Ideal Radio Schedule Honorable Mentions and History

Return to the ideal radio schedule

[Honorable Mention] [History of Changes]

Honorable Mention

World Update with Vicky Barker (BBC)

America in the Morning with Jim Bohannan (Westwood One)

The Jon Matthews Program (KPRC/KSEV, cancelled 2003)

The Glenn Beck Program (Premiere)

The Mike Fitzsimmons Show (KXLY)

Sounds Like Canada in the Summer with Jian Ghomeshi (CBC, summer show for 2006 only)

Greater Boston with Emily Rooney (WGBH-TV)

Nightbeat with Art Finley (KCBS, cancelled 1991)

The Works with John Moe (KUOW, cancelled 2007)

Washington Week in Review (PBS)

Ray Flynn (WRKO, cancelled 1999)

Meet the Press with Tim Russert (NBC)

The Rusco Radio Program with Gene Rusco (KGO, cancelled 1996)

60 Minutes (CBS)

The National Press Club (NPR, cancelled 2005)

Bridges with Larry Josephson (PRI, cancelled 1998)

[Honorable Mention] [History of Changes]

Explanation of changes:

2 August 1998 - After listening to him each weekday morning for two months, I've decided Houston talk show host Jon Matthews belongs in the schedule. He takes on the 05:00 hour weekdays, moving the BBC World Update and Marketplace Morning Edition back one hour to 04:00 and 04:50, respectively. Art Bell's Ghost to Ghost AM shifts from that time slot to 02:00, bumping Bill Gallant to a new Honorable Mention list. One change also appears on the weekend schedule. Rewind, KUOW's comic weekly review show with Bill Radke, really should have been on the schedule from the beginning, and now that it has expanded to one hour, it is irrestible. It moves in to the 11:00 Saturday slot, bumping Weekly Edition to the Honorable Mention list. While a part of my regular listening routine since its inception, Weekly Edition's utility is diminished if one actually listens to both Morning Edition and All Things Considered as given on the schedule. Also appearing on the Honorable Mention list are talk show hosts Art Finley (retired from KCBS), Mike Fitzsimmons (KXLY), and Gene Rusco (KGO), Jim Bohannon's America in the Morning news and feature show, WBGH-TV's Greater Boston news analysis show, the BBC's Jolly Good Show and Letter from America, and the CBS Mystery Theater.

25 October 1998 - The fall schedule change, coinciding with the end of Daylight Savings Time, was prompted by the cut of KUOW's Rewind program back to a half-hour. The decision returned Rewind to its original comic punch, but no longer left it as an ideal 11:00 Saturday program. In addition, others have corroborated my opinion that the present Chat and Chew Cafe does not live up to Jim Hightower's old weekend program on ABC, largely because of less interesting guests and his cafe sidekicks. Hence, Hightower has been moved from his weekday 15:00 slot to the Saturday 11:00 time, replacing Rewind. While this is a drastic time reduction for Hightower, his commentaries have been added to the News at Noon in their traditional KGO time of 12:55, moving Gil Santos' sports commentaries to 12:18 after the sports news. To fill the weekday afternoon hour, Gene Burns has been moved from the inappropriate 21:30 weeknight half-hour. The Issues of the Day are now aired at a time they actually once appeared on KGO. A half-hour slot now exists every day on the schedule, at 21:30 weekdays and 18:30 on weekends, and I've decided to follow the model that Armed Forces Radio uses on its Frankfurt station in the 18:30 weekday slot, called "Viewpoint." Face the Nation remains at 18:30 on Sunday, and the radio version of This Week now serves as its companion at 21:30 on Monday. Rewind settles in to 21:30 Tuesday, and Soundprint moves from Saturday to 21:30 Wednesday. The Jolly Good Show from the BBC moves from the Honorable Mention List to 21:30 Thursdays. Rounding out the new schedule are two PBS gems: Washington Week in Review is added at 21:30 Friday, and Wall $treet Week moves in after the news block at 18:30 Saturday. Probably the most notable thing, though, is a lack of change in the 02:00 weekday slot, as Art Bell plans to end his hosting hiatus shortly.

