02/02/08 a quick note…

I want to thank everyone for all of the support I’ve been receiving.   I also want to let you know that I’m going to keep this blog open.  I haven’t had a chance to write sooner because the internet is down at my house, but on Monday I will write more about what’s going on.  In the meantime, please post your thoughts and questions here.  You can also reach me at marcbsteiner@gmail.com.                                                                      -marc 

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84 Responses

  1. Marc, their decision is insane. I find it hard to continue to support WYPR financially if they are killing the heart of the station.

    If at all possible, where you go, I will follow.

  2. Marc,

    Thanks for the great work over the years! We are all sorry for what happened, and our support is with you. Good luck going forward, and let us hope that your work will not be forgotten

  3. I too am so sad to hear this news-please find another outlet. I also will probably abandon WYPR, you are the main reason it is my preset station. The work you do for Baltimore is invaluable.

  4. Big mistake.
    Huge.
    Ridiculous really.
    Put it this way…When I told my kids the news,
    their reply was, “What!! You’re kidding!”
    They are 9 and 13 years old.
    In our house, we like WYPR
    but we LOVE Marc Steiner!
    A sad day for me.

  5. You were the soul of WYPR and without you, it is looking more and more glib, empty, and pandering.

  6. Did anyone else notice that the WYPR website had been sponged of any and all references to the fact that there ever
    even WAS a Marc Steiner Show? No emails, no bios, not even the producers.
    Hmmmm……

  7. Marc,

    Thank you for everything. I am very disappointed to hear this news. I have been a loyal listener of the show for several years. Last year I moved to Minnesota, but have continued to follow the show through the live webcast and podcasts. Your show allowed me to remain connected with Maryland.

    I have appreciated the unique diversity of your show. You focus on the issues that impact the lives of residents both of the city of Baltimore, and the entire state. Your ability to discuss the difficult subjects directly yet civilly will be sorely missed. Good luck in your future ambitions.

  8. DAMN SHAME.

  9. Hi Marc
    I moved to Baltimore 11 years ago and you have educated me about the city all this time so that I feel like it’s home. Best of luck finding a new position which pays more and where you can continue your good work. Thanks for the thoughtful shows, light and heavy, good mix.
    I must say good riddance to Gerry from Pikesville, you were too kind to him (I moaned every time he rambled on).

  10. Frankly your show was one of the last reasons to listen to local radio. I have a million choices via the internet all day long, many commercial free. I also can listen to a cavalcade of idiots yammer all day long. Yours was one of the few, and the only local, that I continually found interesting, challenging and (gasp) informative. Please keep us posted if you have a new home, so I can tune in there. I value the dialogue and honesty you have brought to Baltimore.
    Monday morning I’ll trash my WYPR links and presets.

  11. When I saw the article in today’s Sun, my first reaction was that it must be an early April Fool’s joke. To my horror, I realized it was for real.

    For me, as I think for many WYPR listeners, Marc Steiner WAS WYPR. I don’t care what the merits of the dispute were, to fire a local treasure such as Marc is asinine.

    I am sure Marc will land on his feet; I hope that landing is in Baltimore. However, I think WYPR may have signed its own death warrant.

    And Gerry of Pikesville — who are you to speak of a cult of personality? Over the years, Marc was too indulgent of your endless lectures on every subject under the Sun. After all the air time Marc generously allowed you, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  12. Marc, you’re the Studs Terkel of Baltimore! It’s hard to think of you not being on the air. I hope that some local broadcast outlet has better civic sense than WYPR has demonstrated, and that you’ll be back on the airwaves soon. Whatever happens, the best to you and your family.

  13. Marc,

    I began listening to your show when I started my first job after graduating from Loyola College in ’05. I do medical research at UMD-SOM and love my work. However, I woke up every morning excited by the fact that I would listen to your show that day and would learn so much. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have begun a conversation with “So I was listening to the Steiner show the other day and…” Your work has truely been inspiring. I am somewhat shocked by how upset I am about the news. I wish you the best in whatever you do next. Thank you.

  14. when my step son called me last night to tell me this, i could not believe it. marc has been the show that provoked discussion and brought to the forefront, the evils of BGE management and rate hikes. his show was ALWAYS spot on, and for some reason, listener “GERRY FROM PIKESVILLE” always, ALWAYS, got on—i sometimes wonder if he had his finger on speed dial (by the way gerry, your comments on the SUN’S posting are insulting, shame on you, you nasty old man !!!) I REALLY HOPE THAT LISTENERS PROTEST IN THE STREETS, ON EMAILS, PHONE TREES AND THE LIKE. i will begin my phone protest to YPR management first thing monday morning the 4th of feb. what reallys clogs my BS FILTER though, is how fast his show was removed. shows do not just go away over night. WYPR had a vendetta, and they exercised a coup to take marc off the air. i wonder, did BGE tell them to do it? makes you think where management’s head really is. i only hope that more listeners and supporters are as outraged and motivated as myself. hell, if this took place in europe or the middle east, that station would be burned to the ground.

  15. You will surely be missed
    There is no other media left for the thinking person

    I did think that sometimes you talked too much.
    but my own observation was that some times on some topics there did not seeme to be many callers.
    and I was sometimes I was surprised to be the next caller up.. hum.

    I think the station made a big misteak.

    my radio is paermanetly tuned to WYPR….may be now so permanetly now

    vince

  16. Marc is my lifeline to the city–I moved here in 2006, and there’s nothing else like him on any NPR station, and I’ve heard a few! I was always afraid he was too good for NPR. I think WYPR needs to hear, loud and clear, how foolish they are.
    Marc, thank you for being a friend to a stranger in a new city, and I’m sure you’ll be fine–not so sure about the rest of us!

