Lydon returns to Boston’s WBUR with new weekly show

By Mike Janssen

Boston’s WBUR announced today that Christopher Lydon will rejoin the station to host and produce a weekly hourlong show, Open Source with Christopher Lydon.

Bostonians last heard Lydon on WBUR when he hosted The Connection, a nationally syndicated interview show, from 1994 to 2001. He and much of his staff left WBUR in a bitter public dispute over ownership of their show, and Dick Gordon replaced him in the host’s chair. Lydon returned to the airwaves in Boston earlier this year as a contributor on WGBH.

The new WBUR program will launch in January, airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. and with a repeat broadcast on weekends. Lydon’s Radio Open Source website, which has hosted his ongoing series of weekly podcasts, will expand its podcast offerings and support an online community around the show. Producer Mary McGrath, who has worked with Lydon since his Connection days, will join him for the new program as well.

WBUR’s release and a post on Lydon’s Radio Open Source website suggest that the new radio show will use Boston and its native brain trusts as a starting point for exploring a wide range of topics. “The Hub today is a hive of hives — in the brain sciences, health care delivery, every kind of tech and biotech, also music, poetry, security studies, economics, in all the great branches of human exploration,” Lydon wrote. “. . . Our goal, drawing on the almighty human voice and the many extensions of modern media, is to make radio talk as bracing and smart as this Global City we’re living in.”

After leaving WBUR’s Connection in 2001, Lydon became an active podcaster in the early days of the medium and launched a radio show, also titled Open Source and distributed by Public Radio International, that aired from 2005-06. Lydon’s podcasts and radio shows have often showcased his enthusiasm for discussing weighty topics with thinkers, writers and artists.

More in The Boston Globe.

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