On Monday, April 15, I had an Income Tax Day to remember. I was invited to hear a “proposal” from the general manager of KCRW. The proposal was, in fact, a notice of a fait accompli. Le Show was being cancelled from the airwaves — something I had suspected might be the nature of the proposal, but the surprise was the timing: “effective immediately”. Thus does public radio, in one more small way, come to resemble ever more closely commercial radio’s way of doing business.
Le Show, which had been a 30-year staple at KCRW, featured Shearer's mix of barbed political satire, radio sketch comedy and music. KCRW management told the LA Weekly that it will "continue to distribute the show for podcast and national syndication, and will continue to support the show on its digital platforms."
Shearer is not the first Louisiana radio host to fall victim to changes at KCRW. In 1998, native New Orleanian Chuck Taggart, who presented a weekly program featuring Louisiana heritage music, was dropped from the station (Taggart began a new show at KCSN-FM, which he ended in 2008).
WWNO general manager Paul Maassen said the University of New Orleans' NPR affiliate intends to continue carrying Shearer's program, but said he hadn't talked to Shearer about possibly making WWNO the new home base for Le Show.
"We have a great relationship with Harry," Maassen told Gambit. "We'll see if he approaches us."
An Alaska native, Troeh lived in New Orleans from 2000-2007, working as a freelance radio reporter and an associate producer for the popular American Routes show. After leaving New Orleans, she worked for NPR's "Marketplace" for five years, during which time she covered the 2010 BP oil disaster. On her way out, though, she penned an essay titled "Dear New Orleans: I'm Leaving You," which addressed her conflicted thoughts about her adopted city:
I talk to friends about New Orleans like a dysfunctional romance. I gush over it one day, then call up bawling and heartbroken the next. Why can't it change? Stop being self-destructive and violent? It has so much potential.
Recently, my blinders started to come off. It was building for awhile. My friend Helen Hill was murdered in her home;other friends have been mugged. We don't go out much any more...
But then there was this hot Friday night last month. I went on the perfect date with New Orleans . Saw live, local music, danced with friends on the stage, then headed home through my neighborhood of craftsman cottages and angel trumpet trees.
A block from my door, I was attacked from behind by a stranger. I escaped, with the help of my roommate. The case is moving forward, so I can't say much more than that.I'm angry and confused. Which is the real New Orleans? The one that's violent and desperate? Or the one that coos softly, and caresses me? The answer, of course, is both.
I just hauled my things out of New Orleans in a big truck. I am still in love with the city, but it's hard to trust it. Maybe we'll both heal, and the relationship will rekindle. I don't know what - or how long - that might take.
A biography of Troeh, provided by WWNO-FM, under the jump...
The station is becoming an affiliate of the new CBS Sports Radio network, and Kattengell will be "The Ticket"'s sports director, as well as the station's afternoon drive-time host.
"The Sports Hangover" will follow "The Jim Rome Show" Monday through Friday, going head-to-head in the afternoon against the longtime market sports leader, WWL-AM's "Sports Talk" with Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia.
CBS Sports Radio will officially launch Jan. 3 at more than 100 stations around the country, and has just finalized its national lineup.
With New Orleans ramping up for Super Bowl XLVII — which will air on CBS — Kattengell will be reporting from the heart of preparations for the big game on the radio, in Gambit every week and here on the Blog of New Orleans as part of our planned Super Bowl coverage.
As Saints season gets underway, we're pleased to announce Gus Kattengell is joining Gambit's roster of contributing writers.
He'll be providing reports from training camp, pre- and post-game wraps of New Orleans Saints games and breaking Saints news on Blog of New Orleans — as well as a weekly column in Gambit. Gus joins our other sports correspondents — writer Alejandro de los Rios and photographer Jonathan Bachman.
G-Katt's been a familiar face (and voice) on local TV and radio for more than a decade. He's currently the co-host of "The Sports Hangover," the weekday sports show on WIST-AM, and the co-host of pre- and postgame radio broadcasts of Tulane University football. Before that, he was the sideline reporter for the Saints Radio Network and contributed to sports coverage on WWL-AM.
