Radio

Boomer's lament

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Former network news anchor and reporter Linda Ellerbee writes on the LAT op-ed page that NPR's removal of Bob Edwards after 25 years is more misguided broadcaster bias against aging.

Were the ratings sinking, perhaps? They were not. "Morning Edition's" audience grew by 41% in the last five years; Edwards' is the most-listened-to morning radio program in the U.S...

What message shall we take from this?

We baby boomers, still the basketball moving through the snake, are doing our best to redefine what it means to get older. Can we hang on to our looks, our energy our jobs? Can we compete with 30-year-olds? Can we learn new tricks? We as a generation have always believed we can have it our way, mainly because we so often have. Tomorrow has always been an important word to us. Then we learn the truth. We can exercise ourselves to skin and bone, eat nothing but broccoli, pay the plastic surgeon, dye our hair, date (and marry) much younger men and women, boogie the night away, start new businesses and change old habits. We can even become, dare I say it, wise with our years, but we cannot stop time.

I understand that NPR wants a younger audience. I don't agree with the simple-minded thinking that says a younger audience will accept the news only if a younger person delivers it. That was used against the first women broadcast journalists, of which I was one. Men won't believe the news if it comes from a woman, they said. They were wrong.

Edwards told the Washington Post this week that he thinks his forced exile by new management is more of "a style thing."


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