Brand asks web commenters to give KPCC's new couple a chance *

Error fixed down below
brand-martinez.jpgIf those who post anonymously on KPCC's website are any gauge, the NPR station's gamble to pair veteran morning host Madeleine Brand with public radio newcomer A Martinez could be in trouble. Only a few of the comments on the station's story introducing the show can be read as positive, and those are along the lines of "well, let's give it time." Most of the rest are either cool to Martinez's style or sports background, think Brand is better in the solo role she's had since 2010, or express support for what they perceive as a diminished status and possibly hurt feelings on the part of Brand and her staff. Some commenters said they have been Brand fans back to NPR's failed "Day to Day" program, which she co-hosted with Noah Adams. [* My bad: It was Alex Chadwick, not Noah. D2D also officially died due to budget cuts.]

I wouldn't be at all surprised if KPCC has one of its top editors, or even the station's chief architect of change Bill Davis, go public with words of encouragement for Martinez and Brand. Maybe on the web, or on the show, or perhaps tap Larry Mantle lead a healing discussion. Tonight, after more more than 90 comments, Brand posted a personal response:

Dear Listeners,

I am blown away by your appreciation of TMBS and by your thoughtful comments. There's nothing in my career I'm more proud of than what my small team of producers and I have accomplished in the last two years. And I totally understand your anger and confusion now.

KPCC made the decision to change TMBS for some compelling reasons which include bringing a more diverse sound to the station's airwaves. Further, the idea is to build on the success of TMBS, not take anything away from it. I hope you'll give the new show a chance.


Some examples of what she's responding to are below — I'll try for a range. They focus less on the diversity angle than I suspected commenters would, given that KPCC all but announced when it began searching for a co-host that it wanted a Latino who would bring in more Latino listeners.

  • To KPCC Execs:I had to turn off the radio this AM on my drive to work b/c it was just not the same. *sigh* Did the producers change too? If not, then it sure feels like the direction of the show is different.
  • There's just no chemistry between MB and AM.
  • NPR is suppose to be different..... now you sound pretty much like every other two anchor talk show.
  • Madeleine Brand is a rare and stellar talent that the KPCC management obviously doesn't recognize or value to the extent that the public does....I hope KPCC has the courage and decency to do the right thing and give her (and the audience) her show back....If KPCC can't do the right thing, it would be heroic of A Martinez to step down.
  • Poor Madeleine (and her staff that built this show). I think they may have just destroyed the most successful public radio program probably since "This American Life."
  • A. Marinez [sic] should have his own show in some other way. His qualities would be better suited for a different kind of audience.
  • I HOPE SOMEONE AT KPCC is reading these posts...
  • I'm a big fan of MB and the show as it was, and will likely continue to listen to the show as now constructed, but have been disappointed so far. There hasn't been a great rapport so far between A. and M., and even MB seems less comfortable herself with her parts.
  • Love the New Show Format!!! Welcome A!!
  • I'm sorry I don't like it. I loved the show before. I really Like the way Madeleine laughs. Best of luck regardless.
  • The show is PERFECT as it is. I agree with another post--why can't there be a woman host on her own?
  • Why? Why? Why? *falls down to the floor, writhing in agony, bleeding from every pore*

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