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Old 02-15-2010, 09:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Public Radio: Do You Listen?

Yesterday the statewide public radio system, OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) Radio wrapped up its winter membership drive, and it got me to wondering how many people around here listen to, love, and support public radio as I kept hearing all of these stories from people around my state who love OPB Radio as much as I do.

Do you listen to public radio? How much? What are your favorite shows on public radio? What do you like about public radio compared to other forms of entertainment/news? Do you support your local public radio station monetarily?

I listen to a LOT of public radio. It's not uncommon for me to turn the radio on in the morning when I get up and listen to it throughout the day. I like drinking my coffee while I listen to Morning Edition. I cook dinner to All Things Considered. I know that the name of the guy who hosts the BBC Newshour at 1pm is Ian Bennett Jones.

I have a few favorite shows--I love Car Talk, Whad'ya Know, and the classic A Prairie Home Companion on the weekends, as they seem to be what I catch the most often; I always miss Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me although I do enjoy it when I catch it. Being a foodie, I also really love the Splendid Table. This American Life is always interesting. During the week, I enjoy catching Fresh Air but that is highly dependent on the topic; sometimes I start to feel as if that show is attempting to dictate to me what culture is. I really really love The Moth Radio Hour and if your local public radio station is airing the pilots, I hope that you listen to it. I hope that they turn the Moth Radio Hour into a real program.

I like public radio because in my mind they provide me with a more carefully thought out viewpoint and story than I might get from broadcast or cable news. They spend more than 30 seconds on a story when they report on it, and they often manage to bring in people to talk about the story who wouldn't go on television. Beyond the news aspect, I appreciate how they take the time to tell a story. Storytelling is kind of a lost art, but on public radio it's still alive and well.

I wish I could support my local public radio station. This thread is meant to serve as a mental reminder to myself so that next time I have some extra cash lying around, I'll shell out the $25 for the student membership. Considering how much I listen to public radio and watch public broadcasting in general (I don't have cable), $25/year is a steal. I really feel like they are providing a valuable public service.

So how about you? What are your thoughts on public radio?
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When I was still living in Orlando, before I received my iPod, I used to listen to NPR most mornings and afternoons during the week and Prairie Home Companion sometimes on the weekends...and I sent them money three or four times, but not a lot and not regularly.

Now I only listen to my iPod in the car.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I support KPFA but I don't listen to it very often anymore. I download the Democracy Now video podcast instead of listening to it. I'm not sure radio still has a place in my media experience, but I recognize that it still does for many people and it's important to fight the corporate takeover of media on all fronts.

Like MM, I listen to my own media library in the car.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy View Post
So how about you? What are your thoughts on public radio?
Just one note on clarification: I don't know the 'true definition' of public radio, but are you employing this phrase to cite examples of radio broadcasts that are nationally-syndicated programs ; (but are funded "by the people, for the people") do I have this right?

I once did listen to talk radio, but most of it was localized either in LA, Arizona, DC, New York, Worcestershire, and some pirates along the bread basket route in the US, but none are what I'd deem public radio (even though they are all readily available to the localized public).
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy View Post
Yesterday the statewide public radio system, OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) Radio wrapped up its winter membership drive, and it got me to wondering how many people around here listen to, love, and support public radio as I kept hearing all of these stories from people around my state who love OPB Radio as much as I do.

Do you listen to public radio? How much? What are your favorite shows on public radio? What do you like about public radio compared to other forms of entertainment/news? Do you support your local public radio station monetarily?

I listen to a LOT of public radio. It's not uncommon for me to turn the radio on in the morning when I get up and listen to it throughout the day. I like drinking my coffee while I listen to Morning Edition. I cook dinner to All Things Considered. I know that the name of the guy who hosts the BBC Newshour at 1pm is Ian Bennett Jones.

I have a few favorite shows--I love Car Talk, Whad'ya Know, and the classic A Prairie Home Companion on the weekends, as they seem to be what I catch the most often; I always miss Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me although I do enjoy it when I catch it. Being a foodie, I also really love the Splendid Table. This American Life is always interesting. During the week, I enjoy catching Fresh Air but that is highly dependent on the topic; sometimes I start to feel as if that show is attempting to dictate to me what culture is. I really really love The Moth Radio Hour and if your local public radio station is airing the pilots, I hope that you listen to it. I hope that they turn the Moth Radio Hour into a real program.

I like public radio because in my mind they provide me with a more carefully thought out viewpoint and story than I might get from broadcast or cable news. They spend more than 30 seconds on a story when they report on it, and they often manage to bring in people to talk about the story who wouldn't go on television. Beyond the news aspect, I appreciate how they take the time to tell a story. Storytelling is kind of a lost art, but on public radio it's still alive and well.

