Segment | Culture

Dead Air

After March 20th you will no longer hear the dulcet tones of Madeleine Brand saying, “From the studios of NPR West, this is Day to Day.” National Public Radio’s mid-day news magazine produced out of Culver City was canceled for budgetary reasons.

The faltering economy has greatly impacted NPR’s underwriting. “We knew we couldn’t responsibly move forward unless we made some drastic decisions,” says Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for news at NPR, about the cancellation of two NPR programs broadcast from NPR West.

Day to Day host, Madeleine Brand says one of her show’s mission statements was to air voices from outside of the DC beltway and appeal to a younger demographic. If you gauge the show by its popularity, here, in Southern California, Day to Day has remained true to that mission. “I don’t know what happens in the financial offices at NPR,” says Brand, “but I do know that people make choices about where they want to spend their money and I think spending money on Day to Day was a good choice.”

Day to Day’s Alex Cohen adds that reporting on the economy every day has taken on new meaning. “I think if there’s any silver lining,” says Cohen, “it’s given me a new sense of compassion for what the whole world is going through, but it’s tough putting on a show everyday when in the back of your head, you’re thinking, how am I going to make my mortgage payment in three months?”

On this week’s Web Original Video we’ll take you inside the NPR West studios where a team of journalists continue to produce Day to Day knowing they’ll be out of a job in March.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Nicejob Media
NY Times: A Reporter Becomes the News
NPR.org's Daydreaming

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"Missed opportunity." You nailed it Madeleine. That's the sharpest pain, to me, the loss of all the talent and hard work that's gone into making the show. Down times should be times of innovation - doing whatever it takes to see that good things aren't sacrificed due to short-term pain. Congrats on building something great over the past several years.

How cool to put faces to the voices. It's a shame that Day to Day is going off the air.

Very very sad...

Wonderful piece. It almost makes me want to fall in love with Madeleine Brand! Viva Day to Day!!!...and VIVA SOCAL CONNECTED!

Love this piece!

I get a lump in my throat every time I think about the loss of D2D... I think in a few years when the economy has recovered a little, NPR will truly regret having lost such a talented group of journalists.

AWESOME - perhaps because Shereen was so close to everyone there, it allowed Madeline to tell this really relaxed, but frank discussion about where she, and the show goes from here.

I think the best part was when Alex C mentioned she did an interview about jobs the day after they lost theirs - crazy!

Beautifully woven. I'm forwarding this to everyone I know.

In this time of great change, it's challenging to see a positive future amid such hard times. I will miss 'Day to Day.' I hope to see more videos like this one, people need to know what's going on...

Brother in arms here....watching Alex and Madeline in this piece and thinking back.
Alex was first an intern for NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday." Alex, you can say what year. Yes, I was raised properly LOL!
I gave Alex her first public radio job that as a PA and director on a show where Madeline (correct me if I don't remember this) began her hosting career.

Ye Olde "Weekly Edition: The Best of NPR News." Life is a circle.

If the last month for me is any help, you will be very surprised who is out there and willing to bring you in because they have long valued what you have done and who you are.

Heads up ladies, heads up...

Great piece. sad sad story. Your videos are great. If they had a reporter narrating through the tape they would be even better.

Such talented hosts. Such extraordinary staff (who could, incidentally, give graduate seminars on making great radio with limited resources!) How I'll miss the smart, cool Southern California-inflected persective D2D brought to the network.

This is tragic. Are you guys going to interview Farai Chideya. Her show News and Notes was produced right here in LA, but for some reason should could never get a LA Public Radio Station to carry her show.

She had a great fan base among bloggers.

so tragic! i love "day to day." i think the video captures the sadness of the journalists. the theme music of "day to day" really enhanced the piece. keep up the great work at kcet!!!

I didn't get to listen to Day to Day as much as I would have liked because I was at work most days, but anytime I had the luxury to be out of the office and near a radio, I had this show on. So disappointed to hear good programming like this will be lost.

sorry to hear npr had to make these tough choices... hopefully the economy will get back on track soon and we will all be gainfully employed journalists!

What a wonderfully told piece - beautifully constructed beginning to end. And what a sad story - another loss. I'm glad you brought attention to it.

And also contained in this piece: one of the best 20-second encapsulations I`ve ever heard, courtesy of Madeleine Brand, of how the Wall Street fiasco has become an economic crisis for the rest of us. Proof of what an invaluable service public radio hosts give us, and what a great mine of talent is being lost.

I had the privilege to work with all these people at Day to Day and I take my hat off to them. A great bunch of folks to work with and know. I'm proud to have worked with them and learnt from them even after years of being a journalist in radio. I'm sad and humbled to see what they're going through and I know they will come through this stronger and we'll hear them again somewhere.

Good luck to all at D2D.

I do not, do not, do not understand the thinking in NPR's main offices. Day To Day is everything good about NPR's news and feature reporting rolled into one show. In a time when we need intelligent news reporting more than ever, one of the best sources is being stilled.

Well at least we know that Shawn Corey Campbell has a future in finger bongos, if they get an extremely small scale version of Stomp together or something.

My favorite part was when Madeleine referred to NPR as a "Shining Castle" and the video cut to a the NPR logo affixed to that misshapen grain silo.
My least favorite part was that they cancelled the damn show

Madeleine and Alex... I came to the show late since it's not on my local station, but I loved listening to VPR's webstream of Day to Day. I am SO sorry to see you go. I'm an illustrator and my work has slowed too due to the same chain of events. It's painful and I know what you mean about feeling deeper connection and compassion with everyone out there.

I hope we all learn what's really important now: friends, family, kindness. And I hope to hear you both again soon, somewhere, somehow.

NPR's Mike Pesca, folks. He'll be here all week, unless he gets laid off for some reason.

What a loss. I love this show and listened since the launch. Smart. relaxed, funny, did i say smart? So informative. An LA magazine show for the radio. Huge loss. I will miss it and all of you wonderful hosts.

How terrible. This show being taken off the air is a huge loss.

I've really enjoyed listening to these smart, talented voices and now that I've seen this video, the sense of loss is even greater. Anyone else fantasizing about a reprieve?

From Connecticut: Here it is well into April, and the stations here have moved on with programming during D2D's old time slot (Boston-based, though; not national, and certainly not appealing to D2D's demographic). I cannot tell you how much I miss this show. I'll never forget Alex Chadwick's cheeky wit ("it's the Alex and Alex show!!") or Madeleine's gorgeous voice. They made me happy. Sigh.