August 02, 2007

AWWW ...

KPBS, my local public broadcasting station, has just decided to cancel two popular (but apparently too expensive) locally-produced shows. One of these is their radio language call-in show, A Way With Words. (Finally, the word play in the title is making some sense.) You can read all about it in this official press release and in this San Diego Union-Tribune article, the accuracy of which KPBS general manager Doug Myrland vouched for this morning.

(Some of us -- OK, mostly me -- have ranted about this show or its hosts before; see the collection of links at the end of this post.)

I suppose it had to happen sometime. The show began in 1998 and was originally hosted by Richard Lederer and Charles Harrington Elster. Harrington Elster (or is it just Elster, or just Harrington? I never know with these multiple surnames) left the show in 2004 due to a contractual dispute, and was replaced by Martha Barnette. Lederer himself retired in 2006 and was replaced by Grant Barrett (who also maintains the American Dialect Society website). The show's producers have long been trying to get the show nationally syndicated, but apparently to no avail; the most they've been able to achieve is to podcast the show and to broadcast it on Wisconsin Public Radio, WFYI-FM in Indianapolis, and WFPL-FM in Louisville, Kentucky (Barnette came to San Diego from Louisville, which may partly explain the latter).

Co-hosts Barnette & Barrett (there's something about that combo of names, isn't there?) are understandably disappointed by this decision, but from what I've been reading they are confident that the show will land on its feet somewhere. In the meantime, Barrett has put together a blog for the show (where they have already begun to field questions and comments about the cancellation; see also the comments here).

In closing, I can't resist another jab at Barnette. In the comments section of this post, Barnette replies to a comment from a listener in which there are two glaring misspellings: sence for sense and preceeds for precedes. (The worst part about the second one is that precede is spelled correctly in the comment that Barnette is replying to -- or, as devout listeners of the show tend to prefer, to which Barnette is replying.)

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Posted by Eric Bakovic at August 2, 2007 02:40 PM