I wish I could support my local public radio station. This thread is meant to serve as a mental reminder to myself so that next time I have some extra cash lying around, I'll shell out the $25 for the student membership. Considering how much I listen to public radio and watch public broadcasting in general (I don't have cable), $25/year is a steal. I really feel like they are providing a valuable public service.

So how about you? What are your thoughts on public radio?
I love public radio! Since I'm on the road so much, I've been able to enjoy it in a lot of places. I've survived pledge drive in about a dozen different states! The quality seems to vary quite a bit by locality, and content as well. I like really like classical music, which is what most draws me to NPR, but also Car Talk, All Things Considered, the Saturday Jazz programming, and especially Prairie Home companion with their Norwegian Lutheran schticks, (reminds me of home) such a contrast to the East coast and New York Jewish schticks. I don't like everything on NPR -- I find This American Life sometimes depressingly sad, and the Wait, Wait...Don't Change the Station guys seem overmuch stuck on themselves, and laugh too hard at their own jokes. If the Bush administration were still in office, Amy Goodman would find some way to blame dubyah for the Haiti earthquake, etc, but I like most of what I hear. I like local concert coverage, which I hear a lot of in Minnesota and Nebraska especially.
Like Snowy, I appreciate that they are willing to explore the news and its background in some depth. All in all, I love NPR, and support with donations in Massachusetts and Kansas both.

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you don't know RadioLab, you NEED to.

It's like This American Life, but smaller and funkier. Sciencey. Stylish. Hosts you want to buy a beer. Lots and lots of fun. No NPR affiliate in my market carries it, but I never miss their podcast.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Chicago Public Radio is just about the only thing I listen to these days. I've got other radio presets, but 90% of the time the dial is on WBEZ. I only listen to the radio while driving, but I enjoy many of the shows enough to also download their weekly podcasts.

Unlike apparently most people, I'm no fan of Prairie Home Companion or Car Talk. I love This American Life and Sound Opinions (both hail from Chicago!), not to mention Radio Lab. All Things Considered and Morning Edition are great news sources, and I listen to Eight Forty-Eight for Chicago- and Illinois-based news. Let's not forget about Marketplace! Depending on the subject, I'll also listen to Worldview, Fresh Air, CBC's Ideas... the list goes on. And, of course, there's always Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! (also based in Chicago!) though I don't go out of my way to hear that one.

I listen to so much public radio I actually kind of enjoy the pledge drives.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I commute on a a train right now. So, I don't listen to much radio. When I commuted by car, I listed to public radio frequently. Among the other programs listed, I enjoy The Diane Rehm Show.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm an NPR listener. 88.5 FM in DC. Does that make me a snooty liberal?

Quote:
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I listen to so much public radio I actually kind of enjoy the pledge drives.
Pervert.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetée View Post
Just one note on clarification: I don't know the 'true definition' of public radio, but are you employing this phrase to cite examples of radio broadcasts that are nationally-syndicated programs ; (but are funded "by the people, for the people") do I have this right?
For the purposes of this discussion, "public radio" means radio that is in some way financially sponsored by the public, typically through fundraising or support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They may carry any array of programming, typically from public broadcasting syndicators such as NPR, PRI, or the BBC World Service (there are more).

I would also love to hear international perspectives on public radio, as people in Canada and the UK have more public broadcasting options than we do, especially on the radio.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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In my 5 or so years of driving, I've listened to the radio for a total of about 6 months. I listen to my own music.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In my 5 or so years of driving, I've listened to the radio for a total of about 6 months. I listen to my own music.
(imagines sunglasses, hair gel, and Haddaway's one-hit wonder thumping in the background)
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am usually awake during the hours of 6-10 weekday mornings. I never fail to catch this.

Bob and the Showgram, on G106.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd say 75% of my driving and/or working time I'm listening to some sort of public radio. I have often thought of donating, but then I'll hear them play a commercial for my local Fox affiliate and think to myself, "If these motherfuckers are getting money from multinational media conglomerates, why are they asking for my money?" Or they'll do something shitty like sue the local transit authority for having the audacity to try to run a light rail line too close to the MPR studios without kissing enough MPR ass.

I enjoy one of the local interview shows because of the often insightful and challenging questions provided by the host. I can't stand Prairie Home Companion- it seems like everything Garrison Keillor says is said mid-sigh. He's often clever but rarely funny. I don't often feel folksy enough to enjoy the rest of his shtick.