  17. Marc,
    Just the other day as I was listening to your show I thought “what will I ever do if he decides to go off of the air”. I am sick. I feel like I have lost something of great importance. Wypr has lost my support. I hope to hear your voice elsewhere soon. Thank you for everything you have done to enlighten this community.

  18. Marc – Not only did you have the absolutely best show on radio (or even TV for that matter) – but you actually cared about the people you interviewed. After I was on your show, I contacted you for help with a client 2 years later and you were there with resources and advice.

    You could never ever be replaced because it was your HEART as much as your BRAIN that made this show so important for all of us.

    WYPR was not supposed to be about “ratings”. Or managment decisions.

    IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SHOW THAT BUILT COMMUNITY.This show was the only avenue in town to meet our neighbors on common ground and build understanding. It was an oasis of interconectedness in an ever growing ocean of social isolation.

    They can look around the world for a new show or a new host but they will never ever get back the trust and support of the former WYPR community. In one irational decision they destroyed their station – and the Baltimore listening community.

    As for you Marc — why not run for political office? You know the issues better than anyone and you have my vote because you actually care.

    We all support you. No matter what!

  19. By the way… what CAN we do?

    Can we protest?
    Can we organize?
    Anyone want to meet up to plan?

    Come on people its YOUR public radio.

    Can ‘MANAGEMENT” just destroy it without a fight?

  20. I, too, was stunned to learn of the decision to take you off the air. Your show is the only reason I listen to WYPR. I can (and will) listen to other NPR shows I enjoy (i.e. Diane Rehm) on WAMU.

    I find the ratings reason disturbing. Are there really sponsors who need to be kept happy? If so, it isn’t public radio…is it?

    Also, the remark about how your show centered too much on Baltimore and not the rest of the state…I just looked over your podcasts for the month of January. Around 61% had a national focus, around 17% had a state focus and around 23% had a Baltimore focus. But even of those 23% some were national issue (like the one on the youth vote and race) but you interviewed local people for their perspective. So the reasons just don’t ring true for me.

    Marc, you took chances and talked about things that others shied away from. You stuck your neck out and took on issues that affected those with little power. For this I am so grateful and I so want to believe that this is not your punishment.

    Thank you.

  21. Marc — I actually copied you on an email I sent Tony Brandon. Since, they’ve erased any mention that you existed at WYPR I thought I might add it to this growing list of comments:
    Dear Mr. Brandon:

    As a long time member of this radio station, I am outraged that you would cancel a show like Mr. Steiner’s. This is a member supported station. You should probably go back and read that last sentence again, Mr. Brandon. This station exists because we, the community support it (at least that’s what you say everytime you thank after a pledge drive. )

    Can you calculate how many members listen to Mr. Steiner’s show? I doubt it.
    Shame on you.

  22. WYPR’s Board of Directors is holding a Board Meeting open to the Public (that’s us!) on March 7th or thereabouts. Check out the WYPR Website for information and the phone number to register to attend. That is where fans of Marc’s show can make their displeasure heard loud and clear! I contribute a membership level gift each year, but you big donors out there who are unhappy with this decision should contact management immediately and lead the charge to put Marc back on the air. Money talks, folks!!!!

  23. My letter to the station:

    Dear Mr. Brandon,

    I don’t usually write these sorts of letters. I read the City Paper religiously and often have strong feelings about the articles I find there, but I’ve never written to the editor. I also listen to WYPR religiously — every single day of the week unless I’m spending the weekend in D.C. — but I’ve never called or written in before now.

    I became a member of WYPR for the first time last year. It made me proud to think that I was supporting my public radio station, which has been a source of so much knowledge, insight and enjoyment.

    This morning, I happened upon an article commenting on the cancellation of the Marc Steiner show. My mouth dropped open. I stared at my computer screen for a minute, then searched for other sources to confirm what I had read. I am surprised, confused and very, very disappointed by this decision.

    I can’t listen to the radio at work, so most of my listening happens during my commute and on the weekends. I used to feel like I was getting a special treat every time I found myself in the car between noon and 2, because it meant I got to listen to Marc’s show. Of the shows I was lucky enough to catch recently, the topics included bipolar disorder, Valerie Plame, synesthesia and consumerism. With this range of subjects in mind, the explanation for this decision in Friday’s issue of The Sun, that Marc’s show was too focused on Baltimore-specific issues, seems absurdly false.

    I would still be very disappointed by this move is WYPR were a corporate station, but at least it might make sense. Ratings are ratings and money is money. Public radio, I had thought, was supposed to be about the interests and needs of the public. The Marc Steiner Show was a resource for consistently thorough, comprehensive coverage of issues affecting the city, the state and the country. Marc’s voice is, in my opinion, distinctive and irreplaceable. I can only conclude that I’m not alone in that view, considering that the overwhelming majority of commentary on the articles addressing his show’s cancellation has been vehemently against it. In this light, the invocation of a dip in ratings to justify this decision rings very hollow.

    By taking Marc Steiner off the air despite the shock and opposition of your listeners, you are showing that you don’t really care about us or about quality programming. I am still committed to supporting the public resources and institutions of Baltimore, but I am no longer committed to WYPR. If Marc stays off the air, I will be have to seriously reconsider my plans to renew my membership in 2008.

    Sincerely,
    Abigail Cocke

  24. Well, like everyone else here I am horrified by this decision by WPR and by the sneaky, insulting abruptness with which it seems to have occurred. My personal theory is that Marc is not a suck-up to the oligarchy of wealthy developers that runs this city and its politicians (and major institutions and non-profits as well) and as WYPR became less “public” and more corporate-funded he had to go.

