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Building A Show: 101

Another day, another hop and skip across the emotional continuum.

We'd love to know how you're reacting to this. There are different ways of building a show: there's the stay-on-the-news method (which is obvious — stick to the headlines), there's the build-a-theme method (make all the pieces fit together) and there's the buffet method (try to have something for everybody).

We're doing a little of them all...

Our lead segment — the PBS presidential debate is tonight, and we examine the decision by the top GOP contenders not to participate. We then brought you the interview with Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai. I told you about her earlier — she's making the rounds with her book so you might have heard her speak elsewhere by now. Still, as NPR pursues its year-long series about climate change, who better to talk to than the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize? And time for the fall TV rollout, more from the land of television: a fascinating (I think) conversation with Johnathon Rodgers, President and CEO of TV One.

TV One is probably less well-known than BET, having come on the scene later. It strives for a more mature audience. BET is pretty clearly aimed at the 18-24 year-old crowd, while TV One is aiming older. But Johnathon is one of the business' heavy weights — probably one of the most influential television executives out there, but less well known to the general audience. I think he offered a bracing assessment of the state of the industry. More of that, I think.

Coming up... reaction from tonight's PBS debate. We'll have two of the three questioners (the third will be on a plane).

...And our usual Friday fare — the Barbershop.



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When it comes to talk shows, I prefer the build-a-theme method since the format lends itself more to in-depth investigation of news stories and topics. Further, it is nice when that theme is built around the current headlines or a few related ones. News magazine shows seem better suited for stay-on-the-news and buffet methods, but that doesn't mean that a talk show can't do these methods well.

Then again, I am no news media professional...

Sent by Steve Petersen | 11:06 AM | 9-28-2007

Well what about the piece on Wangari Maathai. That was awesome. I find your environmental features to be inspiring. And you are so informed on the issues. Refreshing. Thank you so much for reaching out into nontraditional areas.

Sent by Norris McDonald | 2:32 PM | 9-28-2007

Personally, I prefer the buffet method of building a show. I like listening to serious issues but with a little silliness thrown into the show that prove to the listener that though you are an intelligent show, you don't take yourself too seriously.

Sent by Moji | 10:07 AM | 10-1-2007