News & Notes dying on the vine?

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The St. Petersburg Times ponders the future of NPR’s News & Notes with Ed Gordon, which has lost 17 percent of the audience it inherited from The Tavis Smiley Show, which N&N was designed to replace, the paper reports. “Sometimes, I feel this show is being allowed to die on the vine,” Gordon said. “People say I haven’t connected with audiences. … That’s probably true because the show hasn’t connected with me.” Said one critic: “The problem with NPR is that everything is done by committee. And now that Ed is disengaged, it’s the bland leading the bland.” NPR and the African American Public Radio Consortium defended the network’s efforts to develop black-focused programs. “[J]ust because we didn’t get it right the first time or the second time doesn’t mean we won’t keep trying,” said Ken Stern, NPR exec v.p. (via Romenesko)