: Transcript and audio file: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102167969
Memorable Moments: Journalists at News and Notes won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association.
Key Personnel: Ed Gordon, host (December 16, 2004-2006). Farai Chideya, host (2006-16 Jan. 2009). Tony Cox, host (17 Jan. 2009-20 Mar. 2009).
Links: Audio archive: http://www.npr.org/programs/news-and-notes/

NPR Journal

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NPR Playhouse

Broadcast Start & End Date: [Start date? (ca. 1981)]-Sept. 2002
Program Producer & Distributor: Distributed by NPR.
Description (less than 100 words): NPR Playhouse was a radio drama program, the successor to Earplay. The program purchased shows from independent producers and the BBC. Then, each week, four half-hour shows were uplinked to the Public Radio Satellite. Individual stations could air any combination of shows in any order. The four shows each week corresponded to four categories: classic world literature and plays, American tales, Mystery/Sci-Fi/Adventure, contemporary drama. NPR Playhouse often aired repeat episodes of Earplay after the latter show's cancellation in the 1990's.
Reason for Cancellation:
Lessons Learned: NPR had difficulty justifying radio drama programs because their audiences tended to be small and stations tended to play them in the late evening. On the other hand, NPR Playhouse also attracted the single largest audience in NPR's history.
Parting Words: Andy Trudeau in 1996 on what would happen if NPR Playhouse were canceled: "We will do what artists have always done, which is just keep on painting. . . [People] don't want any sunflowers this year. But still, Van Gogh will paint a sunflower."
Memorable Moments: In 1981 NPR Playhouse attracted NPR's largest audience ever, over 750,000 listeners, with its 13-part, 6.5 hour radio production of the original Star Wars film.
Key Personnel: Andy Trudeau, producer.
Links: Audio archive: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=mediatype%3Aaudio%20AND%20collection%3Aglobe_radio%20AND%20subject%3A%22NPR%20Playhouse%22

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Odyssey from WBEZ

Broadcast Start & End Date: Started as a local program in Chicago, 1998. Nationally syndicated Nov. 2001-Sept. 30, 2005.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by WBEZ, Chicago.
Description (less than 100 words): Torey Malatia, president of Chicago Public Radio, on the mission of Odyssey: "Odyssey moves [talk radio] format in a new direction by providing a forum for the best minds in fields as diverse as politics, science, culture, philosophy, law, and the arts to engage in insightful conversation." Participants on the show would engage in a long conversation about a controversial topic. The host, Gretchen Helfrich, would field callers' questions toward the end of each program.
Reason for Cancellation: Although the annual operating budget for Odyssey was $600,000, after four years it was only aired on 30 stations nationwide. The show was canceled for failing to attract affiliate stations.
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Memorable Moments: President Barack Obama made at least three appearances, and the show's theme music was composed by the band OK Go.
Key Personnel: Gretchen Helfrich, host.
Links: Audio archive (these audio files appear to be broken but the site does offer a complete listing of program topics and guests): http://web.archive.org/web/20090106153511/http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/audio_library/od_rasep01.asp#010906
Pres. Obama on Odyssey (working audio links): http://www.patriotfiles.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-106517.html

Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Broadcast Start & End Date: May 2005-December 2006. November 2007-present.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by WUML (The University of Massachusetts, Lowell) and WGBH. Distributed by PRI. Currently produced by Open Source Media, Inc. in assoc. with Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. Currently distributed by PRX.
Description (less than 100 words): One initial goal for the program was to "use blogs to be a show about the world". Open Source features conversations about "the arts, humanities and global affairs" with scholars, journalists and artists, and, as its name suggests, the program seeks to use internet resources to connect with a broader audience.
Reason for Cancellation: Budget constraints at the Univ. of Mass., Lowell, and difficulty producing and broadcasting both Open Source and undergraduate-run programming on WUML.
Lessons Learned: Christopher Lydon on the internet and talk radio: "I was in the one-way media, first the Boston Globe, and then the New York Times...then I got into talk radio and finally heard back from the audience...The internet media takes it one long step forward...It's beginning to feel like the architecture of an open human conversation about everything."
Parting Words: "We have wildly grand ambitions in the global transformation of media, which is to say: of human conversation. We need your help and encouragement as we have from the start, or maybe just a little more so." http://www.radioopensource.org/umass-lowell-an-october-suprise/
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Christopher Lydon, host.
Links: Audio archive: http://www.radioopensource.org/category/shows/

