Mornings need a make over. What would you change?

Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 12:00 AM

We've made one change to your morning. What else would you change about mornings? If you've recently made a change to your morning, we want to hear how it's changed your life. | 1-877-8-MY-TAKE

This is a different kind of radio show. You are a big part of it. Send us your story and we'll read or play back the best of them on air.

Here's how:

Leave a message for John and Adaora on our SpinVox line — 1-877-8-MY-TAKE (1-877-869-8253)

Email us from your computer or phone —

Or click on "get in the mix" to add your story to our Web site.


Adnaan Wasey


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Comments [979]


When I upgraded my Mac OS to Mountain Lion I somehow got back a lot of my extinct Bookmarks including this one. Interesting that it is still around. I have to say that now that Hock is on at 3 PM (or whenever) I sometimes find myself in the car and listening. It is no longer so offensive that I have to instantly change the station, and sometimes it's a little interesting. Mainly I think Hock has adapted to public radio style behavior, instead of behaving like a drunken 4 year old. Wonder what brought that about?

Sep. 27 2013 07:44 PM
J from 10014

We don't need this show. We don't need JH's snarky voice (he's sharp as a tack but his presentation is really unappealing). Please, NPR, go back to your roots. Bring us class. I'd rather hear Diane Rheim (sp) or ANYTHING else in your reperoire—okay, NOT Garrison Keillor—than this weak attempt at a populist news analysis.

Apr. 11 2013 04:47 PM
Cours premier soin from canada

Keep up the great work here at Sprint Connection! Many thanks.

Cours premier soin

Feb. 14 2013 06:57 AM
specialmonkey from 10003

Thank goodness AM has Morning Edition again! (albeit only until 9am), wondering what's going on now that it's just John, this show and Laura Walker need to disappear from WNYC, when they do, I will consider pledging support again.

Sep. 04 2012 08:31 AM

Years ago my morning routine was negatively impacted when WNYC introduced The Takeaway to the morning news cycle. What a stinker it was even then - even if it did save NPR and BBC fees. Thankfully The Takeaway was ultimately relegated to AM and peace and intelligence was again prevalent on morning WNYC FM. Fast forward to this Spring - now this AWFUL show has shown up on afternoon radio/news back on WNYC FM.

Please, please WNYC, bury this turkey. This is one show I can't stand - too much blowharding and arrogance comes through, especially from Hockenberry.

Jul. 03 2012 09:21 PM
Oopsidaisy from Miami

That this turkey is allowed to keep on gobbling here on WLRN in Miami while having been taken off the air in more sophisticated latitudes is a testament to the tolerance of media mediocrity endemic to our little banana republic.

The braying schoolmarm snark of Headlee tag-teaming with the cleverer than thou barking snark of Hockenberry has driven me to the country station seeking refuge from this sophomoric soundbite sling-fest. There at least one can hum along with the platitudes without the buzzes, beeps and bloops.

Apr. 30 2012 11:15 AM

Get rid of the announcer. No one talks like that.

Apr. 05 2012 09:37 AM
specialmonkey from 10003

How long can this train wreck of a failed experiment continue?

Jan. 13 2012 08:36 AM

Not one word about the wall street police attack may e too much vacation

Sep. 26 2011 11:24 PM
AM listener from nyc

I've tried to acclimate. (My clock radio only receives AM clearly due to tall buildings around me.) But this program is just too shrill & dopey, and I inevitably resort to slapping at the dial, desperate to stop the noise. (For starters, Celeste Headlee's shriek-delivery just...hurts.)

I would really appreciate it if Morning Edition was brought back.

Aug. 23 2011 09:08 AM
Dave from Brooklyn

My god, this show is irritating. So much so that I actually took time out to google "the takeaway beeping" and got to this page.

If I wanted to hear a cascade of irritating beeps and boops every few seconds, I would just hit the buttons on my microwave.

I get what you're trying to do, The Takeaway. You're trying to sound "current" and "fresh" while chopping everything up into little fragments that are 60 seconds, or 30 seconds or 15 seconds. Way to "shake things up", but If I wanted that approach, I'd just listen to 1010 WINS. I listen to WNYC and the shows it carries for long-form, insightful news and analysis.

Now if you'll excuse me I think my burrito's done -- oh wait, that's just The Takeaway again. Better shut that radio off until All Things Considered comes back on.

Aug. 08 2011 06:09 PM

at some point they started doing promos for this hideous show on FM and now they have added additional promos by other hosts.


Apr. 14 2011 07:07 PM
Special Monkey from 10003

I want to donate to WNYC during their Winter pledge drive ... but the Takeaway (and Laura Walker) are still there ... those two things are abhorrent. Hey WNYC/NPR - why not remove these two obstacles and get my (and countless other pledges)?

