“What’s wrong with WNYC?”

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Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff isn’t happy that WNYC has taken PRI’s “illuminating” To the Point off the air, and he’s unimpressed with the station’s explanation that they want to put new, more diverse voices on the air. Hentoff calls To the Points replacement, Michel Martin’s Tell Me More, “a reasonably competent but basically undistinguished magazine-style show—sort of like ‘smooth jazz’ radio in contrast to Newark’s WGBO-FM.” When he called WNYC’s public relations folks, says Hentoff, he “got a whiff of WNYC’s yearning for younger demographics—just like the commercial stations. That’s the reason for The Takeaway, the new alternative to National Public Radio’s invaluable Morning Edition, which used to be heard on both AM and FM. The Takeaway, a breezy but often marginal hour-long show, makes me jump ship to WNYC-FM at 8 a.m., which is now the only place to hear the far more invaluable and in-depth Morning Edition.” Hentoff says he’s seen many angry letters from listeners to WNYC about To the Point. “‘Diversity,’ of course, is as vitally essential in radio as it is everywhere else,” says Hentoff, and he points to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now as a “continually invigorating example.”

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