A Wall Street Journal article takes a different angle on the looming demise of Car Talk as we know it, examining how several stations have handled the ongoing broadcast of shows with retired or departed hosts. Phil Redo, managing director of WGBH, tells the paper about a fan letter sent to a jazz host who has passed away. “Do I just write back and say ‘thanks so much for your note,’ and let it go at that?” Redo asked. “Or do I say ‘thanks for your note, but you ought to know that Ray has been dead for two years.’”
While Redo and others defend airing repeats of years-old shows, Rich Conaty, a host on WFUV in New York, argues that the practice moves “into the zip code of Creepy-ville.” “If the station is committed to the music, keep it going but get a new host,” Conaty says.