Mar. 06 2011 10:54 AM
Alienated and frustrated

The Takeaway and Tell Me More manage to be pretentious and uninteresting, stale and stereotype-perpetuating, insulting to the intelligence and boring, while feeling chaotic and noisy.
How do you do it?
My money is now going to switching to WiFi radio and other public radio stations.
I just couldn't take WNYC any more, except for Brian Lehrer, and oddly enough, I have been managing to live without him most of the time.

Mar. 01 2011 11:21 AM

How much vacation time do these people get? Why donate for their vacations?

Mar. 01 2011 08:38 AM
strange monkey from 10003

I sent this to The Knight Foundation:

I can't believe your foundation sponsors such a intellectually bankrupt radio program as - WNYC's "The Takeaway" - have you ever listened to the program? Buzzes and beeps, snarky, non-news, unprofessional interviewing, etc. I understand the desire to appeal to a younger demographic - the truth is young people need high standards to aspire to bettering and growing themselves - why start at such a low rung - please know your sponsorship of "The Takeaway" puts your foundation in low esteem by me and undoubtedly countless others - why do it? Please investigate programs before sponsoring - a tremendous, unfortunate (embarrassing) over-site - your foundation's money can be better spent.

I guess their Liberty Mutual money ran out?

This show still sucks - even with Hockenberry away ...

I wince when Laura Walker comes on and asks to leave WNYC in your legacy - I wonder if she has designated WNYC in her will? Give back some of that 500k / year salary Laura!

Feb. 22 2011 09:18 AM
ron from miami

Please take it away and bring back Morning Edition! I stop listening to npr in the mornings...The hosts are too brass and opinionated. Maybe ok for AM radio

Dec. 21 2010 09:40 AM
Pat Turner from Plainfield, NJ

I can't believe this horrible show is still on. The only reason I continue to contribute to WNYC is the fact that they moved it to AM only...but it really should be cancelled forever!

Nov. 30 2010 06:54 PM
special monkey from 10003

WNYC has gone _way_ downhill. This show SUCKS. I think Le Show is now gone (which I liked mostly). WNYC seem to be putting a lot of minority perspective shows on for some reason - which I could care less about - who gives @#$%? If you want a minority doing a show fine - why not first make sure they are intelligent and engaging - when you put on CRAP you perpetuate stereotypes. I'm amazed this horrible show is still going - I am unfortunately not surprised to hear such drivel on WNYC - as I say - it's gone so far down hill.

Nov. 11 2010 10:52 PM
sam from brooklyn

don't like the takeaway. first, no chemistry between the hosts. also, hockenberry's nasty jibes at obama are annoying. i like headlee except for her breathless delivery; seems like she's always trying to prove she's as fast on her feet as hockenberry. also dont like the way they're always cutting off guests and callers, and repeating the same content from hour to hour. richard hake has an annoying self-important manner for a newsreader. overall, bleh! i'm near the end of my rope.

Oct. 29 2010 07:02 AM
Stephan Andersen from NYC

The Takeaway really is a terrible show that is better suited to the "morning zoo" genre and audience. It was a huge relief when WNYC FM dumped it and resumed airing Morning Edition & BBC.

I enjoy most of the programming on both WNYC bands; but The Takeaway seems to be a glaring lapse in quality and lies far beneath the usual WNYC standards.

Aug. 01 2010 02:07 PM
specialmonkey from The East Village, New York, NY

Yes - you are the only one who like this show. I'd rather listen to an hour of commercials. What a shame all this money is being wasted on such trash. Ghastly that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are a sponsor - what are they smoking? I will listen to what's good on WNYC but will never donate anything until this show, and Laura Walker are GONE.

Jul. 27 2010 03:00 PM

Am I the only person that likes the Takeaway? It is much less dry than the often boring M. E. I listen to both but John Hockenberry makes a lot of very good comments on the issues of the day. Keep fighting the good fight

Apr. 27 2010 05:10 PM
Joe H

I'm so relieved this show is no longer soiling the FM airwaves, and I can listen again to ME in the mornings without fear of accidentally hearing it. Though I don't think I'll ever think any better of WNYC after perpetrating this trite monstrosity, and will never respond to their solicitations for money.

Out of curiosity, I had a quick look at the main page of their site: "Today we're asking, What super hero would YOU be and why?"

"News and analysis"??? It's a complete load of utter wank!

Apr. 15 2010 11:08 AM

@Kees -- there is some wonderful irony in your intelligent comments on the show. During the first year one "Mark Jeffries" who may or may not have been Hockenberry, came on here and attacked critics of the show as being limousine liberals. Most of his attacks have been deleted but you can get the idea if you look at what's left of his postings here. The original concept seems to have been that PRI would put on a Howard Stern type show to attract random red-necks as new public radio listeners. As you pointed out, this has not worked all that well and Hock's true colors show through quite often. When he shows contempt it is usually for one of the "common people"...

