Today, KCRW announced that starting November 13, 2017, To The Point, the signature daily national public affairs show hosted by the inimitable Warren Olney, will be moving from the broadcast platform to a weekly podcast platform. The final daily broadcast of TTP will be November 10th. What does Warren think of all this? Here he is in his own words (to be read in his voice, because you know you’ll hear it!):
“After 25 years in commercial TV news and 25 years in public radio, I’m getting a rare opportunity for another phase in my career. “To the Point” is becoming a podcast.
Without the tyranny of the radio clock, I’ll have time to explore issues that underlie the 24-7 onslaught of daily information. I think listeners will be glad to hear probing conversations about those issues without artificial limits.
For example, President Trump’s accusation of “fake news” is a genuine challenge when “reality” depends on the preconceptions of readers, viewers and listeners. As technology makes traditional media seem obsolete, will news coverage have to be reimagined?
How did America’s three branches of government become so dysfunctional? Are they too ineffectual to resolve wealth inequality, cope with climate change, or maintain America’s leadership in the world? Will we ever settle the issues of the Civil War? Do we really have a democracy? How can private citizens bring about change?
I don’t know the answers to all these questions, and the search will involve history, science, philosophy—and enough controversy to make the podcast an engaging, informative exercise in critical thinking.
Over the years, on “To the Point”—and, before that, on “Which Way, LA?”–I’ve interviewed pundits, politicians, scholars, business leaders, scientists, writers, activists and comedians—representing America’s diversity in multiple ways. After every program, I’ve talked to these guests on the phone, and they always have something new and interesting to say, something I wish the radio audience had been able to hear.
Podcasting will allow my audience to share extended conversations that are informal, direct, engaging and informative. I’m eager to get started the first week of November.”
We can’t wait for Warren to get to the bottom of some of the questions he poses because, as KCRW President Jennifer Ferro said, Warren Olney is and has been “the voice of reason for multiple generations and the pinnacle of credibility for KCRW and Los Angeles.” She added, “He has helped us all through confusing and often frightening world and national events with calmness, clarity and intelligence.” And that’s just what we need more of.
Along with the move, Olney also plans to step up his live Los Angeles appearances. He will host a live event series in partnership with Zocalo Public Square, diving into the type of issues that he will tackle in his podcast. The first event will be on October 10th at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo.
Thank goodness he’s not going anywhere – he has an incredible body of work and here are some impressive accolades to back it up:
Olney and his programs have been honored with nearly 40 national, regional and local awards for broadcast excellence since its inception. In 2012, Olney received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California for his broad achievements in television news, as well as his storied career over 20 years on public radio, both locally and nationally. He has been awarded the Golden Mike Award for “Best Public Affairs Program,” and WWLA was honored with the Los Angeles Press Club’s Southern California Journalism Award for Best Talk/Public Affairs Show. Olney was named Best Radio Journalist of the Year at the 2001 Los Angeles Press Club’s Southern California Journalism Awards. WWLA was also named as Best Talk/Public Affairs Show during the same awards ceremony.
He has been twice named “Broadcast Journalist of the Year” — for his work in both radio and television — by the Society of Professional Journalists, Los Angeles. He is the recipient of Emmy Awards for reporting and anchoring, and Golden Mikes for investigative reporting.
Phew! Now subscribe to Warren Olney’s To The Point podcast at kcrw.com/podcasts.