Options

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Options in Education

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Key Personnel: Host; John Merrow
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Outfront Radio

Broadcast Start & End Date: Start date: ?. End date: 2009.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced and distributed by CBC.
Description (less than 100 words): Outfront collected 10- to 15-minute documentaries from independent producers. The programs often featured interviews and stories about the lives of ordinary Canadian citizens. One documentary ran each Tuesday to Friday night, from 8:43-9 pm. In May 2006 a "Best Of" podcast began collecting the documentaries into hour-long segments.
Reason for Cancellation: Large-scale budget cuts by CBC's English services division in March, 2009.
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Key Personnel: Neil Sandell, senior producer.
Links: Audio archive: http://www.prx.org/series/31125-cbc-radio-s-outfront.

Outright Radio

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Links: http://www.outrightradio.org/
Outfront Radio on PRX http://www.prx.org/series/31125-cbc-radio-s-outfront

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Pacific Time

Broadcast Start & End Date: Sept. 13, 2001-Oct. 11, 2007
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by KQED. Distributed by PRI.
Description (less than 100 words): Pacific Time, a weekly 30-minute news magazine produced by San Francisco's KQED, was the only nationally syndicated radio program about Asian American affairs. The program covered a wide range of issues, including language, sports, arts and culture, economics, politics and business. Pacific Time also made an effort to report on the lives of people across many walks of life, on both sides of the Pacific, including, as Nguyen Qui Duc put it, "monks and punks".
Reason for Cancellation: KQED canceled the show due to financial difficulties. At the end of its broadcast, Pacific Time cost $500,000 annually to produce, and drew 190,000 listeners each week.
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words: "But after this we can no longer do the show. Not enough money, the bosses say. So all those people, all those voices will be quiet. Well, thanks to them for letting us tell their stories, and thanks to you for listening."
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Nguyen Qui Duc, host (2000-Sept. 2006). K. Oanh Ha, host (Sept. 2006-Oct. 11, 2007). Mary Bitterman and Joanne Wallace, creators.
Links: Audio archive: http://www.kqed.org/radio/programs/audio-archives.jsp?wsvc=1&pgmid=RD37

Pacifica Network News

Broadcast Start & End Date:
Program Producer & Distributor: Pacifica National Programming
Description (less than 100 words): half-hour news magazine, featuring newscast, reporter pieces, commentaries and interviews. Distributed M-F afternoons.
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Key Personnel: Host: Verna Avery Brown
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Pop Vultures

Broadcast Start & End Date: September-November, 2004.
Program Producer & Distributor: Prairie Home Productions, producer. Public Radio Exchange, distributor.
Description (less than 100 words): Pop Vultures was created by Garrison Keillor to introduce public radio's audience to contemporary popular music. The show's format was a conversation between host Kate Sullivan and a variety of musicians and music critics, as well as Sullivan's friends. Kate Sullivan on the show's goal: "Our job, which we undertake with the utmost seriousness is to obsess over pop music so you don’t have to." The show's informal dialogue (several sources on the program mention "um" and "like"), conversational tone and pop subject matter created a unique sound that was praised by Garrison Keillor and Ira Glass. However, some programming directors felt that the show was at odds with the temperaments and concerns of public radio's core audience.
Reason for Cancellation: Pop Vultures had a low carriage rate because the show's informal tone and focus on contemporary popular culture was thought unappealing to NPR's core, middle-aged audience. Prairie Home Productions canceled the show after only two months of regular programs.
Lessons Learned: The program produced divergent reactions. Middle-aged audiences tended to feel alienated and confused; younger audiences were enthusiastic about the show's subject matter and style. Regardless of the mixed feedback, though, Prairie Home Productions was criticized for pulling the program without giving it a chance to adapt to the audience's responses. The show raises the potential for and problems with attracting a younger audience to public radio.
Parting Words:
Memorable Moments: Winner, PRX's Zeitfunk Award for Most Licensed Series, 2004.
Key Personnel: Kate Sullivan, host. Garrison Keillor, creator. Kathryn Slusher, producer.
Links: http://www.current.org/music/music0411vultures.shtml
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Pop_Vultures

