Today the brief experiment known as Washington Post Radio (WTWP AM1500) came to an unceremonious end when The Washington Post severed its relationship with station owner Bonneville communications and the call letters were changed to WWWT (3WT as they like to call it).
The original intent was to have a commercial version of NPR ( NPR on caffeine, someone at the station once called it) using the talent and resources of the Washington Post.
Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that they lacked the resources and reporters to do the kind of long-form reporting for which NPR is celebrated. Hosts would instead have the reporters on who had written whichever story they were discussing at the time and inevitably they would regurgitate (often read outright) the newspaper story itself, leading to the most leaden and stultifying radio imaginable.
Not that I wasn’t a fan and, as a life-long subscriber to the Washington Post, I really wanted it to work. Nonetheless, talented writers did not always make for scintillating radio personalities, Tony Kornheiser being the one exception and the sole bright spot for the radio station.
What Washington Post radio did evolve into during its brief 6 months of life was a station on which reasoned, moderate, and intelligent conversation took place about the issues of the day, entertainment, and technology, often with engaging good humor). What it is being replaced with is the rabid mad-dog right-wing ideologs of the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck, with a liberal bone thrown in in the persons of Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes.
What it becomes is a station of all-White talkers, largely from the right. In other words, just another version of everyone else’s talk radio. Where is the diversity? At least Tony Kornheiser’s show and the version replacing him with David Burd while he’s off on his Monday Night Football sabbatical, feature casts of regulars including Black males (Joe Barber, Kevin Stanfield, along with regular contributors David Aldridge and Eugene Robinson, to name a few). These shows will remain on 3WT though there has been no apparent effort for ethnic diversity throughout the rest of the day, and that is a true shame. Like I once noted, the 3WT moniker might as well stand for White talkers cubed.