Dear KUER Listener,
Many of you may have heard by now that NPR will discontinue producing Talk of the Nation (TOTN), hosted by Neal Conan, this coming June. Member stations received this news at the same time listeners were informed during an NPR newscast last week. This was a shock to all of us and we at KUER know little more than listeners do at this time. We do know that this change was imposed on Neal and his staff, this was not a mutually agreed upon change. Program changes are seldom mutually agreed upon decisions. At the moment everyone involved feels awkward at the very least, and some are angry at the change. NPR is encouraging stations to replace TOTN with a program produced at WBUR in Boston. That program is called “Here and Now.” Their intent is to inject a more news feel to the midday hours as opposed to picking topics and guests and encouraging listener phone calls.
We do not yet know what we will broadcast from noon to 2p Monday through Friday (Science Friday may remain in the Friday time slot at 12p). We are checking out “Here and Now,” and you can too by going to WBUR.org. Change is always difficult. It was difficult for listeners to get used to a different voice than Bob Edwards on “Morning Edition.” Between now and Neal Conan’s last program in June we will learn what Neal has in mind. We have already communicated to Neal our appreciation for all he has done for NPR. Longtime listeners may recall that Neal was kidnapped while reporting on the first Gulf War and was missing for about three days. Neal is a real sports nut and we told him he has a definite spot in the NPR Hall of Fame. You may send Neal your thoughts, he’s at: NConan@npr.org. I know he would appreciate hearing from you. And let us know what you think of “Here and Now” – take a listen to the show and email us with your thoughts: John Greene, General Manager (email@example.com) or Tristin Tabish, Content Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).
General Manager, KUER