This has been a bad year for Connecticut’s local media. Newspapers laid off reporters, two have threatened to shut down completely, the state’s flagship paper has been dramatically downsized, and now this. My favorite radio show is going off the air.
I often listened to Colin McEnroe’s show on my way home from work during the early years of this decade. It became something of a lifeline during the run-up to the Iraq War, when my own opposition to the invasion was called “naive” by my co-workers. However, I really started tuning in religiously during the Rowland scandal. He and his partner Bruce Stevens (who was let go in 2006–another dumb personnel decision by WTIC) never let the story die, and never let the governor off the hook. I’ve tried to listen whenever I could ever since.
Colin’s show was always interesting. It didn’t matter whether I agreed with him all the time or not, he always had something to say that was worth thinking about. As the new media-focused blog The Laurel notes:
Whether or not you love or hate his politics, he’s brilliant, informed and intellectually curious. And unlike most broadcasters, he’s not afraid to criticize those in power.
His show was about much more than just politics. It was about culture, movies, the internet, and both the insanity and elegance of the world. I’d often learn something when I tuned in, or I’d hear about something I’d never heard of before. When he talked about the day’s events, Colin McEnroe’s analysis often cut right to the heart of things.
Colin, perhaps more than any other media personality in Connecticut, also understands what the revolution in new, online media means. He was an early supporter of blogs, and often plugged this site and others on the air. I follow his own blog at the Courant regularly.
It matters to Connecticut to have a local call-in radio show, hosted by someone like Colin McEnroe. Whatever other arguments can be made against the cancellation of his show, like the fact that the afternoon lineup will be much more boring (Rush followed by three hours of people reading the news? Really?) and the sudden lack of any sort of ideological balance at the station, the loss of his voice from the airwaves is really a loss for the culture of Greater Hartford, and for Connecticut’s public discourse in general.
I know he’ll land on his feet somewhere else. I hope it happens sooner rather than later, and that it’s in Connecticut.
…I’ve had the pleasure of being on his show several times. Each time, it was all I could do not to gush about how I was a longtime listener, loved the show, etc. It was incredibly cool, I told my friends, to be able to go on my favorite radio show and talk to the host about politics. Thanks for that opportunity, Colin. I’ll never forget it.
And thanks for doing such an awesome show for so long. I’m going to miss it.