March 23, 2014

Public Radio drops "This American Life"!

Oh, no!

ADDED: Ira Glass says the loss of the distributor PRI won't change anything from the listeners' perspective:
Most listeners I meet seem utterly unaware of who our distributor is, or they think – mistakenly – that we’re part of NPR. NPR is the company that puts out Morning Edition and All Things Considered and many fine programs. But there are several other companies that distribute public radio shows around the country. Local public radio stations get shows from all of them.

We’ll announce sometime soon what our new plan is to distribute the show to radio stations.

35 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Yeah, that's pretty shocking.

The TV show, sure, but the radio program?

Insane,...

dreams said...

Who listens to public radio? Oh yeah, liberals.

Ben Calvin said...

Look out below!

Skeptical Voter said...

Dang me! I've got Sirius radio in my car and I never heard of this guy. A hipster out of Chi Town--kind of like a junior grade Garrison Keilor who I stopped listening to long ago.

I suspect my life will continue.

dreams said...

I liked Garrison Keilor's show, I remember seeing it years ago on public TV, maybe it was public TV, though I don't like his politics.

paul a'barge said...

Public Radio is not American. Public Radio hates America. What would they know about American life?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'll have to go back to watching paint dry. Can I stand the frenetic pace?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I used to love that show.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

It's a great show. Just avoid the ones about politics. Except for the old episode about Cicero, IL, which was fascinating.

Howard Roark said...

Half of the shows are just descriptions of people with undiagnosed mental health issues (OCD and depression mostly).

Sam L. said...

I've heard it occasionally when in my car; never tuned IN to hear it.

CWJ said...

Scott Simon makes Chicago NPR worthy. Scott gets too old so they give what Scott built to Ira Glass. Ira takes the idea further into the dumpster until the fact can no longer be ignored. Show is cancelled. Where's the surprise.

Ann Althouse said...

I love "This American Life." Before it was easy to get as a podcast, I used to plan a Sunday drive to take place right when it would start, and I would drive for an hour to hear the whole show.

The best of radio.

And I say that as a person who used to go to bed at 10 pm -- back in the 1960s -- because that's when Jean Shepherd's show began.

RJ said...

Nobody on radio has a worse radio voice than Ira Glass.

But that is far from the worst thing about This American Life.

sydney said...

Nobody on radio has a worse radio voice than Ira Glass.

I always thought it sounded like he was eating and talking at the same time.

Bob Ellison said...

RJ, almost every mouth in front of a microphone at NPR has a voice as bad as Ira Glass's.

RecChief said...

it didn't promote the leftist agenda nakedly enough?

Chef Mojo said...

I agree. Worst voice in radio. Completely contrived like NPR news Spanish word pronunciations and the Car Talk guys.

When my leftist friends bring up TAL, I tell them what pretentious wankers they are.

Levi Starks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Levi Starks said...

Nobody is more conservative that me, and I loved TAL.
I can only assume NPR found out.
Sorry Ira...

J Scott said...

"Nobody on radio has a worse radio voice than Ira Glass."

Uh, Diane Rehms?

Levi Starks said...

It's called spasmodic dysphonia

Henry said...

I stopped contributing to public radio years ago when they dropped classical and jazz music.

Like anything else, you can get it online now, but it's not really the same. Once upon a time Robert J. Lurtsema handled the entire morning for WGBH, five hours a day, seven days a week. He had a brilliant touch for arranging and presenting a play list. He died and his era died as well.

Within a few years, WGBH dropped all of their weeknight Jazz programming. The age of inane chatter had won.

You can get your cookie-cutter left-wing concern-trolling online now, which is good for those who like it, because I wouldn't donate a dime for it.

Chef Mojo said...

Uh, Diane Rehms?

Nope. I don't count her, because she's ancient and sounds awful now. But back in the day, she had a good radio voice.

Nepotism, however, seems to run with her.

Ira Glass has always been irritating. Even if he hits it on the subject matter like a broken clock, his voice always bothered me. Like a condescending courtier looking down his nose at you, but using a contrived voice.

Like Dylan sounding like Guthrie, only not pulling it off. Not even close. At least Keillor was interesting in the early years when he was a novelty, and it wasn't completely apparent that he was a total asshole.

Sunslut7 said...

Hurrah! My lucky day. Ira is off the air. Sanity reigns in radio land for the moment. I will not miss his voice. His condescending, urban, hipster approach to radio. It was like having to listen to someone doing a really poor imitation of Charles Kurwalt's CBS road travel-logues. But the voice was the killer for me. His faux mid-western Tuman Capote soft phrasing mixed with that urban, hipster, metro-sexual "I am in the know" attitude. I will tell only you what I think you should think and you will thank me. Why? Because now you can pretend that you are a deeply sensitive and progressive intellectual like me.


