Car Talk co-host Tom Magliozzi dies at 77

Tom Magliozzi, half of Click and Clack on NPR’s Car Talk, the Tappet Brothers, died Monday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77. Magliozzi and his brother Ray hosted Car Talk for 37 years before it ended production in 2012. The show continues airing in reruns. Doug Berman, the show’s producer, said in a blog post that Tom Magliozzi and his brother “changed public broadcasting forever.”

Car Talk was still #1 among NPR weekend shows in spring 2012

A new report from Walrus Research shows that NPR’s Car Talk continued its streak as NPR’s most popular weekend program in Spring 2012, with Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! coming in second and Weekend Edition Saturday a more distant third. The report says airing the three shows in sequence is the “ideal scheduling to benefit all three programs.” Car Talk goes into repeats starting next month.

Want new radio hits on Saturday? Step 1: Drop Car Talk when the guys retire

I enjoy Car Talk. I like those guys. And as a public radio lifer, I’m grateful for what Tom and Ray Magliozzi did to bring a vast audience to public radio, year after year.. … But — with all respect to Doug Berman and my colleagues at Car Talk Plaza — I think when they stop making new episodes in October, they should be pulled from Saturday mornings.

Car Talk led the way to homogenization of noncom radio, writer says

“Car Talk is the exemplar for consolidation and homogenization on the noncommercial end of the dial,” writes Paul Riismandel, adviser to WNUR-FM at Northwestern University, on Radio Survivor. Riismandel notes that “as syndicated programming has taken over the programming schedule of public stations, local news, information and culture is pushed off. Car Talk is a program which pushed the frontier of this movement.” He cites the 1997 uproar when Wisconsin Public Radio canceled its popular local About Cars program to carry Car Talk, which culminated in a hearing before the state legislature (Current, March 17, 1997). WPR received Car Talk free in exchange for continuing a contract to distribute its own syndicated program, Whad’Ya Know?

“Click and Clack” announce retirement

The hosts of Car Talk, the popular pubradio show celebrating its 25th season this fall, are retiring, they announced to listeners today (June 8). Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers, actually started the show 10 years earlier at WBUR in Boston. Tom is 74 years old, Ray is 63.An NPR press release said that they will not tape new shows but their weekly call-in series will continue to be distributed from their archives of 1,200 shows beginning in October. The two will continue to write their twice-weekly “Dear Tom and Ray” column.Car Talk evolved out of what was supposed to be a call-in show with a panel of mechanics, according to a June 1995 story in Current. The WBUR volunteer/producer called the brothers to sit on the panel and Tom agreed, thinking that it would generate business for the pair’s fledgling garage.

Since we’re on public radio, we might as well have fun

In a time when American audiences give themselves to performers who act like “real people,” the irony of Tom and Ray Magliozzi is that they are who they seem to be. The listeners get it. Ratings for the brothers’ radio show, the automotive-philosophical-political call-in colloquium, dubiously titled Car Talk, are among the highest of any NPR program — 1.9 million people a week, listening to 362 stations, which ranks the program after Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Fresh Air. The Magliozzis’ genuine mechanical expertise notwithstanding, listeners most often say that the appeal of Car Talk is Tom and Ray themselves. “I think what we’re doing is sort of giving Tom and Ray a forum, a reason to be on the air,” says Executive Producer Doug Berman.