Watch Out America: Here Comes Here & Now
The locally produced show is getting a boost from NPR.
Here’s a bit of good news for those who like seeing a Boston media with national reach: National Public Radio isÂ cancelingÂ Talk of the Nation and contributing its “editorial muscle” to the WBUR-producedÂ Here &Â Now, which will expand fromÂ one to two hours to fill the gap starting July 1. Current host Robin Young will be joined by a co-host,Â Jeremy Hobson, currently withÂ Marketplace Morning Report.
As we wrote in a the February magazine about WBUR’s other big hit showÂ On Point, hosted by Tom Ashbrook, public radio is a place where perhaps 14 or 15 regionally produced shows vie for national pickup. Based on the press release, it sounds like the Washington-based NPR wants to give WBUR’sÂ Here and Now a big leg up in that game:
NPR will contribute its editorial muscle to the expanded program. Here & Now‘s daily lineup will include interviews with NPR’s bloggers, reporters and editors. The program will also showcase selected reporting from other NPR News programs. The expanded Here & Now also will enhance NPR’s capacity to provide breaking news every weekday from 5 a.m. â€“ 10 p.m. ET.
An NPR report adds:
Here and NowÂ is on far fewer stations thanÂ Talk of the NationÂ â€” 182 versus 407 â€” but it has been growing. NPR executives hope stations that previously carriedÂ Talk of the NationÂ will pick up its replacement.
According to the New York Times, the move is motivated both by listener preferences and financial considerations. Talks amongst member stations showed that people wanted a midday news magazine in the style ofÂ Here & Now rather than a call-in show. And pooling NPR’s resources with a member station’s means sharing the financial burden of producing a show. “Look, it’s a tough media economy right now,” NPR’s chief content officer Kinsey Wilson says in the Times. “And I don’t know that anybody can afford to go it alone these days. Collectively, we have much better prospects working together.” Hey public radio’s struggle is, in this case, Boston journalism’s gain.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/03/29/watch-out-america-here-comes-here-now/