Fair Game succumbs to complications of weak carriage

Originally published in Current, May 27, 2008

Fair Game with Faith Salie, Public Radio International’s bid to win young viewers with a smart and sassy nightly talk show, ends May 30 [2008].

Only 25 pubradio stations are carrying it, 17 months after its debut. “It didn’t catch fire,” said PRI Senior Vice President Melinda Ward.

Salie said there would be lots of group hugs at the office in New York’s Tribeca district, where the 13 staffers work. “It’s been like hosting a year-and-a-half-long cocktail party with the most amazing guests ever,” she told Current.

Noting that 100,000 people were downloading podcasts of the show — approaching the broadcast’s weekly cume of 140,000, Ward said the network is considering whether it could make a go of a less-expensive web-only show.

Foundations were more interested in backing the show than PRI expected, Ward said. The Gates and Skoll foundations are on board this week.

Web page posted May 27, 2008
Copyright 2008 by Current LLC


NPR's Bryant Park Project (originally code-named Zach) and Chicago Public Radio's Vocalo service were also created for younger listeners, 2007.

Some gag on Fair Game's recipe gag, but Faith is forgiven.


Fair Game's website.

New media advocate Jeff Jarvis, a guest of Salie's, wrote in his blog that she has "the most endearing voice in radio."

The Dallas Morning News profiled Fair Game, November 2006. "This show is proof that public radio is not humor-impaired," says Jeff Ramirez, radio p.d. for KERA-FM in Dallas.

Rocker Andrew W.K. wrote a song for public radio’s Fair Game with lyrics based on the words of John McLaughlin, host of The McLaughlin Group. Listen to “McLaughlin Groove” here.

Early in her run, Salie listed 10 things Esquire readers don't know about women.


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