Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, February 29

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Andrew / December 15, 2006 11:16 AM

...which is viewable here. Question suggested by Brandy.

Andrew / December 15, 2006 11:24 AM

Yay, "The World" returns to the 7pm slot! No more stupid Canadian show! And "Sound Opinions" gets an encore Saturday at 11am, when I might actually tune in!

I'm still going to miss jazz and Saturday night blues programming, and I'm disappointed that Dick Buckley only gets an hour now, this schedule doesn't look too bad to me.

gate / December 15, 2006 11:27 AM

I'm pretty down with the changes. If I want to listen to jazz I can buy a CD. If I want to listen to intelligent journalism and commentary there aren't many other options, especially in the evening hours.

Mike / December 15, 2006 11:47 AM

I'll really miss the jazz programming, that's for sure. I also listen to the journalistic programming most days at work. But I can understand peoples' need for some of that in the evening. I'll just have to listen to web radio stations for jazz in the evening time.

Marilyn / December 15, 2006 11:47 AM

I only listen to Dick Buckley, so shortening his show will mean I have no desire to listen. I'm not a BEZ fan at all. I listen to public radio station WDCB out of Glen Ellyn, which is 100% music.

Marilyn / December 15, 2006 11:49 AM

Mike, WDCB is almost all jazz, including Latin, Dixieland, and Big Band.

spence / December 15, 2006 11:52 AM

It kinda sucks that The World is on at the same time as Chicago Tonight, but it's better than the total waste that "As It Happens" is. I have no idea what Torey was thinking when he incorporated it into the weekly schedule. I listened to the jazz programming on occasion and it's sad to it go, I guess I took it for granted. Other than that, it looks okay.

amyc / December 15, 2006 11:55 AM

No more "Piano Jazz," which means a lot less laughs at our house. Everything Marian McPartland says about her guests sounds dirty.

"Today on Piano Jazz, Kurt Elling will be taking my seat and tickling my ivories. Then we'll have a tribute to Bobby Short, who was the biggest man I ever played with."

Steve / December 15, 2006 12:04 PM

I usually switch to sports talk in the afternoon, so no big changes for me with the new schedule. (None at all on weekdays.)

I like the Saturday morn switch -- the two news quiz shows back-to-back never quite did it for me, as they kinda blended together a little too much. Glad to be able to catch DeRo and Kot more easily at 11 am Sat. (I may not be as glad after listening a few times, of course.)

As an aside, did Gretchen Helfrich's contract run out and get her let go from the station? Haven't heard her on in a loooong time, and she's not listed as talent on the 'BEZ site.

Brandy / December 15, 2006 1:12 PM

Steve, I'm with you on the back-to-back news shows. I tune into Wait Wait, but fade during Whadya Know.

I'll spend a couple weeks tuned into the new schedule to see if I get re-hooked. These days I listen Saturdays while I putter around the house, and catch Fresh Air occasionally. So I'd love to get a renewed interest in WBEZ.

Re: Gretchen Helfrich
On the Trib's site comments, someone said she's in law school. I really enjoyed Odyssey, so I miss her. But onto new adventures.

Oh, and I'll miss On the Media on Sats. I'll try to catch it on Sunday. Otherwise as a podcast.

k / December 15, 2006 1:15 PM

Absolutely thrilled that Talk of the Nation is back. I actually like the jaw dropping nerdyness of As It Happens so I'm sorry to see that go just for three hours of reruns. Can't stand the BBC news hour and would love to see that gone but I'll take 1 less hour of grating Dick Buckly as compensation. It's good to see that Saturday radio won't feel like such a wasteland now that Whad'Ya Know is in a pm slot but I'll miss the evening music - wasn't there supposed to be a second station that would be all music. Anyone know what happened to that? And I'm still waiting for the triumphant return of the Savvy Traveler.

ken / December 15, 2006 1:38 PM

I'm glad to see Sound Opinions getting an Saturday spot, I usually miss that due to my messed up schedule. Also happy to see that Ken Nordine's Word Jazz made the cut, I wouldn't mind hearing it a little earlier though. I am disappointed that Dick Buckley has been reduced and that Piano Jazz is gone. While I can do without the Canadian show "As it happens", the alternative journalistic perspective was nice and I will probably never get the theme song/ bumper music out of my head, but The World is so much better. In my opinion, Tavis Smiley should have been cut all together, his race-bating banter takes away from anything truly intelligent that he has to say. Get rid of that jack ass and give us back the Saturday Night Blues.

fluffy / December 15, 2006 3:41 PM

Travis Smiley gets on my nerves too. I'm ok with the new schedule. No complaints.