Feb. 21 2010 10:45 AM

Wow, I forgot this garbage is still on the air. I stopped listening to NPR in the morning after my local station put this awful program on but recently had the misfortune of tuning in. The shows incredibly lame attempts at humor are just plain depressing. I listen to NPR for good old fashioned news not crappy daily show style jokes.

Feb. 16 2010 02:51 PM
Kees Stahl from NY

First off, I'm an NYC supporter, so don't get me wrong about this tirade. And secondly, I'm really not one to write something negative for the sake of it unless there’s a purpose. But this one of those moments.

While I'm sorry your show was bumped to AM820, all your listeners saw it coming.

I understand you want the East Coast's day in the NPR sun, but your show was offensive. It came across as another "World As Seen From New York's 9th Avenue" when it could have been so much more.

Too many snarky tones to exhibit within this email, but two examples during your brief tenure come to mind: Suggesting people consider career changes - with 10MM out there unemployed - I thought irresponsible considering you never offered at which point to reach out to our parents for rent money, between jobs?

And another story in which announcers condescend upon a farmer in Florida about the freezing point - I repeat; you guys patronized a farmer in Florida about explaining the point at which water froze. I mean, really? Like, those uneducated, under-trust funded types don't know this stuff by now? By Golly, thank Heavens for your morning radio show to share the knowledge!
Basically, the show came across as a bunch of limousine liberals standing around the office pantry trying desperately to talk above each other about what they'd heard on NPR the night before. I don’t need that before work – I give at the office.

Best of luck in analog,

Another Loyal WNYC Contributor

Feb. 15 2010 04:44 PM

it's so nice to have morning edition back. the take away taken away, good bye to a crap program.

Feb. 09 2010 01:10 PM
jimbo from nyc

wow i cant believe how many comments, all negative. this show does really suck, nice to have it off the fm though, thanks wnyc!

Feb. 08 2010 07:53 PM

Okay. Figured out how to give a thumbs up to a comment deriding this monstrosity of a show, so why does the site register both a thumbs up and a thumbs down when I clearly want to support a comment that is critical of the show?

Feb. 04 2010 01:28 AM
zoester from NYC

Why is it not possible to give up or down votes to the comments on this page?

Feb. 04 2010 01:13 AM
Blargy McBlargotron from 10003

I received this in my e-mail:

Dear WNYC Listener,

We miss your support! It has been over a year since you made your last gift to WNYC radio. Please take a minute now to renew your membership today.

My Reply:

Dear WNYC,

I will never contribute to WNYC as long as "The Takeaway" is broadcast on either band (or webcast), and as long as Laura Walker is compensated so obscenely; her salary upsets more than Wall Street bonuses.

By the way, "Tell Me More" is a program for the mentally retarded. I don't think they listen to WNYC, can you please remove it?


Jan. 27 2010 01:49 PM

Thanks for not being on the air, change is good. It only took WNYC 2 years to figure out that this program was a complete waste. Laura Walker should be the next change.

Jan. 26 2010 04:21 PM
Tony from Brooklyn

I don't believe it - I can now listen to NYC in the AM, NOT on am. I think this is a personal birthday present for me from the gods of radio.

This program was absolutely awful and as others have suggested, the true story of its almost 2 year reign has yet to be told. Can't wait.

Jan. 25 2010 05:38 PM
rancho deluxe from soho

What a great morning, I had to pinch myself. The Take Away has finally been removed from the FM. Only took 2 years. worse than the Satellite Sisters. WORST PROGRAM EVER.

Jan. 25 2010 01:33 PM
Special Monkey from 10003

Why screw with AM - The Takeaway does not belong on EITHER band of ANY public radio station - especially WNYC.

Jan. 25 2010 11:44 AM
Mike P from NY

The show's resilience over the past two years was very impressive and sort of started to grow on me a bit...except for Hockenberry's snarky jibes trying to speed up interviewees' commentary (almost fell out of bed when he rushed Chuck Schumer with a "QUICKLY - 5 seconds letft!" during one segment).

That said - it will be a FABULOUS morning on Monday waking up at 6am to Morning Edition on 93.9. I will be making a donation to WNYC this weekend with a note to Laura Walker that it would have been MUCH sooner coming had they made their programming mover earlier.


Jan. 23 2010 11:17 AM

The fact that this show is being removed from the FM schedule for WNYC is a huge victory for those of us who have objected to this tawdry program. I always thought it belonged on AM (if anywhere) and it will be GREAT to be able to turn on my radio when I wake up without hearing John Hockenberry's snarky comments.

Jan. 21 2010 07:00 PM
Scott from New York

Hey, the show is moving to a four-hour AM-only format.