11 January 1999 - The BBC has finally solved the evening 21:00 slot problem by expanding the World Today to Asia as well as Europe. Hence, the program is now available (somewhere, if not the US) from 00:00-06:30 GMT, allowing its placement on the schedule for the entire 21:00 hour, replacing its forerunner BBC Newsday, which now moves to midnight, and eliminating the "viewpoint" half-hour. To make room for some of these programs, Chris Clark, who was given way too much time on weekend overnights, has now been pared back to just 03:00-04:00 Saturday and Sunday mornings. The great move of half-hour programs now puts Rewind where I think it is most appropriate, 18:30 on Saturday between the news block and pure entertainment programming. Soundprint and Washington Week in Review move to share the 04:00 hour Saturday morning. Weekly Edition is now including enough archive material to warrant its return from the Honorable Mention list, moving back in at 05:00 Saturday. Another hour-long public radio show, This American Life, now adds its unique cultural perspective at 04:00 Sunday. As for the other half-hour shows, the other TV programs (This Week and Wall $treet Week) have been dropped; they can end up on the ideal TV schedule. My favorite hour on the BBC from Europe, the wake-up with a 15-minute news update, the Letter from America, and A Jolly Good Show, now lands at 05:00 Sunday, despite the actual end of the 21-year run of A Jolly Good Show on Jan02. This is, after all, an ideal schedule. The final change involves Saturday night/Sunday morning between 01:00 and 03:00, which is now the domain of CBS Mystery Theater. While the series has been cancelled by Westwood One, its 1998 run convinced several of my acquaintances of its quality, so it gets promoted off the Honorable Mention list.

15 February 1999 - I've taken the opportunity of the opening of the rest of the Radio Listening Pages to extract most of the remaining television programs from the lineup, bumping Meet the Press and 60 Minutes to the Honorable Mention list. This change was prompted by the expansion of Soundprint to one hour each week as of the beginning of 1999. It moves to the 05:00 Saturday morning slot, with Washington Week in Review taking its old 04:30 time and BBC Newsdesk gaining the 04:00 slot. Meanwhile, Weekly Edition moves to the slot I actually have listened to it for most of its existence (first live on KQED-FM in San Francisco, and these days taped earlier in the day off of WBUR-FM), 11:00 Saturday. Jim Hightower moves from this slot to 12:00 Sunday, providing a commercial radio break inside the long public radio block. LeShow moves to the more relaxed time of 19:00 Sunday, its shortwave time. It wasn't easy for me to move LeShow and break up the old KALW lineup of Sunday Morning, LeShow, and To The Best of Our Knowledge that I so loved, but Shearer does make more sense between Face the Nation and Mike Webb's talk show. The final change was to add Matt Drudge to the Saturday night lineup at 21:00; I find myself longing for his WABC show from late 1998. The National Press Club moves to 02:00 Monday morning to make room for Drudge.

31 October 1999 - I've taken advantage of the change from daylight savings time to make major changes in the schedule to bring it more in line with the actual times I listen to programs. The weekday schedule is now based on being in the Central time zone, even though I'm not. Hence, Ray Talufiero remaining at 03:00 now coincides with his actual start at 01:00 Pacific. Morning Edition moves to 04:00-06:00, taking the first live feed for Central time and also coinciding with listening during an all-nighter, as I often did on the west coast. Jon Matthews moves back one hour to 06:00, exactly when I woke up to him in Texas. The commercial newsradio hour moves up to 07:00, placing the World News Roundup and Charles Osgood's best commentary in the time slot I grew up with. The BBC Newshour moves in at 08:00, followed by the Connection at 09:00. That opens up 11:00 for Rush Limbaugh, allowing a live broadcast of his first hour, but also more comfortable for someone like me that grew up with his show in the morning. The News Hour at Noon was not touched, bringing Dave Ross up to his old 1980's starting time of 13:00, and Gene Burns to the 14:00 time at which I got addicted to him on KGO. All Things Considered takes the first feed from 15:00 to 17:00, and an hour of the BBC's World Today moves in at 17:00, effectively replacing the early-morning BBC World Update in the schedule. I am rarely up for World Update and swear by The World Today, so this change was probably inevitable. Only one change occurs on the weekend, with Lynn Samuels moving in to the 04:00 slot on Saturday, bumping Washington Week in Review to the Honorable Mention list, which also grows by the addition of talk show host Ray Flynn, whose general-interest talk show is held back from the full schedule only because it dealt almost exclusively with local Boston issues not interesting to most of the rest of the world. It was a shame when he left WRKO. A variety of personnel changes round out the update.

