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My letter to the station:

Dear Mr. Brandon,

I don't usually write these sorts of letters. I read the City Paper religiously and often have strong feelings about the articles I find there, but I've never written to the editor. I also listen to WYPR religiously -- every single day of the week unless I'm spending the weekend in D.C. -- but I've never called or written in before now.

I became a member of WYPR for the first time last year. It made me proud to think that I was supporting my public radio station, which has been a source of so much knowledge, insight and enjoyment.

This morning, I happened upon an article commenting on the cancellation of the Marc Steiner show. My mouth dropped open. I stared at my computer screen for a minute, then searched for other sources to confirm what I had read. I am surprised, confused and very, very disappointed by this decision.

I can't listen to the radio at work, so most of my listening happens during my commute and on the weekends. I used to feel like I was getting a special treat every time I found myself in the car between noon and 2, because it meant I got to listen to Marc's show. Of the shows I was lucky enough to catch recently, the topics included bipolar disorder, Valerie Plame, synesthesia and consumerism. With this range of subjects in mind, the explanation for this decision in Friday's issue of The Sun, that Marc's show was too focused on Baltimore-specific issues, seems absurdly false.

I would still be very disappointed by this move is WYPR were a corporate station, but at least it might make sense. Ratings are ratings and money is money. Public radio, I had thought, was supposed to be about the interests and needs of the public. The Marc Steiner Show was a resource for consistently thorough, comprehensive coverage of issues affecting the city, the state and the country. Marc's voice is, in my opinion, distinctive and irreplaceable. I can only conclude that I'm not alone in that view, considering that the overwhelming majority of commentary on the articles addressing his show's cancellation has been vehemently against it. In this light, the invocation of a dip in ratings to justify this decision rings very hollow.

By taking Marc Steiner off the air despite the shock and opposition of your listeners, you are showing that you don't really care about us or about quality programming. I am still committed to supporting the public resources and institutions of Baltimore, but I am no longer committed to WYPR. If Marc stays off the air, I will be have to seriously reconsider my plans to renew my membership in 2008.

Abigail Cocke


Nicely said, Abigail. Nicely said!


Thanks. :) What a lame situation.

Darth Snowshoe

Boy, I want to urge everyone to vote with their feet (that is, their ears and their wallets) with this issue. Noone with Marc's character and intellectual heft is going to show up in YPR and fill in the now-gaping hole in their programming anytime soon.

Marc, we surely will miss ye -

Dave Troy

Nice letter Abby! Please see my blog on this topic...

The Wire and the Wireless: Marc Steiner and WYPR


Very well written, Dave!

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