Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Thursday, April 01, 2004

If It Ain't Broke, Break It 

One of the news sources I champion over there on the sidebar is making a wrong move. New management at NPR has decided to take Bob Edwards out of the helm at the Morning Edition show and replace him with a "fresher" voice. This is what new management does in every business of course, take out the people who built the ship they want to sail so badly. In comics when a creative team hears of an editorial change on their book, they shake in their boots at the inevitable.

I've gotten used to having my last dreams of the night reform to try to accomodate Edward's voice infiltrating from my alarm clock radio. He has a soothing timbre, the exact opposite of all the shaved apes hosting the rest of radio's morning shows, making prank calls and jokes about celebrities I don't care about. Maybe the rest of America needs to hear twelve fart jokes on the way to work and then enjoy telling their colleagues what Scooch and the CaveMan said today. But people who are listening to NPR are trying to learn something and like that bedrock consistency that made them regular listeners in the first place. Edwards was becoming NPR's Cronkite, and now he'll be relegated to popping in periodically with an opinion or special interest story like Senior Correspondent Daniel Schorr. Respected, but promoted out of a job.

Not everyone bumrushes their best. The other link over there, the BBC-- they kept Alistair Cooke working right up until his death the other day at 95. It wasn't an anchor position, but if you ever heard his Letter From America, it often was almost as long as Morning Edition. I don't know when our culture is going to stop being so fickle and obsessed with change for the sake of itself. The only consolation we can take is that the people who do the firing eventually have to be moved out themselves for a fresh, new approach.


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