Mondays are rarely anyone's favorite day of the week, but yesterday sucked even more than usual when I was greeted with the news that NPR is pulling the plug on my favorite program, The Bryant Park Project.
Granted, the two-hour morning news show was considered an experiment from the start, but it was by all accounts one that was working. The idea was to draw in a younger demographic with a more casual, conversational delivery style than is usually found on NPR programs, as well as capture listeners who are increasingly getting their news and info fix online.
I was a regular NPR listener AKA news junkie until I relocated to Sweden six years ago. (I actually worked for an NPR-affiliated station when I was in college.) Since moving abroad, my only option for consuming any kind of U.S.-produced mainstream media content is the web. And it was, in fact, a blog that introduced me to the Bryant Park Project. (Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com is a fan.)
The BPP has been a regular staple on my iPod Nano from the moment I learned of its existence, and I regularly interact with the program's staff and other fans via the the show's blog and it's twitter feed. But it appears that this relationship was doomed to be short-lived. The program will air for the last time on July 25…a mere nine months after it debuted. I don't understand the logic at all…especially since the show seemed to be meeting all of the goals that NPR asked of it.
I've written to NPR protesting the decision, and I've offered to support the program directly if they would just provide a mechanism for me to donate online. But sadly, that seems to be part of the problem. NPR is only set up to accept pledges to local affiliate stations, and guess what? There isn't one in Sweden.
There's a movement online to save the show, and I'd love to see that happen. This blog entry is part of that effort.