Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The wine-dark sea
Sad times for Chicagoans and public-radio lovers everywhere: Odyssey, the noontime "talk show of ideas" on Chicago Public Radio, has been cancelled by the WBEZ board. Despite being syndicated to over 30 stations nationally, the show was judged to not quite be worth the cost.
This is a huge loss, as Odyssey was some of the most intelligent and stimulating conversation you could find on any sorts of airwaves. I admit that I'm biased: I've appeared on the show myself, and host Gretchen Helfrich was even a guest-blogger here at Preposterous. But just because I'm biased doesn't mean I'm not right. The show offered serious and substantive discussion about intriguing issues with top-flight experts, often academics who were stars in their fields -- a serious intellectual consideration of difficult ideas, not the kind of Crossfire-style empty babbling that Jon Stewart skewered so effectively. Consider some of the topics considered just in the last couple of weeks:
Josh Andrews, senior producer of Odyssey, recently started blogging at The American Sector, where he talked a little about the shock of this decision. Here's hoping that he and Gretchen and everyone at the show land on their feet -- the airwaves will be a lot poorer without them.
Update: More comments from Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber. If you'd like to complain to WBEZ, write to Torey Malatia:
General Manager, WBEZ
848 E. Grand
Chicago IL 60611