Jan. 20 2010 07:58 PM

Strange Monkey -- good luck on getting a story on this train wreck in the NY Times. They are partners, they have a stake in the "success" of the program. Ditto the BBC and the New Yorker I think. That leaves a rather bleak landscape for the story that needs to be written. The show's failure to enter several major markets around the US makes it a local story, so magazines that publish exposés (like Vanity Fair) are unlikely to pick it up. It is a perfect story for a radio program like "On the Media" but what do you think the chances are that it will ever be reported there? Too many ties to WNYC and the Walker-ites...

Dec. 31 2009 07:44 PM
Strange Monkey

I sent this to WNYC as well as to the PR parties of the sponsors:

I wanted to let you know that I've written to John Cusolito of The
Responsibility Project at Liberty Mutual and Marc Fest of The Knight
Foundation. I let them know that their support of The Takeaway left me
(and countless others) with negative associations of their companies.

I've written to WNYC on several occasions about this, but you have not listened.

Please check out what listeners think about The Takeaway:

this website

I think this would make a great story for radio (proposal?) or a local
newspaper like The Villager, Village Voice, or New York Times.

I think it would be great for the story to be told, along with the
revelation of Laura Walker's obscene $500k salary.


story: how wnyc strung along a universally despised radio program
despite the outcry of their listeners and the tarnishing of a once
great radio station with more and more horrible, narrowly cast,
intellectually bankrupt programming.

Dec. 30 2009 10:11 PM
Peter E

Worst show ever!! Except for maybe the Bryant Park Project. I stopped supporting the station in my town that plays this show, it is that bad. Please make it stop!

Dec. 20 2009 04:48 PM
enoch needles

Sad to say, I listen to wnyc less than ever and am more geared toward when I DON'T turn it on (sat/sun noon, m-f 6am) than when I do tune in. On the other hand, I do have extra money to spend. thanks, takeaway!

Dec. 14 2009 04:24 PM
WNYC fan

Another WNYC listener who can't stand the Takeaway - yesterday's "immigrants are really terrorists in disguise" opening replete with loud, sarcastic use of a chorus singing Emma Lazarus' poem woke me up - instant rage! - and I discovered that I'd forgotten to set my radio to WNYC-AM to get Morning Edition instead.

Why is this show still on? Please bring back Morning Edition, and take away the Takeaway people to Fox Radio, or another commercial station where they will fit right in.

WNYC, you're not getting my money as long as this show is blaring in the mornings.

Dec. 09 2009 08:09 AM

the takeaway has been on the air for 1-1/2 years, it seems like 100. Please take yourselves off the air, no contributions until this monstrosity is terminated. Why does this program continue??

Dec. 07 2009 05:09 PM

One idea to avoid the take-it-away-please! We got a wonderful Sangean RCR-3 clock radio about a year ago. It's pricey, but it is nice quality and really really drags in the signals like you wouldn't believe. We've been able to pick up Morning Edition instead of this disaster.

Dec. 07 2009 01:47 PM
special monkey

i don't find much to like on wnyc anymore - can anyone recommend other public radio stations out there i can listen to, even if i have to online? i like shows like the newshour w/ jim lehrer - the bbc newshour, morning edition, marketplace, on point, to the point, the world, the changing world, this american life, prairie home, etc. and hate shows like the takeaway, tell me more, and other crud. thanks for the suggestions - see why laura walker makes a half million every year:

Dec. 02 2009 09:27 PM

Please, PLEASE stop telling me every ten seconds that this is "the Takeaway." I know it's the Takeaway. I also know that it is an annoying hour, with two hosts that probably actually "majored" in journalism. It shows. I turn away until it's done, so I can listen to Morning Edition. It is worse than Cnn. Please stop.

Dec. 01 2009 02:15 PM
blargo mcblargotron

i was reading this:

why is this show allowed to "experiment" to get it right? shouldn't they already have it right - pretty much - before broadcasting? the takeaway is complete garbage, a total POS - what in the world has gotten into WNYC? why does laura walker still have a job? why do the board of directors tolerate such BS? why does laura walker earn more than the president of the US?

i have lost respect for this station. it's too bad there's not a lot of alternative - wnyc is monopolizing public radio in NYC - we need some competition, and not some crazy communist station!

the takeaway is the worst thing i've heard on the radio - including commercial radio.

Nov. 30 2009 09:28 PM
blargo mcblargotron

'tell me more' is a stupid show too - what's wnyc smoking?

Nov. 30 2009 09:04 PM

am I the only one who loathes the underwriting announcer? I've stopped listening and donating because of that hideously robotic voice.

Nov. 27 2009 11:23 PM
rancho deluxe

Hockenberry has sold his soul with this crap program. He has lost any respect I once had for him. When will this radio barf bag be tossed off the air??