I'm not a huge fan of Marketplace- they were a little too rah rah prior to the recent economic collapse. They suffer from the same problem that most finance news shows have. Namely that they don't actually have any fucking clue as to the actual meaning of any of the things they report on. I think meteorologists and market journalists could switch professions with little noticeable effect on the accuracy of their predictions.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Before I got myself an ipod I used to turn it on in the car for something to listen to and it was especially nice since 90% of the radio is pure, unadulterated garbage. But these days I get most of my news from the internet and I own most of the music I enjoy listening too so I guess I don't see much of a point to it anymore.

I don't think I've turned on a radio in better part of five years.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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We listened to CBC Radio almost exclusively while living in Canada. Now I either listen to BBC World Service on the radio or CBC via the Internet.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I tend to listen to podcasts mostly, This American Life, Radiolab, Wiretap, Planet Money... Abaya sometimes plays KPLU/KEXP/KUOW at home, which is nice too. Otherwise, I don't listen to radio.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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While driving to and from work every day I listen mostly to either of two local public radio stations, WHYY or WRDV, or to one of my two favorite local college stations, either Univ. of PA's WXPN or Temple Univ.'s WRTI. These are all a mix of music, interviews, news, special interest stories. I'd say mostly I'm listening to music. I give a donation to all of these stations and have for many years, since they really need listener support to keep going ...so I also have way too many monogrammed coffee mugs and umbrellas.

WHYY runs many of the syndicated NPR shows mentioned above along with local interest shows. WRDV (Radio Delaware Valley) is a small, relatively low broadcasting power, local radio station that plays old standards of the 20's & 30's, the Jazz Age, the Big Band era, and the early days of Blues, Rock & Roll, and Country, along with a lot of local interest news. WXPN has a fantastic mix of all sorts of music so XPN is my single favorite radio station. WRTI is about the best jazz radio station anywhere and also they also play "classical music" part of the day but I only listen to their jazz programs.

Once in a blue moon if I'm in a mood for something specific I'll connect my itouch to my stereo and listen to my own stuff or pop in a music CD.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Listen to CBC all the time in the car, The Vinyl Cafe, Quirks and Quarks, DNTO, great listening on CBC Radio. Chased it from Ontario to Alberta when I drove out here, gets tricky to find in some spots.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Oh yeah, DNTO! I almost always enjoy DNTO
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:26 AM   #22 (permalink)
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A thread about public radio wouldn't be complete without a link to Stuff White People Like #44: Public Radio.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:30 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I like listening to public radio. There is a great show in Colorado Springs (unsure as to the station) called the Jefferson Hour. It is this guy speaking as Thomas Jefferson.

My husband listens to NPR and other public radio shows at work but I tend to prefer to listen to them in the car. There is something about driving about and listening to something that I wouldn't have heard otherwise (minus looking it up on the internet specifically).
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:30 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I listen to "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" every day in the car during my commute. It's almost ritualistic.

And I also contribute, mainly because I figure I'm making up for a lot fo the cabbies that listen and can't afford to. Good karma and all that.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:00 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ratbastid View Post
If you don't know RadioLab, you NEED to.

It's like This American Life, but smaller and funkier. Sciencey. Stylish. Hosts you want to buy a beer. Lots and lots of fun. No NPR affiliate in my market carries it, but I never miss their podcast.
I do listen to this when I catch it; for a while it was being replaced by The Moth Radio Hour. I'm not a big podcaster, but I might have to give it a shot, because I do like RadioLab, but because it's on at 8pm on Wednesdays I don't get to listen to it all that often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretMethod70 View Post
Chicago Public Radio is just about the only thing I listen to these days. I've got other radio presets, but 90% of the time the dial is on WBEZ. I only listen to the radio while driving, but I enjoy many of the shows enough to also download their weekly podcasts.

Unlike apparently most people, I'm no fan of Prairie Home Companion or Car Talk. I love This American Life and Sound Opinions (both hail from Chicago!), not to mention Radio Lab. All Things Considered and Morning Edition are great news sources, and I listen to Eight Forty-Eight for Chicago- and Illinois-based news. Let's not forget about Marketplace! Depending on the subject, I'll also listen to Worldview, Fresh Air, CBC's Ideas... the list goes on. And, of course, there's always Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! (also based in Chicago!) though I don't go out of my way to hear that one.

I listen to so much public radio I actually kind of enjoy the pledge drives.
I like the pledge drives because I feel less pathetic for the amount of public radio I listen to.

And my love of A Prairie Home Companion stems from growing up in a town full of Norwegian Lutherans, nothing more. Like Lindy, it fills me with nostalgia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxys View Post
I am usually awake during the hours of 6-10 weekday mornings. I never fail to catch this.

Bob and the Showgram, on G106.
Uhh...Xerxys...that's not public radio. That's commercial radio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton View Post
I'd say 75% of my driving and/or working time I'm listening to some sort of public radio. I have often thought of donating, but then I'll hear them play a commercial for my local Fox affiliate and think to myself, "If these motherfuckers are getting money from multinational media conglomerates, why are they asking for my money?" Or they'll do something shitty like sue the local transit authority for having the audacity to try to run a light rail line too close to the MPR studios without kissing enough MPR ass.

