Seems like anytime an employer goes out of the way to thank you, you can bet on it: you’re being let go. Last week I got an email from WBEZ thanking me for the essays I’ve recorded for them over the years. The note went on to say WBEZ is reorganizing their local programming to emphasize live shows. They hope their new formatting will encourage listeners to comment on social media or phone in live and in person. Translation: they will no longer be airing pre-recorded essays like the ones I used to write for them.
Let’s be honest. I’m pretty lucky that WBEZ took me on to write essays in the first place. It sure felt cool to jump into a cab with Hanni or Harper and ask the driver to take me to Chicago Public Radio. So many times the driver was listening to WBEZ as we drove — one of them even asked for my autograph!
And what a kick it was to have someone call or stop me on the street after one of my essays aired. “I heard you on NPR!” they’d say. Or, “I thought the voice sounded familiar, and when I, like, waited until the end, they said it was. It was, like, you!” It was a very, very good run, and I’m sorry to seehear it come to an end.
The WBEZ arts editor did write to ask me to come and meet with her personally to see what this shift might mean for me, so I’m heading over to the WBEZ studio with Whitney tomorrow. Will it be my very last trip there? I hope not. Gee, guess we’ll all have to, ahem, stay tuned to find out.