When asked who is my favorite news person, I don’t hesitate to name Michel Martin. Most times the response is, ‘Who’?
Ms. Martin has hosted National Public Radio’s Tell Me More show for the past seven years and thanks to podcasts and ITunes, I’ve listened to a lot of her programs. Philadelphia’s WHYY carried her show but recently moved it to 9pm which is a rare hour for me to listen to radio.
While messing around on the computer today, I listened to a recent Tell Me More show on ITunes and learned that tomorrow is the last day of the program. It didn’t take long to find many web articles expressing their disappointment.
The article linked below gives a comprehensive overview of the show, justification for the decision to cancel, and fodder to support why so many our upset. What’s missing from almost all that I read is why the show was so great and why the target audience of blacks and hispanics never rallied amongst themselves to grown the audience in greater numbers.
The bottom line is that NPR is making another business decision according to the lack of support programs like this receives from black listeners. Sure, you can make a case they could have done more to promote the show, but they can easily argue they did more than enough and didn’t see the return on investment to keep it going.
The angry me will hang my hat on the following statement but the logical me can’t help but to accept NPRs business decision.
Former and current public radio executives said that stations have failed historically to promote shows with black hosts. Before Tell Me More, there was The Tavis Smiley Show with host Tavis Smiley, then News & Notes with Ed Gordon, who was followed by Farai Chideya and then Tony Cox as hosts. And before that, The Derek McGinty Show aired from 1991-1998. All three shows failed.
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