    Marc has always been very fair-minded when it comes to giving a voice to those unable to be heard elsewhere, particularly those with alternative political views. I have a lot of admiration for his ethical standards and courage.

    I hope to contact as many board members personally as I can to voice my disgust. Let’s not let this go by quietly.

    Anybody got any clever ideas as to what “WYPR” might stand for now?

  25. I have withdrawn m $-a-day membership and cancelled my volunteer times. “Your public radio”? No one asked us. What an insult to demean our contributions that were inspired by Marc. Every year when asked “why do you contribute?” I answer because of Marc and his show. I can join WAMU for D. Rehm and ATC. Marc is what differentiates us from them. Not Andy Beinstock or the Signal. They are decent shows but of no real significance to our lives. I live in the very white middle class part of the county and would never have cared about Rose and Ashland or the people in the hard hit parts of the city without him. Shame on these people. Marc, take heart. Something will follow. Gerry of Pikesville, I was always an admirer of your opinions and now you are just an ungrateful old man. Go sit in the corner with Mr. Brandon

  26. I heard the news while walking my dog at the park Saturday about 8 a.m. Someone I had just met for the first time asked me if I listened to the Marc Steiner show, and told me the show was cancelled. Shortly after I ran into a friend at the Waverly Farmers’ Market. She asked if I had heard and we agreed to keep in touch on this topic. I ran into 2 local business people in my neighborhood and they are looking for ways to respond.
    I have contacted WYPR and asked to have my name removed from any fundraising solicitations until and unless the Marc Steiner show is reinstated because I will no longer suppport this station.
    I urge other fans to do the same. After all, it is YOUR public radio station, isn’t it?

  27. I was shocked and dismayed to hear the news that your show had been cancelled, and disgusted when I heard the purported reason. No reason could be more obviously false. You have done nothing but serve the interests of the public by bringing information, issues, and insight to our attention. I will be letting WYPR know that since it is no longer my public radio, I won’t be tuning in. I can listen to corporate perspectives on any TV station.

  28. Mr Brandon & Ms Bozzuto owe their board poobahships to Marc Steiner. I guess they just didn’t want to pay their debt. How very cheap and shabby.

    But seriously folks, this outrage just shows how hollow “membership” is in such an organization. Until corporations such as Your Public Radio are at least widely held, if not publicly owned, we will forever be in the sad position of objecting to such actions after they occur. We can only ask the board to reverse the decision but we have no power to ensure that such management behavior will be punished.

    88.1 has been a heartbreaker. I feel now as I did a decade and a half ago when WJHU dropped its classical music programming. There had been no public consultation on that decision – one day we awakened to talk rather than music.

    Well, I got used to the talk; even liked some of it. I grew to like the Marc Steiner Show. It was easier to listen to the Diane Rehm Show. But I hadn’t become a member. Funny thing, I had been feeling that my petulance had morphed into churlishness. Perhaps I had harbored a grudge just a tad to long. Perhaps I should thank Mr Brandon & Ms Bozzuto because I now do not feel churlish. OK, Thanks Mr Brandon & Ms Bozzuto; thanks for nothing.

  29. [...] Abby wrote an interesting post today on Comment on 02/02/08 a quick note⦠by AbbyHere’s a quick excerptI can’t listen to the radio at work, so most of my listening happens during my commute and on the weekends. I used to feel like I was getting a special treat every time I found myself in the car between noon and 2, because it meant I … [...]

  30. Our whole family is shocked and dismayed. Baltimore is losing another unique treasure. How disgraceful that a station that has two daily airings of All Things Considered is taking away a fabulous and fascinating show that is special to Baltimore. It is like a chain taking over a great restaurant that could only exist in Baltimore. Marc had a wealth of knowledge about this city and many other topics and the most wonderful infectious laugh that let you know you were in Baltimore. No more financial support for that station from us!

  31. Marc,

    I have been listening since 1995. Shame on you WYPR! Thank you Marc, I hope to be listening to you again soon.

  32. Unbelievable, ratings? Well, I hope NPR is ready to take a whiff of the new ratings.

  33. Marc,
    Having spent the weekend in PHX, I have been a little out of the loop on what is going on in Maryland.I must say that the station will miss you and so will so many Marylanders.
    I am sure you will land on your feet within hours and in a better position.
    I guess that this is the only way the management could hold “yes sir” meetings, and the future is now in their hands.
    I will tune in to you wherever you land and I will be the first to donate when asked.
    Cheers to you and your new ventures!!!!
    -Bill

  34. According to the WYPR website (these meetings are required to be public by the CPB…may be time to start calling to annoucn we will be coming):

    Notice to the Public: Board of Directors Meeting
    Your Public Radio Corporation will hold a Board of Directors meeting on March 12, 2008 at 3pm. Please call WYPR at (410) 235-1660 if you would like to attend.

  35. Marc,
    You are the heart and pulse of Baltimore–a legend of and in the city. What a huge mistake WYPR made! If the station can’t understand and appreciate how treasured you are to the listeners of Baltimore, they don’t deserve to have your skill and talent. Let them suffer and struggle to find a replacement that is as loved and revered as you are. I used to help raise funds for the station–no more.

  36. Additionally, there is also a “Community Advisory Board”, which again they are required to have…did the board discuss this with them? perhaps we should…, again from the wypr website):
    see here: http://www.wypr.org/CAB.html
    they have a blog as well…where people can make suggestions,

    http://cabwypr.wordpress.com/about/

  37. Marc,
    I can’t believe the shameful way the station’s manegment, even people who you promoted and encouraged, have treated you, your producers, and the listening audience.