I enjoy one of the local interview shows because of the often insightful and challenging questions provided by the host. I can't stand Prairie Home Companion- it seems like everything Garrison Keillor says is said mid-sigh. He's often clever but rarely funny. I don't often feel folksy enough to enjoy the rest of his shtick.

I'm not a huge fan of Marketplace- they were a little too rah rah prior to the recent economic collapse. They suffer from the same problem that most finance news shows have. Namely that they don't actually have any fucking clue as to the actual meaning of any of the things they report on. I think meteorologists and market journalists could switch professions with little noticeable effect on the accuracy of their predictions.
Wow, they play commercials from the local Fox affiliate? That seems a bit much. OPB Radio has some corporate sponsorship, but it's nothing awful; their big sponsors of late seem to be Yogi Tea and Traditional Medicinals Herbal Teas, and they certainly don't play commercials. It's more of "This program is brought to you by ..." sort of thing.

As for Marketplace: I like the sound of Kai Ryssdal's voice, though.

Oh, and another thing I love about public radio here: OPB Radio covers--or tries to cover--the entire state. I can listen to OPB Radio wherever I am here; the one exception seems to be at the top of Tombstone Pass in the Cascades. This is great for us because my SO and I have a hard time agreeing on what to listen to in the car. He doesn't care for all of my music nor do I care for much of his, so public radio it is.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:52 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Wow, they play commercials from the local Fox affiliate? That seems a bit much. OPB Radio has some corporate sponsorship, but it's nothing awful; their big sponsors of late seem to be Yogi Tea and Traditional Medicinals Herbal Teas, and they certainly don't play commercials. It's more of "This program is brought to you by ..." sort of thing.
I've heard some underwriting announcements that definitely cross over the line into being commercials. And the Not for Profits can have every bit as much of an agenda as the corporates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy View Post
Oh, and another thing I love about public radio here: OPB Radio covers--or tries to cover--the entire state. I can listen to OPB Radio wherever I am here; the one exception seems to be at the top of Tombstone Pass in the Cascades. This is great for us because my SO and I have a hard time agreeing on what to listen to in the car. He doesn't care for all of my music nor do I care for much of his, so public radio it is.
It's the same in Kansas. They do cover the whole state, but you can be listening in Kansas City and catch a weather forecast, not realizing that the forecast is for Liberal, about 400 miles away.

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Old 02-16-2010, 04:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I watch Public TV. I think the radio people need to make TV shows at least once a week.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:33 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy View Post
Wow, they play commercials from the local Fox affiliate? That seems a bit much. OPB Radio has some corporate sponsorship, but it's nothing awful; their big sponsors of late seem to be Yogi Tea and Traditional Medicinals Herbal Teas, and they certainly don't play commercials. It's more of "This program is brought to you by ..." sort of thing.
Well, they are of the "This program is brought to you by ..." form. It's just disconcerting that my local Fox affiliate is paying money to and getting a shout out from my local "member supported" radio station.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:07 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Since this thread started, my public radio station has started doing a replay of RadioLab episodes at noon on Saturday, and so I've been catching them more often. My husband also downloaded a bunch of the podcasts, so we've been listening to those while we unwind before bed. They also moved Wait, Wait so I've been listening to that more frequently, too.

Another show I've come to love is a locally produced one called Live Wire! Radio It's on Saturday nights, so I miss it with some frequency, but my husband downloads the podcast for me.

I've also been listening to the music-oriented shows on KOPB with more frequency: American Routes and In House. I have a coworker who is consistently surprised that no, I don't know the latest Katy Perry song, and I tried to explain to her that the only new music I really listen to comes from In House: new Radiohead, yes, Katy Perry, no.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:31 AM   #30 (permalink)
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i do when i can but the radio reception on the side of a mountain kinda sucks, but they have the internet live broadcast that i try to tune into every weekend. Car Talk FTW!
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Listening to WGBH (Boston) even as I write this. I listen to more public radio than than any other radio.

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Old 04-25-2011, 04:15 PM   #32 (permalink)
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...they have the internet live broadcast that i try to tune into every weekend. Car Talk FTW!
When I originally posted above I had rarely listened to internet radio. Since then I've been doing it quite often since it's so convenient to connect on one "tab" and listen while I'm surfing on other tabs...currently playing Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers "Learning to Fly". In addition to music, almost every day I listen online to some of Al Jazeera English just to get a bit of a different perspective, though they seem so "mainstream" compared to a few years ago.
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