This morning at 10 a.m. ET, I will, as I have on many occasions, be Fred Andrle's guest on WOSU's Open Line radio program. It will be, as always, an hour of great live conversation and wonderful phone calls from listeners in the Columbus, Ohio, area (found at 820 AM on your dial).
But it's coming to an end.
After 20 years of hosting the program, Fred has announced he is retiring at the end of May. In an article in Tuesday's Columbus Dispatch, Fred is quoted as saying, "I feel very, very privileged to have done a show in which we've been able to present all these people, ideas, issues — every point of view. I feel a personal loss at leaving, but I know deep down it is time to leave."
Tom Rieland, general manager of WOSU Public Media, called Andrle "a gift to the Columbus community": "I consider him the best radio talk show host in America, and I know his loyal listeners would agree."
Ordinarily, this is not what I would write about in Political Junkie. And forgive me if I sound like a pledge drive interrupting your favorite program.
But Fred's show, WOSU and the Columbus community are what this is all about. Listener support in the area is phenomenal. The several times we've been to Columbus for an event have been extremely rewarding. And Fred has been a pure delight.
This is not me being a company suck-up. This is me thanking all the people who make this possible, every day of the week. Not just the brilliant insight you find in Political Junkie. The incredible work and quality programs you hear from National Public Radio every day could not happen without the support of, well, the public. When tough economic times hit, NPR suffers because member stations suffer. And so, every now and then it's time to remember what we are all about. And we are all about member-supported public radio stations like WOSU, and people like Fred.
OK, now that I've exposed myself as a company shill, I can go back to my regular life. Whatever it is that I do.
Thanks, Fred. I look forward to chatting with you later this morning. I wish you the best. And thank you, WOSU, for making this happen all these years.