    Their short-sightedness – no public announcement, nothing on the web page, not preparing the employees who interact daily with the public – is another example of shoddy manegment.

    The fact that they are even thinking of holding a pledge drive in a few weeks speaks volumes about how little they understand your value to the Baltimore community and beyond.

    I may not always have agreed with you, but that was part of the pleasure of your show and the voices we would not have otherwise heard to whom you gave the microphone. For that alone you deserve a huge thank you.

    My membership will not be renewed, I will neither volunteer nor work at the station, and I’m going to have to find a new station to listen to. It’s a sad future we face without your voice.

  38. Deja vu Maryland Public Television and Louis Rukeyser. Self-inflicted wound. We listeners don’t care about management problems with on-air talent. It shows a fundamental ignorance of the entertainment business to think that board room programming can replace time-tested name recognition. WAMU is 2 clicks away, and I’m listening to it now. When you and Ron Shapiro asked for my money, I gave it. I have other places to give it now. Good luck to you. You were great and will be again in a new setting.

  39. Marc,

    I am stunned, deeply saddened, and outraged. Your show was unique. You gave airtime to folks who do not get their voices heard. You know and love Baltimore and that’s apparent. But to say your show was Baltocentric is total b.s. You dealt statewide, national and international issues. Your own far ranging interests and insight into what people needed to know made for extraordinary shows on music, literature, science, religion, philosophy, etc. The fact that WYPR did not recognize your value says all one needs to know about the station. WAMU here we come.

    Stan Markowitz

  40. Below is my letter to the station:

    Dear Mr. Brandon,

    I am writing this letter to notify you that I am withdrawing my membership pledge as a direct consequence of your shameful treatment of Marc Steiner.

    I have been a supporter of WYPR for many years. As a Baltimore City Public School teacher, I was never able to give very much, but I gave what I could because your station and its mission were very important to me. I was so impressed by the move to buy the station from JHU; I believed the call letters, this station would be MY station. As Baltimore’s other radio stations slowly gave way to the pressure imposed by Satellite Radio, WYPR remained consistent. I wanted to keep you around, to keep you on the air, providing thoughtful, thought-provoking, and intelligent information to my city.

    As a BCPSS teacher, I always had a special place in my affections for Mr. Steiner. I felt like he was the only person in the city willing to give consideration and a voice to teachers on a regular basis. I felt as though there was someone in my corner, someone who knew what it was to teach in the city and wanted to lend his support. Beyond that, I believe that Marc Steiner is the voice of WYPR.

    He epitomizes what I see to be the hallmark of Public Radio. The Marc Steiner Show was a resource for consistently thorough, comprehensive coverage of issues affecting the city, the state and the country. He covered large and significant issues, but remained accessible. We all feel like we know Marc in one way or another. The nonsense that he wanted too much of the spotlight is ridiculous. WE wanted him in the spotlight. We wanted someone that we could approach, could talk to.

    People like Marc Steiner are what makes your station unique. If I so chose, I could tune in the NPR stations via Sirius. Instead, I wanted the local connection. I somehow doubt that you, Mr. Brandon, are from Baltimore. If you were, you would understand the pull that the city has on its residents, current and past. Even after my fiancé’s job took us to Pittsburgh, I continued to listen to WYPR via the internet and in my car whenever I happened to be in town. I also continued to support WYPR, because Baltimore is and always will be MY town. But if you are going to take away the pieces that matter most to us, then I have no reason to continue my support. I also suspect that I am not alone in my decision.

    There are too many choices out there, Mr Brandon, to risk damaging what your listeners love about your station. Unless, of course, you are no longer interested in what your listeners say. If I can be replaced by a corporate underwriter, then my opinions mean nothing to you. And since you fired Marc Steiner despite the outrage that I am sure was voiced, you show that members don’t mean much to you.

    I suggest that you either re-hire Marc Steiner or change your call letters.

  41. Dear Marc-
    I am terribly upset that your show has been cancelled. Like many others in town, I feel that you are a unique Baltimore treasure- and YPR has unwisely and unjustly tossed its greatest asset aside. I sincerely hope you end up on the air somewhere else on the Baltimore dial- because BALTIMORE NEEDS YOU!!! Without you on YPR, I will no longer listen to that station- what reason do I have to do so? You were the unique appeal. I will now listen to 88.5- until you show up on the dial somewhere else. All the best –
    Firmin DeBrabander
    MICA

  42. A terrible decision to be sure. Marc, your devotion to Maryland, and to Baltimore City will never be forgotten.

    I can say this, you have always been a voice I can trust, no matter the issue. This is a great rarity in media today, and you should be proud. Sorry your time at YPR had to end this way.

    I certainly hope they don’t expect any money from me now!

  43. This is truly unbelievable! I discovered people and important institutions that are doing all kinds of things to improve Baltimore. Marc’s show was the nexus of change in Baltimore.
    Please look up the list of the Board of Directors of WYPR and call or write them making our feelings known. This works both ways, we can boycott their efforts/businesses as easily as they can take Marc off the air.
    I would have cancelled the check we sent to WYPR recently, but its too late.
    However, they won’t get any more money from us.
    There are other NPR radio stations in Baltimore and hopefully they will be smart enough to hire Marc and enjoy the increase in revenue that his show will bring to their station.

  44. Marc,
    Well, I tuned my radio to YPR today at noon, as I do every day, and was shocked…shocked to find out that you and your show had disapeared without a trace. A Google or two later I discovered the sad news. My wife and I moved to Baltimore in 2004 and I would venture to say that nearly everything I know about this wonderful city I learned from your show. You always had an excellent balance of international, national, state and city issues and whenever possible presented all sides to those issues. In addition, you were as fine an advocate for the city and its people as any one could ask for. You will be missed. Good luck. I know you will land on your feet, hopefully here in the city you love.