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Rabbit Ears Radio

Broadcast Start & End Date: [Start date?]-June 1997.
Program Producer & Distributor: Distributed by PRI.
Description (less than 100 words): Rabbit Ears Radio was a half-hour program featuring children's stories read by famous actors. The show was hosted by Meg Ryan and Mel Gibson, and included readings by Sir John Gielgud, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, John Cleese, Bobby McFerrin and B. B. King.
Reason for Cancellation: In April 19966, the new owner of Rabbit Ears Radio, Millenium Media, fired the program's entire staff of 15. PRI continued to air reruns until June 1997. Milleenium Media had a staff of two and no C.E.O. when it fired Rabbit Ears Radio staff. With the original team gone, no one working at the program had any radio experience, and the show ceased producing new episodes.
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Memorable Moments: Won the National Education Association Advancement of Learning through Broadcast Award, 1995.
Key Personnel: Mel Gibson and Meg Ryan, hosts.
Links: No free archive exists online, but material from the programs is available for purchase through NPR: https://shop.npr.org/index.php?p=catalog&mode=search&search_in=all&search_str=rabbit+ears&x=0&y=0
Article about the program's dissolution: http://www.current.org/rad/rad609re.shtml

The Radio Experience

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Radio High Country News

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Radio Smithsonian

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Radio Stage

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Satellite Sisters

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Links: http://satellitesisters.com/newstalklaughs/

Savvy Traveler

Broadcast Start & End Date: August 9, 1997-March 26, 2004
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by Minnesota Public Radio. Distributed by Public Radio International.
Description (less than 100 words): The Savvy Traveler was a program about travel--its methods, destinations and stories. Each hour-long program featured a variety of formats. A typical show might include call-in segments with feedback and ideas from listeners, interviews with experts about travel tips and tricks, and features about life in a foreign culture, cuisine, a world musical tradition, or an intriguing place to visit.
Reason for Cancellation: From the program's website: "After nearly seven years of trying, The Savvy Traveler failed to attract sufficient underwriting support to continue. This was due to the economy in general, and the travel economy in particular -- especially in the post 9/11 period."
Lessons Learned: As the show progressed, the "Question of the Week", during which listeners could call in to discuss a travel topic or share stories, was phased out. New segments appeared in its place, including "Sounds of Travel", a segment featuring recordings from unusual destinations.
Parting Words: Diana Nyad: "What fabulous trips we've taken and what a blast we've had. So this is it, the final good-bye. It's a wondrous world we live in and to travel this world is a treasure of an experience."
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Diana Nyad, host (2001-2004). Rudy Maxa, host (1997-2001) and correspondent (2001-2004). J. J. Yore, executive producer and creator. Ben Adair, producer.
Links: Website: http://savvytraveler.publicradio.org/
Audio Archive: http://savvytraveler.publicradio.org/show/features/index.shtml

Schickele Mix

Broadcast Start & End Date: January 3, 1992-June 23rd, 1999. Rebroadcast through 2007.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by Tom Voegeli Productions. Distributed by Public Radio International.
Description (less than 100 words): Each Schickele Mix program combines musical works from a wide variety of genres, periods, regions and styles by unifying these works under a single rubric. The rubric might derive from a musical technique ("canon", for instance, or "quotation") or from a type of composition (such as "fugue" or "lullaby"). Schickele Mix also presented compositions by the program's host, Peter Schickele, many of which were composed under the pseudonym P.D.Q. Bach.
Reason for Cancellation: Schickele.com: "The program was originally produced with funding provided by the American Public Radio Program Fund, whose contributors included the Ford Foundation. Such funding is designed to be gradually replaced by contributions from corporate sponsors, but obtaining sponsorship for the program proved difficult, and ultimately it became impossible to produce new programs after funding ran out in the late 1990’s." PRI continued to allow old episodes to be rebroadcast until 2007. By that time 169 programs had been broadcast a total of 810 times.
Lessons Learned:
Parting Words: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that certain je ne sais quoi."
Memorable Moments: ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, 1993. Gold Award for Programming Excellence, CPB, 1993.
Key Personnel: Peter Schickele, host: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Schickele.
Links: General info: http://www.schickele.com/mix/
Program Database, including where to find recordings played on each program: http://www.schickele.com/cgi/playlist.pl

Sound Money

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Soundings from NHC

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Links: http://www.renci.org/focus-areas/project-archive/soundings-radio-show-archive

Sound of Science

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Sounds Eclectic

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Sounds Like Science

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1997-2000 (approx)
Program Producer & Distributor: NPR
Description (less than 100 words): Weekly roundup of NPR Science news with quiz and other new elements
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Key Personnel: Hosts: Ira Flatow, Joe Palca. Producers: Jane Greenhalgh, Susan Stone, Sue Goodwin. Production Staff: Arun Rath, Steve Lickteig. Editors: Anne Gudenkauf, Chris Joyce.
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The Sunday Show