Nov. 25 2009 02:01 PM

Bad radio.Too many Valley Girls,too many Ira Glass soundalikes,the sports reporter actually says "duh", in the middle of his sentences,too many "absolutely"s and "literally"s,poor speech,bad radio voices and then today's Oprah style dreck fest-The Search for (yawn) Closure! What's Closure and how to Get It!! Is It Possible to Get It??...Hmmm?!? Mr.Radio Listener?? Is it possible?.... OH ABSOLUTELY.

Nov. 10 2009 09:08 AM

If only a commercial station would steal it away from WNYC -- Not much chance of that.

Nov. 08 2009 10:26 AM

"The Takeaway" is very upsetting. If anything it belongs on a commercial radio station. The reasons I feel this way are the same for what I though of the Bryant Park Project. I heard that NPR makes these shows to appeal to a younger demographic, but the attempts have been very annoying. Younger folks will get into NPR without need of these types of shows, when they grow up.

Nov. 03 2009 08:41 PM
rancho deluxe

thanks Frank;
yes this pathetic program continues like a demented monster fed by seemingly endless amounts of corporate funding. The Take Away has changed my view of WNYC completely.

Nov. 02 2009 04:36 PM

RT, during the first weeks and months this was a VERY easy show to hate, it was about as offensive as any single thing I have ever heard on the radio. And to have it plopped like a t**d into the middle of WNYC programming that I enjoyed was a huge affront.

I will admit that with personnel changes and some style changes (no more bicycle horns, minimal guitar solos by Hockenberry, etc.) it has become easier to take. But I still hate the show for what it is, for its style, for Hockenberry himself behaving like a churlish toad at every opportunity. And I hate the show for what it is not, WNYC is capable of so much better than this.

Nov. 02 2009 10:26 AM

wow.... I'm amazed that a community based on a mutual hatred of a show has formed on this comments page. I don't have any strong feelings about the show either way. I was disappointed when it started because I had become quite attached to Morning Edition. I think M.E. is a better show, but the Takeaway is not all superficial banter. There is real journalism and skilled interviewers on the show. I mostly respect the journalism at the Times and the BBC. I think it's a mistake to confuse content with packaging. I think most people are offended by the packaging of the show which sort of makes the simplistic assumption that listeners need "personalities" to make the news more digestible. However, I have to say that NPR's standard model is infinitely more addictive than the Takeaway's. I don't hate the Takeaway but I also can take it or leave it. The tone of Morning Edition was actually one of the things that helped to make it integral to my routine.

Oct. 31 2009 02:56 PM
the future of public radio

heard a breathless wnyc staffer gushing this morning that the takeaway is "the future of public radio". if that's true, then npr, pri, and public stations across the globe should just pull the plug and sell their frequencies to their local wacky, zany, ca-ray-zee morning zoo. now, maybe he's new and has to drink the laura walker kool-aid to keep his job. one can only hope.

Oct. 19 2009 07:46 AM

Sam, interesting point. I can't stand more than 15 minutes of the show so I don't know for sure, but now that you mention it I haven't heard Femi Oke for a while. No great loss, she was a major annoyance for me. Seemed to be a combination of speech impediments and incomprehensible accent. By the way, Terence McKnight is gone from WNYC. They moved him over to WQXR and he's on a program of full length symphonies, "we let the music do the talking." Great idea, if the talker is Terence McKnight.

Oct. 16 2009 08:35 PM

Did they get rid of Femi Oke? I don't hear her anymore. Not that I had anything against her personally, but the show is better because the segments are slightly longer now and they don't cut people off so much.

Oct. 15 2009 10:58 AM
dingo and the baby

Well, I finally have a (rather inelegant) solution to the Takeaway conunundrum - 2 clock radios, one tuned to wqxr that goes off at 6 w/classical, then the other goes off at 7 w/morning edition. can't wait for tuesday to try it.

just listening to qxr as i always do when jschwartz (don't get me started) comes on and heard the host graciously thanking wnyc for "saving classical music in ny".

how short our memories are - there was classical and lots of it and more diversity (qxr is nice, but does tend towards classical's "greatest hits") before laura walker decided to kill it. and now she gets to "save" it. maybe this was her master plan all along (kind of a new coke thing).

anyway - no more takeaway for me. no more donations to wnyc.

Oct. 10 2009 12:03 PM

What an interesting string. I couldn't agree more with most of the comments. This show, when it launched, was almost impossible to listen to. It was only out of sheer laziness and force of habit that I didn't find an alternative. Six months later, the show is tolerable. Maybe my standards have changed; Udori's departure is certainly an improvement. Maybe the real takeaway is that the "Morning Zoo" format is not an easy one to replicate. All in all, I've gone from resenting the attempt to wishing they were better at it.