Gus is a graduate of Brother Martin High School and majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi. He's won two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for Sports Feature and several Louisiana Associated Press awards for Best Sportscast and Sports Story in the state. (Plus he just got married.)
The New Orleans Digital News Alliance is a collaboration between four local websites: My Spilt Milk (the cultural-criticism site recently started by former OffBeat editor Alex Rawls), NOLA Defender, Uptown Messenger and the non-profit newsroom The Lens. As announced by Rawls:
Each site has a distinctive mission. NOLA Defender refers to itself as an alt-daily that provides hyperlocal coverage of politics, crime, and culture in Southern Louisiana; Uptown Messenger covers the people and events of New Orleans' Uptown neighborhoods, reporting on government, crime, schools, business and culture; The Lens is the city’s first nonprofit, public-interest newsroom; and My Spilt Milk takes a timely look at New Orleans' culture with an emphasis on music. Collectively, we provide valuable information and perspectives on the Crescent City.
The Lens, along with cultural website NolaVie, also will be collaborating with WWNO.org, the online arm of NPR affiliate WWNO-FM, which made the switch from classical music to a daytime NPR news format.
But there's another name in the game that may upend the way New Orleans gets its online news. It's called NOLA Beat — and you'll be hearing more about it later this week.
New Orleans became a blank slate after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. And ever since, entrepreneurs have rushed in to experiment with new ideas for building and running a city.
The most-recommended comment on the story comes from New Orleans resident Beth Blankenship:
New Orleans most certainly did not become a "blank slate" in 2005. More than 350,000 people live here, in our homes that were either minimally damaged or have been restored since the storm, and continue the lives we lived before 2005, in the traditions of this very old, very non-blank city. We are not a tabula rasa for the entertainment of entrepreneurs, creative class-hipsters, Teach for America do-gooders and all the other folks who want to pat themselves on the back for "fixing" New Orleans. Lousy writing is fueled by lazy thinking, Ms. Elliott.
Other reactions were even more tart.
Tune into 88.3 FM and you'll hear the city's — and the country's — only full-time FM dial reading radio. Twice daily, volunteer readers read from The Times-Picayune. But WRBH-FM, known as "Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped," is preparing to adjust its programming when The Times-Picayune moves to a three-days-a-week publishing schedule. WRBH currently reads to more than 11,600 listeners on weekdays, when two volunteer readers read, live on the air, select headlines and stories from the daily paper.
The station, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, provides blind and visually impaired listeners of all ages with access to 'round-the-clock content, from national publications (monthly and weekly magazines) and best-selling nonfiction and fiction to local news provided by The Times-Picayune, read daily from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekends, with repeats at 6 p.m. (weekdays) and 1 a.m. (weekends). More than 1,000 listeners tune in on Saturdays, and 4,000 tune in on Sundays. It also streams its content online.
"There's a lot of 'scissor work' involved. It's our only live program," said executive director Natalia Gonzalez. "We do headline news, local news, sports, and entertainment and columns. It's our intention to attempt the same format, but a lot of that depends exactly on what NOLA.com will give us."
The show's website says this Sunday's episode will be devoted to "detailing the errors" of the episode with Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz, and Daisey appears on the show to talk with Glass "about why he misled This American Life during the fact-checking process."
This American Life airs 1 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday locally on WWNO (89.9 FM), and you can find the episode after 6 p.m. on Sunday night here. This should be some good radio.
UPDATE: Here is a press release from This American Life with more specifics on the fabricated details.
On working in public radio:
I was a baby (when I started in public radio). I was 19. … started at NPR in Washington and did all the production jobs, worked all of the different shows.
(I never imagined I'd be a host) when I first started. For one, I wasn’t very good. I was just not seen as on-air material — I wasn’t a great writer for radio, wasn’t a great performer for radio, and all of that I had to learn by doing. Even now, the way I sound on the radio, I rush my words, I don’t enunciate properly. I’ve chosen a style of performing on the radio that sounds like the way I talk, for better or worse. I chose that because I think it works better. Before this, there was a period before this when I sounded like all the other NPR reporters, but I trained myself out of that to sound like I do now, which is more the way I really talk.
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