Thursday, July 07, 2005

There's an Elephant in the Blog.

I generally try to avoid the confessional mode of blogging, but let's cut to the chase. As reported in the Sun Times and the Chicago Reader, Odyssey will go off the air on September 30th, 2005. The whole staff at Odyssey is shocked and disappointed by this news. The WBEZ Board of Directors has decided the financial resources needed to produce Odyssey (and a few other programs) can be put to better use elsewhere in the station. I am very proud of our work, and believe strongly in the mission of the show.

I have worked with Gretchen Helfrich on Odyssey since January of 1998. Eight years later, the show is quite different from when it started - but from the very beginning, we shared a vision of the kind of radio we wanted to produce. Bringing that to air was made possible by the addition of a very talented staff - Alison Cuddy, Delia Lloyd, Steve Waranauskas, and Abby Margolis. Today, I believe we produce some of the finest, most interesting radio out there.

Odyssey has made many friends over the years. Most of all, I want to thank everyone who listens to the show. Without you, public radio really is nothing. And thanks to everyone who has been a guest on the show. It still amazes me that people will take time out of their day to help us do our job. I am also very grateful for the support and encouragement provided by WBEZ's President and General Manager, Torey Malatia. Early on, he gave Gretchen and I the freedom to make a lot of mistakes. And throughout Odyssey's run, he has always been a strong supporter of the show. Torey has also turned WBEZ into a hothouse of creative radio - and that makes it a great place to work. And I saved the best for last... Working with Gretchen each day has been a privilege and a pleasure. There is no one more talented in public radio.

What is next for all of us? For me? That is unclear. For now, we are dedicated to enjoying ourselves the best we can over the next three months. Still... this hurts, and I wish it didn't have to come to an end.