Oct. 06 2009 08:18 AM

...until this show started up, I liked John Hockenberry, but this program has shown him to be a truly terrible interviewer and a hokey, tired DJ. What a disappointment.

Oct. 05 2009 09:49 AM

Please -- take away The Takeaway! I have really tried to listen to this show, but it is insufferable. Every now and then I give it another try, and find myself resenting WNYC enormously for keeping this show on the air and hating the hosts, most of whom I used to enjoy and respect when they worked elsewhere.

It only adds insult to injury that we have to choose between Soundcheck and Tell Me More in the afternoon; two dreary, stale programs, and have some pretty lame choices on the weekends, especially Saturday evenings, when we can choose between A Prairie Home Companion and A Prairie Home Companion.

I reduced my WNYC contribution last year, and may skip it completely this year out of sheer frustration.

Do the inevitable, WNYC, and put this show - and its audience - out of its misery.

Oct. 05 2009 09:41 AM

the takeaway is still on the air? I guess it survives by everyone ignoring the banality and looking the other way until their deep pocket funding runs out. I have not contributed since it went on the air April 2008 and will not give a dime to WNYC until this program is gone, it is truly awful. Thanks a lot WNYC

Sep. 22 2009 10:48 AM

Ann: is there a postage paid reply envelope?

Sep. 14 2009 03:26 PM

Just received my invitation to contribute to WNYC. My, my.....what to do, what to do......

Sep. 11 2009 02:26 PM

I continue to be frustrated with The Takeaway. It remains the disaster it was from day one last year. I don't want "chat news", rather good journalism which The Takeaway is not. Truth be told I set up my computer to transmit WNYC-AM's program stream from 6-7 am on low power to a vacant FM frequency and then tune in FM 93.9 again at 7 am. It's pain in the neck, but less of a pain than The Takeaway.

Sep. 08 2009 10:04 PM

Yes, the folks at WNYC read these comments and the folks who don't like the management chuckle heartily over some of the stuff here. The people engineering the decline of WNYC might read this stuff but they just don't care -- because they're ever so much smarter than we are. I have no inside info, but I've been watching the "new" management for ~10 years and I've been to board meetings and Community Board meetings. The only clout we have is money -- stop pledging and tell them why.

Sep. 04 2009 11:26 AM

What would I change about my morning? I would get rid of the Takeaway, for one. You call it a "different kind of radio show." If only! It's the same junk the lunkheads on commercial drive-time talk radio offer up.
It sickens me that this kind of drivel has popped up on public radio. I turn to public radio to get away from the arrogantly anti-intellectual banter of judgmental commercial radio hosts. John Hockenberry, in particular, brings his commercial TV "voice" and "attitude" to play when, for instance, he ignorantly and condescendingly talks of people like Whitney Houston ("lunacy in public," "is she capable of functioning"). The only intelligent voices come from the guests, whose comments get cut off by the hosts.
I suppose public radio has become as cynical as so many other media outlets these days, in hopes of getting better ratings. But I thought public radio was about learning, being informed, inspired, challenged. This is going to backfire.

Sep. 01 2009 11:02 AM

All protests about how awful this show is seem to have gone unnoticed. I can't listen to it, and turn to Morning Edition even through the static of the AM band in NYC at 6 am. I've stopped contributing to WNYC and let them know why. I tried "The Takeaway" again last week for a few minutes and it's still an insult to one's intelligence. I get furious when they do the fundraising drives and talk about how its "our" radio station. If that were so, this program would be long gone.

Aug. 29 2009 10:30 AM

I turned to "The Takeaway" this morning after many months--i wanted to see 1)if it could still possibly be on the air, and 2)if so, whether it had gotten even marginally better. Long story short----ran screaming from the room. Hockenberry is still smug and pretentious, and Femi Oke vapid and breathy. And WNYC still has that awful robot lady doing the underwriting announcements. My advice: invest in a satellite radio and forget it.

Aug. 28 2009 12:56 PM

Wow...! I hadn't read these commemts since the beginning of summer and listeners are still angry! Does anyone at WNYC read any of these? Obviously not, because this "show" is still on. I can't agree more with what AB posted in July: "I DON'T want a typical morning show. Stop insulting my intelligence." How many positive comments have been left here? The public has spoken. What are you going to do about it, WNYC? 'Nuff said.

Aug. 28 2009 10:13 AM

The Takeaway did a puff piece on Tom Delay today; it was disgusting. Just what we need, more of public radio giving a non-critical platform for the worst figures in American politics. Is this mindless propaganda encouraged by public radio's funding sources, or is it just rot from within?