Jeremy / December 15, 2006 3:58 PM

My pledge dollars follow the music away from WBEZ. Its not like they're adding new programs in the music's place, they're re-running the daytime talk.

Michael / December 15, 2006 4:13 PM

All hail the demise of "As It Happens." Its theme music reminded me of Will Ferrell's flute extravaganza in "Anchorman."

fluffy / December 15, 2006 4:40 PM

That theme music was groovy

Hal / December 15, 2006 4:42 PM

Yes, yes. "As It Happens" bugged the crap out of me. I've never heard such poor interviews in my life - the interveiwers were outright offensive and combative to guests on a consistent basis. I'm VERY happy "The World" is coming back at a reasonable hour. Their high-water mark for me was their 3-part history of the nation of Iraq, in the run-up to the war.

Music-wise, I'm generally happy. I tried. I honestly tried to listen to Dick Buckley, but damn. I always enjoyed Piano Jazz, though and am very sorry to see it go. I was concerned about Afropop and Passport and am very glad to see them staying.

Unfortunately, "Hello Beautiful!" is still on the schedule. That show, to me, is a perfect example of the patronizing, smug attitude that people claim is the personality of public radio. For example, Lifsom sucked the life out of his interview with Laurie Anderson, stooping to throwing Ken Nordine into her interview and then cornering her into doing an improv with Nordine with no warning. I like the idea of a Chicago Arts program, but man, this isn't it.

sparky / December 15, 2006 4:59 PM

here's what else chicago public radio is up to:

gretchen helfrich's last show was in september 2005, after the station canceled it. here's her goodbye:

k / December 15, 2006 5:20 PM

Is there such a thing as a combative Canadian?

And the puns at the start of the show!? Doesn't everyone enjoy a good pun?

D / December 15, 2006 9:48 PM

It looks like they shortened Dick Buckley's slot instead of removing him completely. Still makes me mad, as he's an important part of my Sunday lounging around. No way I'm giving them money ever again, no more 10 bucks a month for you, WBEZ.

clodius / December 16, 2006 12:15 AM

As a Canadian, I'll miss the coverage provided by "As It Happens," but I completely understand why people don't like it. I guess that's me being a non-combative Canadian. Allow me to get in touch with my American side: "Hello Beautiful" needs to be put in a sack with a large stone, tossed into Lake Michigan, and never spoken of again. Also, "Whad'ya Know" has never been on the same continent as funny or entertaining. Edward Lifson and Michael Feldman, I give you both the Gas Face.

freepy shwirtel / December 16, 2006 12:53 PM

The station is pretty durn good but why bother with all the silly quiz shows to make the fuddyduddies feel clever? How about a back to back Studio 360 out of NY paired with the ever so thrilling Hello Beautiful?
I will sorely miss Blues Before Sunrise. And Dick Buckley deserves that extra hour to wrack his brains to recompose whichever combo never quite played together.

Pat / December 16, 2006 8:21 PM

I always found As It Happens to be bizarrely intriguing like being an inside party to an anthropology experiment. Sure, wheat Tariffs in Manitoba aren't necessarily relevant in Chicago; and the themesong seemed firmly rooted in the 70s. Besides those canadian accents are just so cute.

I'm gonna miss some of the jazz programming; and i'm not really too keen on the "encore" presentations. I feel like as it is, I hear and re-hear a lot of content on the station as it is; I understand it's cheaper than producing new programming; but if I wanted to listen to the same thing over and over again, I'd tune anywhere else around the dial.

michellemybelle / December 16, 2006 9:10 PM

I'm pretty happy with the changes, especially the loss of "As It Happens." That might be the first time Canadians have angered me.

As for the music, all of my jazz-freak friends never listened in the first place, so I guess there are other ways to get a jazz fix. I tuned in occasionally, but not often enough to miss it when it's gone. Plus I was always afraid that Marian McPartland was going to keel over in the middle of a bit or something.

vit / December 16, 2006 9:32 PM

It doesn't look too bad to me. I too will not miss 'as it happens', with the exception of the Canadian accents, I sort of liked those.

