© 2023 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Curious Listener: Listeners Say Goodbye To 'Talk Of The Nation'

The Curious Listener logo.
Katie Burk

A two-way dialogue is important in any conversation, especially when you are discussing compelling issues. Over the past two decades, Talk of the Nation has been part of public radio's national conversation with listeners, gathering perspectives and insights into the latest headlines and developments in science, education, religion and the arts.

The show has made us proud by setting a standard for call-in programs, and is the model on which many stations have built their own local programs.

So as Talk of the Nation comes to an end this week, we're remembering highlights with staff and listeners too, who have made Talk of the Nation part of their day. In these exchanges with our Curious Listeners, we talk about what's happening with the program and share some of the ways dedicated fans have made the program part of their lives.

I will so much miss [Host] Neal Conan. He is the best, most knowledgeable and gracious interviewer. I hope we'll hear from him in another capacity. I will miss Talk of the Nation very much.

Portland, OR

Is it true that the show will be ending soon? Why? It's the reason I listen to NPR. The show and Neal are wonderful with a variety of interesting stories about events and things that I might never have thought of. Please, Please, Please do not take this show off the air.

Emmett, ID

I'm writing today to express my support for TOTN. It is the reason I listen regularly. Neal Conan brings a warmth to radio that is missing from many other programs. He genuinely cares about people and it shows. After I discovered the program years ago, I became addicted. It was the voice of the multitude. No topic was too big or too small to warrant a discussion. To turn on the radio and listen to people all across the country who are just like me, calling in, sharing their stories and viewpoints, it makes you realize just how connected we all are. Talk of the Nation is a staple of my daily routine as I drive across the nation. I'll always be grateful for the program and can only hope that the quest to be more like Fox News or MSNBC ends and NPR goes back to being what they should be - a news organization that presents in depth discussions of worthwhile subjects.

Greenup, KY

Thank you for your email. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us.

We're sorry to hear you're unhappy with NPR's decision to end production of Talk of the Nation.

The decision was not an easy one. When the program started 21 years ago, national talk programming was new to public radio and Talk of the Nation has gone on to set the standard for the many local and national call-in programs. We're proud of the tremendous value Talk of the Nation brought to listeners.

As you may also know, Neal Conan, one of the organization's most distinguished journalists, will step away from the rigors of daily journalism after 35 years at NPR, including 11 years at the helm of Talk of the Nation.

Going forward, NPR is focusing its resources on news programming to complement the outstanding talk programming heard on our Member Stations. For example, we are collaborating with WBUR on expanding the daily show Here & Now from one hour to two hours in July. NPR will contribute its editorial muscle to the expanded program, providing listeners with more news from NPR, in addition to content contributed from select public radio stations across the country. And Science Friday with Ira Flatow will continue to be distributed by NPR.

As you may know, independently owned and operated public radio stations make their own decisions regarding programming. We encourage you to contact your local NPR member station to learn about the decisions they will be making as a result of NPR's changes.

We know that this announcement is sad for Talk of the Nation fans. We understand and value the deep connection the show fostered with our audience. We want to continue to honor that relationship and are deeply committed to providing our listeners with the best news and programming possible. Your feedback helps us do that.

We, again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.


NPR Audience and Community Relations

Are You Curious?
/ Katie Burk/NPR
Katie Burk/NPR

Send your questions about the inner workings of NPR, something you heard during a program, or anything else NPR-related to NPR Services. Your question and the answer might even end up on the This is NPR blog.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

George T. Gary III