So Long, Neal

One of my favorite NPR programs, Talk of the Nation, aired for the last time today.

I get the feeling NPR is headed more in the Fresh Air/This American Life direction, away from call-in programs like Talk of the Nation. I can see why those types of shows likely attract more listeners; but I still have a soft spot for straight stories and conversations with an informed expert and the down-to-earth perspective from everyday Americans.

I’ve posted about shows from Talk of the Nation a lot over the years. There was the sounds of extinct objects; lot of Chris Hedges;  and a story about the fallacies of fat, to name a few.

Here’s an excerpt from his touching farewell segment:

We’re told that more than 3.6 million of you listen each week. That puts Talk of the Nation in the top ten of all talk shows in the country. The currency of broadcasting is that number: the quantity of eyes and ears that can be delivered to soap manufacturers and car makers.

To be honest, we do a little bit of that on public radio as well, but on Talk of the Nation in particular, listeners have voices, too. This program works best when we find ways to engage your stories—about your jobs and your kids; your fears and your successes; about what happened in the drought, the hurricane, the fire; what happened at school, in Iraq, or Vietnam. …

There is still so much to talk about, but that’s going to have to be enough.

Bye bye, Neal.