29 October 2000 - Two reductions in the lengths of programs prompted the time changes for the end of daylight savings time. With the CBC now only distributing one hour of As It Happens outside of Canada, the show has gained in punch, so I've modified the schedule to reflect the change, moving the one-hour version to 02:00 weekdays, allowing for a break in the talk show progression, with Coast-to-Coast AM moving to its original starting time of 01:00 (at least in the Pacific time zone, where I was in that era). To fill the half-hour vacated by the CBC, BBC Newsday is replaced with an hour of the BBC World Today's European edition at midnight. Wisconsin Public Radio has also paired back To the Best of Our Knowledge to two hours instead of three, so it shrinks to 14:00-16:00 Sundays, opening a hole for This American Life to take the 13:00-14:00 hour. Soundprint takes the newly-vacant 04:00 hour Sundays, with an hour of Casey Kasem's American Top 40, which probably should have been on the schedule from the start, moving in to the vacated 05:00 Saturday slot to complete the change. World Update, no longer a part of my daily routine since I no longer get up at 05:00, has nevertheless been added to the Honorable Mention list to commemorate its role in my life for most of 2000.

1 June 2001 - Finally! An alternative to the Pacifica Network News is now available, so Free Speech Radio News takes the place of Pacifica on the weekday schedule at 19:30. Also in the realm of rebellion against the big business of public radio, I have been impressed with Christopher Lydon's webcasts since his departure from The Connection. They have all the positive qualities of his former show and little of the negative qualities. Hence, The Conversation Continues gains the 09:00-10:00 hour on the weekday schedule, and The Connection is pared back to a single hour, 10:00-11:00, with its future on the schedule highly dependent on its ultimate host.

25 July 2001 - "The Conversation" with Ross Reynolds, a caller-driven talk show from Seattle's public station KUOW, has so impressed me as I listened to its archives that I have added it to the weekday lineup from 15:00-16:00. All Things Considered moves back to 16:00-18:00, displacing the East Asia edition of the World Today. In addition, the naming of Dick Gordon as permanent host of The Connection solidifies that program in its weekday timeslot.

7 April 2002 - More than a year after disappearing from "The Connection," Christopher Lydon has yet to find a new home on the radio and new material from him is rare. Hence, I feel I have no choice but to move "The Conversation Continues" from the daily schedule, where it has never existed, to 02:00 Monday morning, displacing the National Press Club to the honorable mention list. With Dick Gordon proving a very capable host of "The Connection," it regains its two weekday hours from 09:00-11:00. As much as this is an ideal schedule, even my imagination is having trouble picturing the form which the daily Lydon show would have taken. Hopefully, he will find a home and I'll be able to adjust the schedule to reflect that reality in the future.

1 January 2003 - The CBC gets the credit of the first new show on the schedule in nearly eighteen months. "The Current" on CBC Radio One is presenting hard news from a Canadian perspective, dosed with a good sense of humor. While a 90-minute show on the network, there's only space for an hour on the schedule, so cherry-picking of its segments takes the 09:00 hour on weekdays, reducing "The Connection" to a single hour.