  45. Marc – I am shocked and mad as hell at shabby way you have been treated by WYPR. I have come to value your program greatly and it has become a frequent part of my listening day. I put you in the same category with C-span as far as integrity and credibility are concerned. I very much hope that you will find another public forum for the excellent work you have been doing. Until this happens, I will certainly miss of being well and accurately informed by your programs. Here’s hoping a new and even better door opens for you as soon as possible. MM

  46. Dear Marc,

    I have enjoyed your show immensely through the years. I have been away since Friday and just read the news in the Sun. I cannot convey my anger. I have sent the following to anyone I could find connected with WYPR and I hope it will be shown to Barbara Bozzuto (whoever she is). I have never been so grateful for the internet as I am today.

    Thanks.

    Suzanne Preis

    I have been an off and on supporter of WYPR , especially since Marc Steiner successfully transformed the station from WJHU. I am APPALLED at the news of him being fired. In my opinion, he is the soul of WYPR and if he is not there IT IS DEAD! I have my radio on now at 12:12 PM and it is the last time I will. I am not interested in hearing from LA at this time. One of the attractions of WYPR’ s Marc Steiner Show is the voices of Baltimore and Maryland that we have heard and in-depth coverage of local interests. Now you will be just another bland, generic talk station with the bland, trained “American announcer voice”. I have always looked to public radio to give us a choice between commercial American entertainment, which I generally do not watch or listen to. This decision made by the executives at WYPR is to my thinking the death knell of the kind of radio programming that I choose to listen to. Additionally, it sounds like somebody in your executive suite is jealous of Marc’s local popularity.

    This was a low, sneaky, underhanded, dastardly decision in itself and disgusting in the way it was carried out.

    I will never support WYPR financially again and my radio will NEVER be on 88.1 between 12 and 2 PM.

    Suzanne S. Preis
    Baltimore

  47. Marc,
    I was sitting in a hotel room in Vilnius Lithuania, when I received an email from my daughter in Baltimore, letting me know what had happened to your show. I am astonished at such a deeply wrong headed decision on the part of the station. I have been a guest on your show twice and both times I was struck by your understanding of the subject background and the comfortable and confident flow of your interview style. But moreover, you have true broadcast personality, the most valuable quotient in broadcast media. What in the world are these people thinking? Clearly there is more to this story than has been revealed so far, but when I return to the States, I intend to make it clear to the station that I am ending any further support. You are the genuine article and I hope this all works out for you.

  48. Marc Steiner was in large part why my wife and i listened to wypr, be it on the radio or webcast, or catching up from the mp3′s posted. The stations decision leaves me disheartened. I will be changing my listener ship and support dollars, as in large part what I supported is gone.

    There are a number of npr stations available here, I get 3.
    I chose wypr because of marc steiner. If i wanted to listen to generic broadcasts I’d turn on major media.

    The mix of local news and varied points of view with the national news is what attracted me here. Alas, I am disillusioned.

  49. Well, I wrote you a letter privately. You should also know, though, that I sent a more formal letter to Mr. Brandon to let him know exactly what I think of his decision. Bushleague!

  50. First, if anyone is starting any kind of formal protest or petition, please advertise it here!

    Marc,

    I have been sick to death since I first heard about this on Friday. It was like a punch to the gut.

    You have more integrity in your pinky than they have in their entire bodies. You’re a class act, and unfortunately, good people tend to get trampled in this world.

    You’ll land on your feet, and the next place who hires you will immediately gain my support. WYPR will never get a dime from me. They’re dead to me.

    Your friend,

    Chris

  51. I spent so many days driving around the block before parking at Hopkins so that I could finish listening to your show. I always enjoyed Baltimore, but you made me love my city. If I was going to listen to generic public radio, I could have caught the DC station. I listened in Bmore because it was unique and you helped make it unique. Thank you and Good luck to you.

  52. This is awful. I feel like a friend died. I listen to WYPR at work all day, and Marc’s show was by far my favorite. No one else covers Maryland and Baltimore issues with the same depth as Marc. I am seriously reconsidering my support of this station.

  53. Well!

    I didn’t know about this until today, when I didn’t hear Marc’s voice. Checked Sunday Sun, found a small “Week That Was” blurb. Checked baltimoresun.com – front page news. I’ll look for more info.

    I’ve been listening to Steiner since he tried his wings at night on WJHU. 1993, 1994, something like that. Without him, WYPR is just another NPR station. For you folks who scan more news sources than I do, is there another Baltimore source for competent issue discussions of interest to Marylanders? I have learned a huge amount about education from Marc, for example, but that is only one of many issues where I feel that the Steiner Show made a contribution that just isn’t available anywhere else.

    I hope to hear Marc on WEAA or WTMD, but meanwhile, I gotta say that “Tell Me More” is an insipid waste of airtime. This episode reminds me of the disastrous NPR decision to replace Bob Edwards. They said the wanted Morning Edition to “go in a different direction.” Morning Edition went in a different direction, all right, but not in a good way, and I don’t know many listeners who, even now, are happy with that change.

    By the way, Marc, if you relocate on the air, make the decision that is right for you, but I gotta say on my own behalf – I can’t stand AM radio.

  54. Marc, you were the first radio host to read one of my comments on air. And I had listened to you during the day since I started my new job in Baltimore back in August. Noon time is not the same anymore. The stuff that is on today just didn’t make me thing like your topics did. I hope you come back to radio soon. You have a listener in me.