Aug. 18 2009 01:48 PM

This morning Howard Dean made the mistake of being interviewed by The Takeaway. It wasn't Hock but a couple of yakky women. The girl talking to Dean had a combative tone and interrupted him enough that he got peeved, "can I finish?" whereupon she said "Sure" but kept talking OVER HIM for the last minute of the interview, so you couldn't actually understand either person. And then she dismissed him out of hand for their next important segment -- "we want YOU to tell us what terms you want defined for our health care glossary..." What a complete travesty this show is. What a collection of morons it must have taken to dream this up and put it on the air.

Aug. 18 2009 11:14 AM

Please WNYC. I am actually considering canceling my monthly sustainer subscription because of this show. I don't care if you replay Morning Edition three times in a row. That would be orders of magnitude better than the inane drivel I have to suffer through now.

Aug. 14 2009 07:03 AM

I tried listening again this morning (and by that I mean, I was forced to by the schedule WNYC is using to try to shove this show down listener's throats). It was truly horrendous. If the Takeaway is here to stay, at least get skilled interviewers. Hockenberry may be the genius his fans claim he is, but he stumbles while interview and it is painful to listen to (not that we have a choice unless we want to get up every two hours and change the radio station). I do, however, quite enjoy reading the other listener comments on this blog. Maybe WNYC could just add a blog to discuss topics on Morning Edition and get rid of the mess they created here?

Aug. 13 2009 05:09 PM

Isn't it sad the the producers know that people hate the show? Yet they are powerless to change the show! They have to book the guest and have them subjected to the same crappy format. The host(s) present a semi-informed perspective as an intro to the segment and then ask the guest to comment and either ask predictable questions or just interrupt with mediocre asides. If you did a parody of this show, it would be better than the actual show.

Aug. 02 2009 04:14 PM

I can't stand this show. Hockenberry loves to interrupt guests and insert himself into every interview. And the poster who said the stories are not memorable was right. I just listened to about 30 minutes of the program this morning, and I can't remember what I heard. I have fond memories of driving to work listening to Morning Edition when I used to commute. It was such a soothing, calming presence, and it got my brain going in the morning. The Take Away just makes me frustrated. I'm a fairly young person (33), but I have an attention span, and the reason I tuned in to NPR in the first place is because I DON'T want a typical morning show. Stop insulting my intelligence.

Jul. 30 2009 09:24 AM

I guess I need to tell this story. My name appeared in a newspaper recently, and I am pretty easy to find, so I got a call today from a researcher for The Takeaway, asking if they could interview me for a segment. I said "I HATE that show." She laughed nervously and said "I know." Suddenly paranoid, I said "how do you mean that, how do you know?" She said "Oh, we are used to getting that response, we know to expect it." I told her I really didn't want to be associated with The Takeaway in any way and we said good-bye. At first I thought she was calling about my posts here. I might have cooperated on that basis.

Jul. 27 2009 05:53 PM

"downtown" -- I think raw HTML just triggers an automatic hold (functionally a deletion) -- it isn't really censorship, it is just a feature of the software. I put in the dashes because I can't seem to put in extra "line feeds" or "returns" with this software and the browser I use, it's the only way I know to set off text. I was just lucky that it didn't trigger the hold-deletion thing. At any rate we are mostly being ignored here with rare exceptions. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Jul. 23 2009 12:50 PM

That is the same one that I saw posted at MediaBistro, SimplyHired and Linked-In. Every time I post the URL it gets deleted, I guess using "---" before/after the link is the trick.

Jul. 22 2009 02:01 PM

I read the job listing - - - - - - - -

Unfortunately it appears to be for the "fried Judea" slot rather than the Hockenberry slot. I thought perhaps he had figured out that he had better things to do than this. I would certainly respect him a lot more if he came to that conclusion.

Jul. 22 2009 01:37 PM

Hmmmm, I wonder why "they" deleted my post about the job announcement posted on the jobs board page of MediaBistro?
Well, it also is posted here: View job summary for Co-Host, The Takeaway at Wnyc Radio

Jul. 22 2009 10:08 AM
FrankD - - - - -

Comments are back. ??? I love the idea of classical on 93.9 and talk elsewhere.

Jul. 21 2009 07:56 PM

The comments, mostly negative or unsure, have certainly disappeared. "General air of criticism," indeed! The new station is pretty much useless as its signal is so weak. Of course when classical doesn't get listener support it can easily be changed to talk and then upgraded. I'm not clear on whether 93.9's current music programs will go to the new station and then replaced by talk. There was a suggestion (put forward by several) that classical be moved to 93.9 and the talk be moved to 105.9 -- interesting idea.

Jul. 21 2009 05:42 PM

The comments on WNYC's acquisition of WQXR appear to have disappeared. Is that what you are seeing too or is it some computer artifact?

There was a general air of criticism, maybe someone didn't like it.

Jul. 21 2009 05:21 PM
rancho deluxe

The Take Away is a huge failure. WNYC ignores the program in hopes that it will go away.

