Radio Wars

Tessa Stuart's behind-the-scenes look at the demise of The Madeleine Brand Show at KPCC had L.A. abuzz (“The Break-Up,” Nov. 2). Many readers took the time to let us know they loved the piece. Charles Ponzio writes, “I subscribe to an aggregator of Hispanic stories of national interest from across the country, most of which I skim. But every once in a while the writing engages me to the point that I can't put a story down until I'm done. Such was the case with Stuart's highly revealing story about this L.A. public broadcasting dilemma. That she got there without access to either of the two main players speaks volumes about her talent. Well done.”

Sophie agrees. “This is a fine piece of journalism on a subject of importance to Los Angeles. The writer and the Weekly can be very proud of this story. What saddens me most about the article is that it was not published in the Los Angeles Times, the region's loudest media voice.”

Barbara M. Dodge writes, “Finally, the answers to burning questions. Thank you, L.A. Weekly, for this well-researched and exhaustive reporting. It is interesting to see what happens when the nonprofit world seems to reflect the dog-eat-dog world of the market. Does anyone remember the reign of Ms. Ruth Seymour at KCRW and her dismissal of Sandra Tsing-Loh? The airwaves can change with the click of a button. Radio, for those of us who live so much of our lives in our cars, is a constant companion, and it's challenging when our radio friends leave us. Hell, I still miss Noah Adams and Michele Norris!”

Lalatina writes, “I thought this was a great story, one I had heard about from the inside (folks who were waaaaay more qualified than A!) and was waiting for this story to get out. Kudos, L.A. Weekly! If you look at the comments on the KPCC stories, lots of folks switched to KCRW — I know I did. The fact that Raul Campos, for example, is just a staffer who happens to be Latino versus this blatant pandering means a lot to me as a college-educated Latina with disposable income. I'd given to KPCC in the past, but now my money is going to KCRW, where they don't treat me like a stereotype.”

Roxann has similar concerns. “My disagreement with KPCC was not the addition of a person of color to its lineup — it should definitely be reflective of the community it serves. My disagreement was with Martinez, who is plain awful on air,” she writes. “I was surprised to hear that he had prior radio experience. I agree that there were much better voices to be added. Desperation and the chase of money are what make critics of public radio happy. Bye-bye, KPCC.”

Vactivist observes, “Interesting that two middle-age lighter colored women were sent off and dismissed to have more sporty males spout their interests, instead of keeping hosts who are witty, smart, current and relevant to all L.A. residents. It was a poor change, and a poor choice — and their undisclosed reasons and explanations are faked damage-control but don't work.”

Henry Rosenfeld, though, had a gripe. “The story was good in detailing the long process Southern California Public Radio went through to hire a co-host, but while mentioning WHYY, WBEZ and WNYC and their kind of 'flagship shows' (Fresh Air, This American Life, Radiolab) KPCC desperately wants, your reporter left out creative radio right here in L.A. coming from KPCC's rival, KCRW, including Bookworm with Michael Silverblatt, To the Point with Warren Olney, and The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell, among shows currently syndicated on other public-radio stations. Why no mention???”

Over the Moon

Moon rocks, in the words of our Nov. 2 headline, may be the “Best High On Earth.” But readers weren't ready to buy in.

Messing with your serotonin and dopamine levels via unknown/untested street drugs is just not a good idea,” Guerro snipes. “Advocating it in a 'newspaper' is downright irrresponsible.”

VerucaSalt adds, “Most 'moon rocks' I've seen are the result of some form of powdered MDMA getting too hot and melting, and then when it dries out again, it clumps together. I would be willing to bet that 99 percent of the 'moon rocks' being sold in the U.S. at shows is just this melted molly.”

Philanthropic is angry that we dared to mention Silk Road, the online drug marketplace. He demands, “Remove the silk road aspect of this article immediately. The Road does not need this publicity. Yes, the DEA is well aware of these transgressions, but it's inciting a riot of the general public through the media that would put the fire under their asses, and jeopardize access to the road for patrons such as myself. Simply put, we all know the Road exists. Just don't fucking talk about it, and don't write a damn article about it. Come on, seriously?


That story about KPCC, “The Break-Up,” referred incorrectly to the success of The Madeleine Brand Show. It was the highest-rated show KPCC produced in-house but was still bested in the ratings by NPR's Morning Edition. Also, we failed to count one of the papers Russ Stanton worked at before coming to the L.A. Times — he toiled at four smaller newspapers, not three.

A Nov. 2 Books piece, “Netflix Killed the Video Star,” gave inaccurate information about Netflix's pricing. Customers who only want to rent DVDs have that option without being forced into a hybrid plan. We regret the errors. We regret the errors.

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