22 January 2005 - Even though I think the rest of the media may have been a bit harsh toward him and this page is really about radio and not people's personal lives, it still bothered me to have a convicted sex offender on the schedule, so Jon Matthews has been moved to the Honorable Mention list. This gave an opportunity to shake up the morning schedule. The commerical newsradio hour has been expanded to an hour and a half between 05:59 and 07:30, with some changes in the feature schedule as a result. Considering that most of my life has been spent waking up to KIRO/KCBS/WBZ and listening to little else in the morning, this is an appropriate change. CBC's The Current now airs early, from 07:30-09:00, but the entire program may now air. The BBC Newshour moves back to 09:00-10:00, the time I have traditionally heard it on WBUR. In this era in which polarization is king and attempts at communication between viewpoints rare, I felt better moving the late Bill Gallant from the honorable mention list to 20:00 weekdays, in place of the more confrontive Bernie Ward, even though this means that all three talk show hosts on the weeknight schedule are either dead or not on the air anymore. Bernie Ward's priceless Godtalk on Sunday morning remains on the schedule. The weekend schedule has also been tweaked. Early Saturday morning changed, with American Top 40 moving back to 04:00 Saturday (from 05:00), NPR's Weekly Edition moving back to 05:00 Saturday (from 11:00), and Soundprint moving to 07:00 Saturday (from 04:00 Sunday), and only Jim French not moving at 06:00. Mid-day Saturdays changed as well, with Jim Hightower moved to 11:00 (from 12:00 on Sunday), Glenn Beck the only actual addition to the schedule at 14:00, and This American Life moved to 15:00 (from 13:00 Sunday). Completing the shuffle, Lynn Samuels takes the 04:00 Sunday slot (moved from 04:00 Saturday), Brian Copeland takes the more palatable 12:00 Sunday slot that I actually listen to him on from the East Coast (from 07:00 Saturday), WPR's To The Best of Our Knowledge moves up to 13:00-15:00 Sundays (from 14:00-16:00), and Dr. Dean Edell lands at the 15:00 Sunday slot I used to actually hear him on from WGY (moved from 14:00-16:00 Saturday). General updates were performed on the rest of the schedule. The fact that Glenn Beck is the only addition in two years and the hosts of several of the shows on the schedule are now deceased is not a good sign for the health of the radio business.

1 January 2006 - The success of Chistropher Lydon's new Open Source show, which does a masterful job of using the Internet to enhance an issues of the day talk radio hour, has prompted a shuffling of the schedule. Open Source takes the 20:00-21:00 slot Monday through Thursday, with its dark day on Friday filled with the perennial Friday night favorite This American Life, moved from 15:00 Saturday. Dr. Dean Edell was moved from Sunday and expanded to two hours on Saturday afternoons from 14:00 to 16:00 to take up the new time available, with Glenn Beck moved to 07:00 Saturday, and Soundprint moved to take Edell's former 15:00 Sunday slot. Bill Gallant moves to the 02:00 Monday morning slot which I had used as a placeholder for Christopher Lydon while he was not on the air regularly. A smattering of personnel shifts completes the update. The cancellation of The Connection has not prompted a change in the schedule, as I think WBUR made another mistake by favoring On Point when it canceled one show during cost cutting.

1 September 2006 - Living in Canada for some time has unsurprisingly led to some changes in the ideal schedule. Dr. Joe Schwarcz's remarkable science show on commercial stations CJAD and CFRB belongs on the ideal schedule, so I have slotted it in at its actual local air time of 15:00 Sunday. To accomodate the change, Soundprint moves to 23:00 Sunday, and Bridges, eight years after its cancellation, is bumped to the Honorable Mention list. Having lived through the summer shows of the CBC for the first time, I feel compelled to add two of them to the Honorable Mention list--the language show And Sometimes Y and the Jian Ghomeshi-hosted Sounds Like Canada in the Summer, as well as the permanent show Dispatches with Rick MacInnes-Rae. All three are unique gems presenting useful content in a humorous way that made for appointment radio. Also added to the Honorable Mention list is John Moe's excellent Seattle business program, The Works. Finally, there were also some adjustments to reflect the reality that the BBC World Today is not the same on Friday nights/Saturday mornings. The CBC's As It Happens moved from 02:00 "Weekdays" to 00:00 "Weekdays," Christine Craft moved from 21:00 Sunday to 21:00 Friday, and Bill Gallant moved from 02:00 Sunday to 02:00 "Friday." This left the 21:00 Sunday through Thursday slot and the 02:00 Sunday through Thursday slot open for the World Today, when the "weekday" edition is available (intended for Asian and European time zones); it also provided a better separation between the two editions. A grid has been added to the web page to make the schedule more accessible, and the Honorable Mention list and the change history have been moved to a separate page. In this era of podcasts and on-demand audio, the ideal schedule and my actual listening habits are actually converging somewhat instead of diverging.

