Yesterday's Waterbury Republican-American picked up on our Friday show on decriminalizing marijuana for a front-page story on Saturday. Lots of comments on-air and online about this show, as well.
News Saturday that radio legend Paul Harvey has died has me thinking about the business I'm in. Before we get to that, a bit about Harvey. Marc Fisher's column in the Post today is a reprint of a profile he did about ten years ago. It includes this quote from another radio legend: ``Paul Harvey is such a case unto himself--somebody who tells stories under the guise of giving the news," says fellow radio storyteller Garrison Keillor, of public radio's ``A Prairie Home Companion." ``He is a man after my own heart. I couldn't agree less with his politics, but he really keeps going, completely undiminished. He has a sense of whimsy and of oddity, but his storytelling pretty much does serve his philosophy. It edges close to propaganda."
Propaganda. That's an interesting and appropriate word. But something about Harvey's personna made his political commentary so much less...well political than most of what we hear from "commentators" on radio today. His voice was something that reminded me of listening to radio as a kid in Pittsburgh - old timey, comfortable.
There, radio was dominated by one station - KDKA. Here's a brief history, for those of you who don't know about America's first commercial radio station. Unlike our local big AM CBS Radio affilliate in Hartford, WTIC, KDKA has tried to hang onto more local voices - although the stations in that system tend to sound pretty much the same all around.
Anyway, the enduring sound of KDKA - for me - was the morning guy of my youth, Jack Bogut. He is essentially the polar opposite of the kind of host I try to be (sitting on the front of my seat, talking too fast). He was like a combination of Mr. Rogers and Jimmy Stewart. When I think of waking up to hear him give the school closings, I remind myself of why radio is so habitual. It's all about evoking something that makes you have to return the next day to listen again. Having a smart, interesting radio show (which I think we do on Where We Live) is a great professional aspiration. But it's probably more important to create a place where people like to spend their time.
Calhoun keeps giving
UConn coach Jim Calhoun's outburst during a press conference just keeps giving fuel to columnists, talk show hosts and 24-hour news channels.
- The New Haven Register is calling for Calhoun to give back money
- Two of my favorite Courant columnists, Colin McEnroe and Helen Ubinas invoke the coach to back into bigger ideas. Helen wonders aloud about what's really an "embarrassing display."
- The Connecticut Post says: "Leave Calhoun alone, he's earned his pay"
- This from the Hartford Conservative Examiner. (I didn't know there WAS a Hartford Conservative Examiner)
- Possible lawmaker action against the coach was the topic of stories from The Courant to USA Today
And, I could go on for a while here. I'll be interested to see how long this stays a "top story" as we enter the NCAA tournament, where basketball on the court will take over people's interests. And, for those who don't know - blogger Ken Krayeske, the man who asked the question in question, is a frequent caller to Where We Live: "Ken from Hartford." He hasn't asked about my salary...yet.