AIR responds to cancellation of Weekend America and Day to Day
AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt today released the following announcement:
These last several weeks have brought some big changes at the networks and with key nationally distributed programs as a result of economic pressures. I speak on behalf of the board and membership of AIR in extending my support and good wishes to those who had to make very tough decisions, and to our colleagues who have lost their jobs. These are trying times, and many of us across the system are bracing for an uncertain road ahead.
The loss of Day-to-Day and Weekend America hits producers especially hard. These two programs were the most reliable outlets for getting independent work to a national audience. These two “farm teams” served a critical function for our industry that many of you are not likely aware of; investing in and cultivating our best, most promising producers whose work extends beyond the two programs, bringing benefit to us all.
These developments, coupled with the uncertain future of the Third Coast International Audio Festival — the annual producer gathering hosted by WBEZ these last eight years – threaten to further weaken the already fragile economy for public radio producers. It is with this concern in mind that I write.
We are grateful to American Public Media and to National Public Radio for their investment in talent, and in the program staffs, which include some of the finest editors in the business. We are grateful to CPB for providing critical financial support to both Day to Day and Weekend America, and by extension, to producers. We are grateful, too, to Barrett Golding/Hearing Voices who acted as a conduit and curator for these programs, preparing dozens of producers and their pieces for a national audience. Those looking to replace Weekend America might consider Hearing Voices’ weekly broadcast, designed as a showcase for independent makers. You can listen/learn more at https://hearingvoices.com/shows/
We are in communication with the networks and with our member producers exploring ways to redirect the outstanding talent pool cultivated for the cancelled programs. AIR is committed to doing its part in keeping them – some of our best and brightest producers – working in public radio. We are confident you are behind us in this quest. Please be in touch if you would like to lend your ideas or support.
With all good wishes for the year ahead,
Sue Schardt, Executive Director
Association of Independents in Radio, Inc.