  55. Another thought:

    Marc is great, but I want all of you people to know that, over the years, I’ve been really impressed and appreciative of the contributions callers and emailers have made to the show. You people are awesome.

  56. You were the core of the station. Are they out of their minds? Whats the story?
    No one can replace you and your breadth of knowledge and experience, no one.
    The station will loose community support that you built over the years.

    Good luck and I hope to be able to hear you
    somewhere else soon.

  57. I’m stunned and outraged. Two tidbits below that may be helpful to your supporters:

    Does anyone know how to add your name to that petition?
    In Today’s Sun: “Over the weekend, listeners in Lauraville began an e-mail petition to persuade WYPR to reconsider its decision.

    “We just can’t imagine what WYPR would be like without Marc Steiner,” says Melissa Wahnbaeck, a Lauraville hat designer. “That station basically is him. I can’t imagine what they’re thinking to fire him.”

    WYPR website:
    Notice to the Public: Board of Directors Meeting
    Your Public Radio Corporation will hold a Board of Directors meeting on March 12, 2008 at 3pm. Please call WYPR at (410) 235-1660 if you would like to attend.

  58. Dear Mr. Steiner,

    I wanted to express how shocked, upset and sad I was to see the decision at WYPR. We have always enjoyed the depth and quality of your shows. For us, you defined what radio could be and was the main reason why we listened to WYPR. Time and time again, I see how decision makers are able to toss aside people to their detriment and undervalue what people bring to their organizations. We hope that you won’t be silent from the airwaves for too long.

    We find it difficult to support the station as a listener and donor again.

    Thank you for all your wonderful work.

  59. I am speechless, angry and dumbfounded!
    I am spreading the word to boycott listening to WYPR, which is a shame because ever since you led the way in raising money to save the station & the new call letters became W”Your Public Radio” I took that to heart. I am a mother of two young, school age children, and hearing you on air while driving the kids to and from school has been somewhat ritualistic for me. I have supported the station with my pledge, tuned in daily for may years, and even have an 88.1 sticker on my van. I am going to make use of it and not take it off, but will draw a circle with a line through it using a red Sharpie.
    I doubt that you would want to go back there with THAT management there.
    My mom suggests approaching Morgan State radio for a slot, and I’ll bet that 89.7 WTMD would be honored to have you.
    Either way… Podcasting would be a good way to reach listeners, but I don’t know how that will pay your bills…
    I am sad for you and am sending a (((((((((((((((((((BIG HUG))))))))))))))))))))))))
    Peace & Blessings
    Katie

  60. OK, So the website has been scrubbed but the main # still gives out Marc’s call-in #s
    (somebody goofed)
    Also, Tony’s mailbox is full – surprise, surprise

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS MTG: 3/12/2008 @3pm

    I SAY WE ALL GO.
    NOT THAT THEY’LL TAKE CHANGE ANYTHING
    BUT SO THAT THEY THE HEAR THE OUTRAGE
    WE FEEL AT HOW THIS WAS HANDLED.

  61. Marc,

    We will all really miss you. I want to say, I really found you to be an authentic, distinctive local voice. I admired that you were so even-handed on polarizing issues. I found the breadth of your curiosity refreshing. And especially I felt you did a great service to the community by taking on subjects which admittedly have little radio drama (though they were plenty important to the city and environs.)

    I can’t say that I know anything about the internal radio station politics, but from the outside it is clear that they handled this decision very badly, both in terms of how they did by you, and in how they treated the listeners and members. Best wishes to you Marc in whatever you pursue next!

  62. I am emailing WYPR right now to voice my disgust and frustration with their decision. Best of luck in your fight!

  63. I think we should all plan on attending the March 12th meeting. Call 410.235.1660 to let them know ‘we’ are coming!

  64. Shame on WYPR’s management!

    The company should remove the “Y” from the station’s call letters and replace it with an “O” for “owners.”

    And while they’re at it, the “P” for “public” should now stand for “private.”

    “Your Public Radio”? Nope
    “Owners’ Private Radio.”? Yep

    I’ll listen to WAMU and WETA from now on, and Marc, I’ll look forward to hearing you on a better station.

    Shame on WOPR’s managment!!!

  65. Marc,

    Your voice and your show will certianly be missed. I could always count on an educating 2 hour time segment in the middle of my day as I drove to and from appointments. You were always evenhanded, knowledgeable, and as others have said, too kind to Gerry. Please let us know what we can do to help

    Christopher

  66. Oooh, finally way down in the corner of the homepage, this letter from Tony :

    “I know that the news of the programming changes on WYPR hit some of you very hard. I want to assure you that the decision was not made lightly. It was a consensual decision made after careful thought by senior management and after many meetings with board members with many factors being considered. I am convinced that it is the right decision for WYPR.

    We believe deeply that community discussion is an essential part of our mission and we will continue to provide public access to the airwaves to discuss the issues which affect our community and state. However, you have told us through our ratings that a new way of presenting this discussion is needed. I believe Andy Bienstock, our vice-president of programming, has worked diligently to try to make the content changes to the former show, but without success in stemming the erosion of listening audience compared to other programs on WYPR.

    I can assure you that community discussion of the highest caliber will continue on WYPR. For those of you interested in the accurate history of WYPR, it is now and has always been available on our website. I have the utmost confidence in the broadcast experience of our management team and the wisdom and stewardship of our board of directors. Please be assured that the programs that you love and rely upon, Morning Edition, The Diane Rehm Show, Car Talk, This American Life, and many others will not be affected at all. We thank you for your concerns and I always appreciate hearing from you, our listeners and members.”

    what a load of b.s.