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The Territory of Art

Broadcast Start & End Date: Four series: Apr. 8, 1984-Jan. 20, 1985; Jan. 5-Mar. 30, 1987; Oct. 26, 1989-Feb. 1, 1990; and 1995 (dates?).
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Distributed by NPR and American Public Radio (now PRI).
Description (less than 100 words): Whoopi Goldberg on The Territory of Art: "Art can enable us to see our surroundings in a different way, and that's our objective as well." The Territory of Art focused on "concept, craft and design" in art from the second half of the twentieth century. Some programs featured interviews with living artists from many disciplines, including dance, sound art, architecture, painting, sculpture and photography. Other programs transmitted the works themselves, including performances of stories, poetry and radio dramas.
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Memorable Moments: Programs in the show's third season won the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Silver Award (cultural category) and 15th Annual American Women in Radio and Television Commendation Award, both in 1990.
Key Personnel: Producers: Richard Koshalek and Steve Rath (I); Julie Lazar, Steve Proffitt, and Steve Rathe (II); Julie Lazar (III and IV). Hosts: Whoopi Goldberg (I); Eric Bogosian (II); Ruth Maleczech (III); John Fleck (IV).
Links: I: http://www.moca.org/library/archive/exhibition/detail/3155
II: http://www.moca.org/library/archive/exhibition/detail/2671
III: http://www.moca.org/library/archive/exhibition/detail/1989/toaiii
IV: http://www.moca.org/library/archive/exhibition/detail/2867

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Voices in the Wind

Broadcast Start & End Date: 1974-1979
Program Producer & Distributor: National Public Radio
Description (less than 100 words): NPR's first arts magazine, a one-hour weekly show. It's tagline was "A report on the creative experience in a contemporary world." It covered artists, authors, singers, actors, directors, dancers and photographers in highly-produced segments.
Reason for Cancellation: Morning Edition began with a devoted arts segment that management felt made Voices redundant, though it was still a popular program.
Lessons Learned:
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Memorable Moments: Some classic interviews - James Baldwin, Lotte Lenya, William O. Douglas, Buckminster Fuller, Albert & David Maysles, John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story.
Key Personnel: Oscar Brand (host), Producers: Robert Montiegel, Robert Malesky, Jay Kernis, Ketzel Levine, Gigi Yellen, Andy Lyman
Links:


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Weekend America

Broadcast Start & End Date: 2004 to January 2009
Program Producer & Distributor: APM - American Public Media
Description (less than 100 words): From 2004 to 2009, Weekend America was a place for curious, lively conversations, unexpected stories, and the most compelling ideas about what was happening in America each weekend. Each week, hosts invited listeners to a lively conversation about the issues of the week, the arts, and public affairs. Weekend America featured material from talented independent producers and public radio stations around the country.
Reason for Cancellation: Insufficient funding.
Lessons Learned: Jim Russell: "The program never 'found itself.' The weekend was a great time for the show, but not a sufficient organizing principle."
Parting Words: Jim Russell: "Sometimes great elements don't join together to become a great show." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkA3Sb_K-34
Memorable Moments:
Key Personnel: Jim Russell (Creator and E.P.), Peter Clownie (2nd E.P.), Barbara Bogaev, Bill Radke and John Moe (hosts), Kathryn Scott (Sr. Producer), Michael Raphael (2nd Producer), Jeremy Skeet (Senior Editor)
Links: http://www.weekendamerica.org

Weekly Edition: Best of NPR News

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What's the Word?

Broadcast Start & End Date: April, 1997-Sept. 2010.
Program Producer & Distributor: Produced by: Modern Language Association/MLA. Distributed by: Public Radio Exchange.
Description (less than 100 words): The Modern Language Association's stated goal is to "enhance public understanding of the ways that language and literature enrich people’s lives". The MLA extended its goal to public radio with What's the Word?. Each What's the Word? program discusses a single topic in language or literature. Conversations with leading scholars and writers focus on diverse genres and styles, from Elizabethan theater to "cookbooks as literature" to contemporary American poetry to the Blues.
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Key Personnel: Sally Placksin, writer, producer and host.
Links: Archive (with free PRX account): http://www.prx.org/group_accounts/5323-whatstheword

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