I'm not a fan of Hello Beautiful either, I wouldn't have minded seeing axed.

As cretinus as it sounds, I'm not a very big jazz fan, so I don't really care about some of those shows being cut.

Annie / December 16, 2006 9:38 PM

I love Dick Buckley. I'm glad they're keeping him, although it's a shame it's a shortened show. He's the perfect Hungover Sunday nap program.

brian / December 16, 2006 11:13 PM

Not mentioned so far is the inclusion of "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" I've listened to that show in the past and it's really, really good.

As for the end of music: thank god. And for "As It Happens In Nova Scotia", I'm not sorry to see it go. I bet they picked it up for a song to save some dough, but it just wasn't good to listen about Canada, where apparently not much happened. And Christ, that flute.

I appreciate that NPR was trying something different; I think most stations rely upon tired warhorses (20+ years of car talk; give it a rest already!). But As It Happens wasn't it.

snuh / December 17, 2006 12:10 PM

I'll take a painful hour of "As It Happens" if it means no "Radio Polonia" and that "Global Overnight" BS.
I hate that they got rid of the jazz, and I'm livid that "Blues Before Sunrise" got the ax.
Well, obvs they don't know what they're doing, otherwise that creepo Edward Lifson wouldn't be on the air anymore, either.

Cheryl / December 17, 2006 12:22 PM

I'd like to see (hear?) an evening version of 848--you know, real time local news--rather than the encores. But then we have Phil Ponce for that. Which means WTTW is getting my pledge money.

dave / December 17, 2006 12:58 PM

I'm pretty happy about the schedule change. I'll enjoy having access to talk-based programs late at night, and I agree with everyone that replacing "As it Happens" was a great idea.

I appear to be in the minority of those who actually like "Hello Beautiful," so I'm happy it's sticking around. It's not that it couldn't be improved, but we need a program that covers the arts with some degree of sophistication.

However, I do think that a little more local music programming (jazz, indie, rock, whatever) would have been nice.

Slack-a-gogo / December 17, 2006 1:02 PM

I gave "As It Happens" a try for a while, but it was too damn boring. It seemed more like a parody of NPR than actually being NPR. I've never been a fan of their jazz programming and was pretty bummed when I'd get in the car and had to find something else to listening to during jazz hours. A few of the new shows look intriguing, so I say thumbs up to the changes.

unmake / December 17, 2006 6:47 PM

I liked 'As it Happens'..

I'll probably listen to WBEZ in my care more often now that the Jazz is gone, but at home, there's still no compelling reason to listen to their stream as opposed to KCRW or any other NPR station - let alone WFMU..

Brandy / December 18, 2006 9:47 AM

Brian! Thanks for pointing out TTBOOK. It snuck by me. It is a great show. I highly recommend folks check out their archives.

L. Lopate / December 30, 2006 2:59 PM

I am streaming SKY FM's avant garde jazz programming now..."Modern Jazz - bright and free music from the likes of Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, & Charles Mingus."

That's their tag line.

Dick Buckley and Marian McPartland are like listening to paint dry. Sorry, I just don't care about anything they have to say. I don't need to hear every Dixieland recording ever made in order to love the classic Coltrane quartet going supernova on "Sun Ship."

Sound Opinions is a horrible program...two geeks in love with the sound of their own voices. Bleaaarrrgh!

Ultimately, I'll send money to WNYC...listen to their web feed four times as much as the BEZ feed.

j / January 17, 2007 10:10 PM

Yeah, that's all the world needs...more talk radio. Sorry, the new schedule is disappointing and mediocre. Public radio is not just about "journalism," it is also about promoting culture. Sadly, it serves neither of these by just doing reruns of talk radio.

John / March 29, 2007 12:25 AM

I used to listen to four hours of jazz on Sunday. Now all that's been replaced by some news program about news programs (WTF?-myopic much?) and the Edwards twins--Bob, and in the next hour--Bob. Can't I just listen to the good-old good ones anymore? I'm glad Marian McPartland's been picked up by WFMT. I can only hope that WNUR will clear their Sunday schedule and give it to Buckley.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15