5 January 2007 - The CBC has made a wise decision and made And Sometimes Y, the best show I've ever heard on language, a part of its normal schedule. While they seem to like to run it Saturday and weekday mornings, I think its humor makes it better Friday-night fare, so I have placed it in the 21:00-21:30 slot on Friday. This opened up a half hour from 21:30 to 22:00 in which to insert another CBC show previously on the Honorable Mention list, Dispatches with Rick MacInnes-Rae, an excellent documentary show. Christine Craft moves from 21:00 Friday to 22:00 Sunday, a more natural slot on a day that was previously light on commerical talk shows, with Imagination Theater reduced to Saturday-only as a result, reflective of the fact that only one new show is actually produced each week. Also, I decided to shuffle weekday evenings; Marketplace really belongs in the 18:30-19:00 slot where it seems to air in just about every market, so Free Speech Radio News moves to 18:00-18:30, its time in Boston and Seattle amongst other markets, and the News Hour with Jim Lehrer moves to 19:00-20:00, which is a natural time slot for the show, its actual air time in such markets as New York city and Oregon.

30 July 2007 - The CBC's expansion of Dispatches to an hour in length has been successful, with continued quality documentaries, so I have provided a full hour in the schedule, moving it from 21:30-22:00 Fridays to 21:00-22:00 Sundays (a time similar to its rebroadcast time), displacing the World Today. This allowed a move of And Sometimes Y from 21:00-21:30 Friday to 21:30-22:00 Friday, with the 21:00-21:30 slot now filled by the weekend edition of The World Today, which I think actually provides a better balance to Friday night. However, the most remarkable thing is the loss in the real world of talk show hosts Mike Webb (to murder), Tom Snyder (to leukemia), Pete Wilson (to surgery complications; granted, I didn't have him on the ideal schedule but virtually any KGO host is first-class), Bob O'Donnell (to cancellation), and (most unnecessarily) the inability of Open Source to continue because of financial issues. Radio is getting worse again, not better.

9 March 2008 - The time change affords another opportunity to add a great new program from the CBC. I have been impressed with the fall addition of Search Engine, a show that explores the Internet's impact on the world in a tech-savvy yet broadly understandable way. I've decided that Search Engine and Matt Drudge's show (now canceled in the real world) make for a nice technology block and installed them on Sunday night. I preferred Drudge on Saturday night talking about the Sunday papers, but he owned Sunday night radio during his run and therefore fits nicely in the 22:00-23:00 slot on Sunday night. Search Engine precedes Drudge in the 21:30-22:00 time, with a half-hour of the BBC World Today returned to 21:00-21:30 restoring an evening news program to the Sunday night block which I had long wanted to do. The CBC's Dispatches, displaced from the 21:00-22:00 Sunday slot, moves to replace Drudge in the 21:00-22:00 Saturday slot. Christine Craft, displaced from the 22:00-23:00 Sunday time moves an hour later to 23:00 until midnight. Soundprint, which formerly held that slot, moves to 07:00-08:00 Saturday morning where it had been scheduled once before. Glenn Beck, previously at that time, moves to 03:00-04:00 Sundays, leaving Chris Clarke only on 03:00-04:00 Saturdays. Radio Lab, the WYNC hour-long look at most scientific topics, has impressed me in its new season and thus gains a place on the honorable mention list. If it were more frequently produced, it would gain a place on the main schedule.

17 April 2010 - There are enough Radio Lab episodes available, and seasons of five episodes are coming out fairly reguarly now, so I decided to promote it to the ideal schedule, taking the 20:00 Saturday slot, reducing Mike Webb to Sundays only. The other program that I wanted badly to add was Terry O'Reilly and the Age of Persuasion, a remarkable look at advertising. It follows Radio Lab at 21:00 Saturday. That opened up 21:30 Saturday for another very entertaining show from the CBC, Revision Quest, which presents native issues with a lot of comedy. To make room for these two programs on Saturday evening, Dispatches moves to 03:00 Sunday mornings, displacing Glenn Beck. Considering the negative effect Glenn Beck is having on American culture, I have removed him from the ideal schedule and placed him on the honorable mention list. Some minor personnel additions round out the update.

[Honorable Mention] [History of Changes]

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