  67. Marc,

    I would like to think of myself as one of your more memorable listensers, in the sense that I tried to provide insightful views to your topics. I am really dissapointed in the direction that WYPR is taking. I have noticed that real hard hitting journalism is beginning to fall for more of the feel-good shows. I don’t know what they are thinking at the station, but I am afraid we are going to see a very (air-filled) station.

    I will support whatever endeavor you will do after this, and I wish you well.

    Percy (Formerly from Edgewood)

  68. Well well well… I wonder what our corporate sponsors will have us listen to now. “A little bit smarter”, ya right.

  69. I’ve enjoyed your show and listening to you for many years. Poor decision on WYPR’s part but perhaps you are better off without them. Best of luck and good things to come.

  70. Marc,

    Several years ago, you had Coleman Barks on your show, to talk about the poetry of Rumi.

    I called in and said, “Marc Steiner, I don’t understand exactly what it is that you do, but please keep doing it.”

    I felt exactly the same way after your brilliant interview with actors portraying Malcolm X and Martin Luther King — the interview that everyone secretly wished they could have heard in real life.

    In a world of bland, local-affairs talk radio, you’re the only person I’ve ever known who would bring these sophisticated ideas to the airwaves.

    Thank you,

    Brad from Baltimore

  71. Below is a copy of an e-mail I sent to Anthony Brandon, President of WYPR, protesting Marc’s firing. I strongly encourage others to do the same (tbrandon@wypr.org).

    Where is the petition I keep hearing about? Please let me know so I can add my name.

    Dan Ritschel

    Dear Mr. Brandon,

    As a long-time subscriber to WYPR, I am writing to say that I was deeply disappointed to hear that the Board of WYPR fired Marc Steiner. I am particularly upset at the abrupt manner of the Board’s action. Surely, he deserved better than a summary firing, given his past contributions to the station’s creation and former success. I am also very unhappy with the inadequate justification offered for the decision. As a member of a public radio station that bills itself as belonging to the community, I believe that we all deserve a far more substantive explanation than your bland statement on the WYPR website that it was “a consensual decision made after careful thought by senior management and after many meetings with board members with many factors being considered”. Nor am I satisfied with vague references to declining ratings for the Steiner Show, since the Sun’s account on Saturday suggests that the fall in Marc’s audience figures was in keeping with the more general decline in ratings for the station as a whole. I was clearly mistaken in believing that my annual contributions were meant to free WYPR from such subservience to the marketplace, and I am disappointed to hear that my support as a WYPR member was deemed less consequential than the capricious listening habits of the general public.

    I can assure you that I will not be supporting your station in the future.

  72. This is the email I sent to WYPR mgmt. We love you Marc!

    Dear Mr. Brandon:
    I am shocked at the management’s decision to fire Marc Steiner. Mr. Steiner represents WYPR to many of us, it simply will not be the same without him. I believe you have seriously underestimated Mr. Steiner’s appeal to your core audience; and dangerously overestimated your market appeal on the Eastern Shore. I am by no means a large donor, but isn’t having many small donors the mission / raison d’etre of public radio? I will no longer be donating unless you reconsider your decision. By the way, I live in northern Carroll County.
    Kristin Kolarik

  73. What an absolute betrayal on so many levels!! I received the heartbreaking news this morning from a text message from my mom, sort of like the text message I sent my brother when Heath Ledger died – the kind you never want to receive. I was so sad all day… but now after reading the Sun piece & other blogs, it has morphed into fury & disappointment.

    Marc embodies the heart & soul of Baltimore, as well as WYPR. From mayoral debates to MLK discussions to our failing schools to local artists & everything in between, I have been an ardent fan for many years. He is exactly the kind of local programming I have come to love about WYPR, not vanilla tripe like Maryland Morning. You might as well have fired Earl Weaver or Bea Gaddy for all the love it will bring loyal listeners.

    Consider my financial support for WYPR terminated with the same level of abruptness & lack of concern that you showed Marc Steiner. Good luck pandering to all your new donors — my radio will be tuned elsewhere. Maybe Kojo can use my hard-earned dollars.

  74. I was stunned by the news. I am so sad that the show has been cancelled. I was a devoted listener, each and every day I had the opportunity to learn something new about our community. Once you said that you missed teaching. Marc, you were a teacher each and every day. I cannot tell you how much I will miss your voice, your laugh and your wisdom.

    I cannot say that this will cause me to withhold support of the station. As you know Public Radio is much more than Marc Steiner. I know that you would agree. I loved you and your show, but not supporting the station would be cutting off my nose to spite my face as they say. I love Public Radio.

    I just cannot express how much I will miss you, Marc.

  75. Marc,
    I guess this is YPR management’s way of silencing “Gerry from Pikesville”. Who’s going to correct your “ohs” vs “zeros” now? Whether everyone attends the March 12th meeting or convinces management of the magnitude of their mistake in some other way, it is my fervent hope that you will land on your feet and continue your brilliant, provocative work…whether at YPR or elsewhere. For now, I will sincerely miss listening to you at lunch time. I hope this doesn’t sound trite, but listening to you makes me want to be a better person.

  76. What a way to start the week, I was short on coffee grounds for my coffee and Marc was not on the air.
    Some say smart people make bad mistakes.
    But what a huge one has been made.
    I lived in Baltimore for years and loved wypr.
    I have since move to Pa to be with my partner but still listen 4 days a week and in my car, and online always.
    Although we do not know what all went on behind the actions taken, I do know that the reactions will be felt by those who give their money to keep the station alive.