Now, if we can just get rid of Nina Totenberg, Libby Arnold, Mara Liason, Cokie Roberts and Noah Adams; my year will be complete. It would be like waking up and learning that Obama was an illegal immigrant , born in Kenya, a devout and observant Muslim, who never achieved more than a B+ in any course he took and that he did not pass the BAR exam in Ilinois.T

Triffecta!

St. George said...

Think about how little turnover there is at NPR.

You'd think those folks are in a union or are tenured.

Tarrou said...

I like NPR, I find it better to get my news from the opposition. Makes me think about what I'm hearing.

Diane Rehm is infuriating, largely because her average show is a communist, a Trotskyite and a socialist arguing about capitalism. "And now for an opposing view, let's turn to someone who agrees with everyone who has spoken already!"

But TAL? It's a non-sequitur of a show. There's not even enough substance to hate, and Ira Glass sounds like every pretentious faux-intellectual hyper-earnest college freshman I ever met. Good riddance. Back to Philosophy Talk, where people (gasp) disagree once in a while!

Bruce Hayden said...

[Obama] did not pass the BAR exam in Il[l]inois.

Pretty sure he did - the Illinois bar shows his license retired, and Michelle's license inactive. Both would have had to have been legally admitted to the bar, and in most states, current on their CLE, fees, etc. before changing to retired or inactive (I have been both - if you aren't practicing in a jurisdiction, and don't have clients there, it makes little sense to pay full fees and jump through the CLE hoops every year, etc. as an Active attorney - it is typically fairly simple to switch back to Active status if you need to).

Sure, this is Illinois, and there is therefore a possibility that he could have been admitted without passing the bar exam, but even there, I think it unlikely.

Unknown said...

I think Cokie Roberts is a natural for TAL. She has the weaselly philosophy ("Vladimer Putin seeming to be encroaching on other nation's sovereignty" the day after Russia took title to foreign soil, criticism linking H Clinton to the current situation in the Ukraine is naked partisanship politics) & the right voice and vocal patterns for it.

Bruce Hayden said...

Who listens to public radio? Oh yeah, liberals.

I think that over the decades, NPR has slide into near oblivion as a result of this. You have urban liberal elites, academics (like Ann), and that is about it, listening to the shows. So much of it has a political overtone, and if I hear one of their quasi-political speakers, I immediately switch channels. If it is Diane Rehms, I erase the channel from the radio (even if it isn't mine). I will listen to Car Talk and Garrison Keilor (though I only last about 15 minutes with him), if I am tired of the comedy and classic rock XM channels on a long drive across the west. But that is about it, and has been for the last decade or so. I think though that I currently have NPR programmed out of my XM radio because of Rehms.

Danno said...

Sounds like a title for inclusion in the category "Look Out Below" on James Taranto's Best of the Web Today!

Trashhauler said...

Why would anyone buy a one bedroom apartment for $1.26M? And who would believe that someone from Public Radio could afford such a thing? Is his wife rich?

Mitch H. said...

Nobody on radio has a worse radio voice than Ira Glass.

Pfft. Come on, he's just a little nasally. He's inoffensive. Now Mark Levin, that's a guy with a voice made for print. Like an offended howler monkey off his meds. Despite the fact that I'm far, far more politically simpatico with Levin than Glass.

And This American Life was a mildly amusing way to spend an evening driving back to Happy Valley from the Pittsburgh suburbs on a Sunday afternoon, back when gas didn't cost so damn much and I used to visit more often. Even though I used to have to chase the signal through the static on the high Allegheny Plateau where rebroadcasters were rare and the big stations didn't quite make it. It was either that or listen to the tedious processed cheese of "Mega. ...rock". The least-rocking hard-rock station in the Appalachians.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Brooke Gladstone the most annoying voice on radio, period. That said, the whole legion of Ira Glass imitators- fey, nasally casually superior white "men" are a plague upon NPR and my ears. Radio Lab being the worst of the lot.

As for TAL, the Onion put it best:

This American Life Completes Documentation Of Liberal, Upper-Middle-Class Existence“:

"We've done it," said senior producer Julie Snyder, who was personally interviewed for a 2003 This American Life episode, "Going Eclectic," in which she described what it's like to be a bilingual member of the ACLU trained in kite-making by a Japanese stepfather. "There is not a single existential crisis or self-congratulatory epiphany that has been or could be experienced by a left-leaning agnostic that we have not exhaustively documented and grouped by theme."

Added Snyder, "We here at public radio couldn't be more pleased with ourselves."

Brent said...

I love TAL. It is my favorite program on the radio, with Radiolab a close second. Odd, that we all read Althouse, but few share my taste in radio. I am conservative/libertarian on most political issues. But I don't find TAL very political. Instead, it usually conveys interesting stories on life in general. Even when it is political, I enjoy hearing the other side of the debate. I don't filter my entertainment based on politics. Glass' voice has never bothered me either.