Listeners Lament Death Of 'Day To Day'

We read from the huge stack of letters we received after last week's announcement that our show is going off the air in March. We hear from people all over the world, including dairy farmers and students who should have been studying.

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ALEX COHEN, host:

This is Day to Day. I'm Alex Cohen.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

And I'm Madeleine Brand. Well, as many of you know, last week, NPR announced a series of layoffs and cutbacks to deal with a really serious budget shortfall. One of the programs among the cuts was ours. Day to Day will be going off the air in March. And we wanted to take a moment to recognize the huge and really, really, very gratifying outpouring of emails from our listeners. And here to help sort through some of them and answer some of the questions that you have is our letters guy - actually, you're much more than a letters guy, Steve. You're our senior producer, Steve Proffitt. Hi, Steve.

STEVE PROFFITT: Hi, Madeleine. Hundreds of letters, scores of comments on our blog, Daydreaming, most of them - not all of them, but most of them - decrying our cancellation; many heaping praise on us, and thank you all for that. Many people wondered, is there something we can do to convince NPR to keep this program on the air?

BRAND: All right. Inquiring minds, mine among them, want to know. Is there?

PROFFITT: Well, I think the short answer is probably not. If you have five or ten million bucks lying around, then by all means, please give the bosses at NPR a call at your earliest convenience.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PROFFITT: But NPR seems to have made its decision.

BRAND: All right, so who should listeners go to?

PROFFITT: Well, they could write to the NPR ombudsman through npr.org. Member stations decide what programming to air, so they could start at their local stations.

BRAND: All right. And one of our loyal fans started a Facebook group. It's called Save NPR's Day to Day.

PROFFITT: Yes. Save NPR's Day to Day. You can join that. But let's get to a few of the letters.

BRAND: One of the favorites came from Alexandra Miriccinni(ph), who says she's an NPR kid who grew up listening to public radios. She's now in college, and she writes, It's three a.m. I have a 20-page paper to finish and three finals. But right now, all I can think about is keeping Day to Day on the air. I'll be your forever-unpaid intern any day.

PROFFITT: Jim Campbell(ph) wrote us from Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He says, I listen to Day to Day each morning as I feed and tend my cows - I guess the cows listen, too - it brings the world to me, and the world will be poorer if Day to Day's not a part of it."

BRAND: Janice Hersh(ph) of Beverly Hills, California writes, Four hours of "The Today Show," one with Cathy Lee, but no hours of Day to Day? Everything I know is wrong.

PROFFITT: And Dolores Turin(ph) of North Providence, Rhode Island, is among the many, many people, Madeleine, who think you are the best interviewer in broadcasting. She writes, I used to send Katie Couric emails advising her to listen to Madeleine Brand for tips on asking questions that elicit a meaningful answer.

BRAND: If I could only get Katie Couric's salary, or a tenth of it. All right, another thing these letters reveal is the number of folks who listen to us online or via our podcast. People scattered across the world wrote in. We got letters from Europe, Africa, Tokyo and even from Hanoi.

PROFFITT: Yeah, Hanoi in Vietnam. Finally, many letters saw the cancellation of our program, and that of News & Notes, also produced here at NPR West, as a confirmation of a sort of East Coast-centricity, which they perceive in NPR's coverage.

BRAND: Thank you to everyone who wrote us. It really, really helps, and I can say that I read every single email, and most of us on the staff did.

PROFFITT: You can still write us. Either use the Contact Us link at our website, npr.org, or you can visit our blog. It's at npr.org/daydreaming.

BRAND: And you can also give to your local station.

PROFFITT: Remember, we'll still be around, cranking out a show for you each and every day until March 20th.

BRAND: Senior producer and letters guy, Steve Proffitt. Thank you.

PROFFITT: You're welcome, Madeleine.

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