    To remove one who gave the soul to the station makes me wonder, has it lost its soul

  77. I was compleletly taken by surprise when I read the news. I love the Marc Steiner show – one of the reasons why I tunedin everyday and stayed loyal to WYPR. I can not imagine the station without you.
    If you stay off the air I will no longer be able to support WYPR. I hope to hear your voice again soon.

  78. I cant believe it ! I have listen to your show for years . It makes me sick that they are going to replace the one show that dealt with issues in depth. Especially considering the quality of the new Maryland Centric shows that have been on lately .
    We are witnessing public radio morph into Entertainment Tonight

  79. This people at WYPR are insane! They’ve lost my financial contribution. I will move to WAMU thank you very much.

    Keep the updates on your whereabouts Marc. Baltimore radio won’t be the same without you. Thanks for all your work and dedication to Baltimore issues.

    WYPR Board are just a bunch of ingrates.

    No more listening to WYPR at work.

  80. Att’d below my recent letter to Brandon:

    Dear Mr. Brandon:

    I write to protest strongly the graceless and unceremonious firing of Marc Steiner from WYPR. I do not know him personally, but have been a loyal listener and regular giver to WYPR for many years, as has my wife – largely because of our admiration and respect for Mr. Steiner.

    Steiner’s energy, his moxy, his innovative and textured presentation of the issues facing Baltimore, the region, the nation and the world are extraordinary; I have lived and worked in many cities, and have never found his like among local NPR stations anywhere else. As I say, I don’t know him personally, and for all I know he could be a prickly pear to work with, but you will not soon replace Steiner’s show which often was a powerful voice for viewpoints that would otherwise go unheard here.

    I heard you, Mr. Brandon, this am on Sheila Kast, and your (really quite preposterous, in my view) comparison of the ratings of major NPR-generated shows like AM Edition and TOTN. As you well know, comparing a local talk show like Marc’s to these major programs – the flagships of NPR’s programming – is inappropriate. Fragmented by the explosion of entertainment and media options in recent years, ratings for public radio are down nationwide, and it is also quite common to see a dip when a station leaves a national feed and goes to local programming.
    Your lame and legalistic interpretation of the question of who “owns” public radio (and Sheila Kast’s equally lame and fawning pressing of this issue in her interviews with you and Steiner) illustrates precisely why Marc’s role is so crucial. He was speaking metaphorically, trying to raise the larger philosophical issues of what public radio has been and should be; you and Ms. Kast were pressing a cramped, legalistic notion of ownership — to make the point, I assume, that you and the Board have a legal right to fire any of the staff – which is uncontroversial in itself, but which misses the larger point entirely. More than anything else, it reveals a lack of sophistication and a kind of failure of moral imagination – a moral imagination which Marc has always tried to enkindle in his listenership.

    Providing the kind of thoughtful coverage that Marc has offered over the years is precisely the role that public radio should be playing, and a willingness to trim slightly your commercial/Arbitron ratings aspirations in return for such coverage is a small price to pay for such excellence. Perhaps Marc’s most important role – though I sometimes disagree with him – is that his show is one of the rare “places” where city-dwellers and suburbanites alike are challenged to think hard together about those ills, and the burdens and responsibilities they generate for all of us who live in the region. His provocative analysis and willingness to engage the gritty side of the city, and the often stubborn challenges it faces, will be irreplaceable.
    In firing Mr. Steiner, you and the Board of WYPR have made a crucial management mistake, which will cost you both in the short and long terms. In the short term, all I can do in protest is cut off my personal contributions to WYPR, which I assure you I will do, and join those who are starting a broader “campaign” to withhold personal contributions from YPR (the bitter irony of WYPR’s “Your Public Radio station” motto, originally conceived by Marc, rings in my ears in the wake of his firing.)

    Since I was unable to find Barbara Bozzutto’s email address on the web, I would appreciate it if you would forward this note on her to her, as well, and to other Board stakeholders.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Colin McGinnis

  81. Marc,
    Many listeners on the Eastern Shore also will truly miss your show. Your topics/guests frequently sparked much talk around the dinner table in my house. No more 88.1 for me. It won’t be the same without you!
    I wish you all the best and truly hope you are back on for our listening pleasure soon.
    Susan from Easton

  82. Dear Marc,

    Have already written my irate letter to Brandon. I will be at the WYPR Board of Directors Meeting (unless they bar me), and I encourage others to do the same. “Your” Public Radio? Funny, I don’t feel like it’s mine right now.

  83. We do not know the inner workings of the board. For instance:
    Did the board actually vote on this?
    What was the attendance at the meeting when this vote was taken (unless,of course, the board acted privately).
    What was the vote, yeas and nays? And by whom?
    What was the discussion?
    Or was this railroaded through?

    The reason I raise these questions is that we don’t know if the board was apprised that there would be a COST to the station of this action.

    There will be a COST. Has been already in the form of outrage and protest. Will be long term in a drop in donations. Will be long term in the form of reduced audience tuning in to the station. And reduction in the level of discourse affecting the entire listening area.

    Don’t know if the station management understands the COST to the station of the loss of support – both monetarilly and psychologically. There sems to be a level of arrogance involved here. We can do what we want and we don’t care what anyone else thinks.

    I personally don’t see Marc returning (unless the board were to dump management, which is highly unlikely).

    I’ve been around long enough to have witnessed poor personnel decisions in numerous situations. They never take place without a COST to all parties. Marc will shake this off. I don’t expect the station to do as well, but that will never be admitted.

    And Gerry: shame on you.

    Tom Rose

  84. The WYPR site accepts $0.01 donations. I wonder how much it costs them to process a donation.

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