Jul. 20 2009 04:47 PM

Yes, the "93.8" was a typo. I meant, of course, "93.9."

Jul. 18 2009 09:41 AM

Waldo --- " we already have 93.8FM which WE bought for classical music" --- meaning 93.9? Yes it is another mess, another Laura Walker mess.

Jul. 16 2009 10:53 PM

Check out the message boards at -- Very few happy folks ready to ante up the money for WNYC's latest venture. Of course we already have 93.8FM which WE bought for classical mustic -- that was before "it was decided" that talk radio (with Lehrer talking up bike lanes and bikers) rather than Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.
The new classical station isn't going to be heard outside the city limits (if it has that broad a reach) so it's pretty sure to fail and WQXR's current on-air people have to apply to keep their jobs.

Jul. 16 2009 06:36 PM

On the news -- WQXR is being sold to WNYC, and the frequency is changing to 105.9. Univision is buying 96.3 for spanish music programming. So Laura Walker is expanding her empire to another station, designed for classical. Do you think she will find intelligent, charming people to introduce these pieces by Bach, Beethoven, and Berlioz, or do you think she will instead find a group of poop slinging monkeys? Want to know my guess? FAIL FAIL FAIL fAIL FAIL.

Jul. 15 2009 12:10 AM

Please note that the NYTimes has NEVER reviewed The Takeaway. I can't find a review by New York Magazine either. Have a look at Wikipedia -- the write up on The Takeaway sounds as if it was written by WNYC's PR person.
BUT more interesting: Check out the "Discussion" section
Wiki has cut mention of there being opposition to the program.
PUBLIC Radio -- indeed!

Jul. 08 2009 09:23 AM
special monkey

The program is not a credible news source. Who can take it seriously? Why would WNYC risk such animosity? Oh - it must be about money - well, I have a feeling it won't have been worth it, and in the end will cost WNYC MUCH more than they're getting now, in lost, angry, non-contributing listeners (perhaps WNYC has given up on listener funding and are moving to a different model - extortion?), Walker needs to be shown the door.

Jul. 01 2009 10:54 PM

A heartfelt "thanks" to all who have commented on this board. I thought I was suffering in silence. It's somewhat comforting to know that I'm far from the only one who despises this atrocious show. And I'm in the "young" demographic that WNYC wants to attract.

Jul. 01 2009 12:19 PM

Sam's link is too long to fit here -- google "media bistro takeaway." It's guaranteed to ruin your day.
Here's a quote: "And in other "Takeaway" news, earlier this week the White House announced that the show's host John Hockenberry had been appointed to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, along with Tom Brokaw and others."
Be sure to read the press release announcing the new Exec. Producer.
Get used to it -- this abominable program is going to be around for a long, loooong time.

Jun. 22 2009 11:03 PM

The Takeaway has a new executive director--from MSNBC. This means the show could actually get worse if they add even more bombastic types. here's a link: The show will obviously change now, but not necessarily for the better. Sometimes it hurts to listen to this show. It ranges from cheesy to snarky.

Jun. 20 2009 01:15 AM
rancho deluxe

add femi okay to the list of individuals who have no business being on the radio.

Jun. 19 2009 02:40 PM

John Hockenberry is a pompous fool, Udoji is history. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, the Take Away will just be a bad memory.

Jun. 18 2009 03:53 PM

John Hockenberry does not deserve airtime on a tin can radio. Udoji is worse. Farai Chideya deserves a better job.

Jun. 16 2009 11:33 AM

please call WNYC listener services to remove this program.

Jun. 15 2009 11:48 AM

here's my take away: How long can a radio program that sucks stay on the air? more than a year? yes it has been over a year that this program has taken up valuable air space on WNYC.

Jun. 09 2009 03:38 PM

Here's my takeaway - there's hardly a day that goes by that I don't hear a story on morning edition that doesn't hold my interest or have me remembering it later in the day. otoh, the takeaway has been on for over a year and while i generally avoid it, those few times i've listened, i have yet to remember a single story. what i remember is udoji's simpering, hockenberry's snark, and feme's inability to speak english. it's all style and no content, but the style is repellent. sorry, wnyc, but i can't support you while you insult me.

Jun. 04 2009 10:22 PM
Andrew Bowers

I am withholding any more contribution to WNYC until The Takeaway goes away! This insipid, annoying hour screws up my morning. I gave it an honest try but once I heard "Happy Birthday Habeas Corpus!" I could no longer stand it. The experiment is a failure. Please go on to something else.

Jun. 04 2009 05:51 AM

Turned on FM kitchen radio at 6:50 this morning -- last 10 minutes of Takeaway and it's during a pledge drive. The WNYC folks doing the pitching NEVER, EVER mentioned the Takeaway. Not once. They mentioned that Morning Edition was coming up. They talked about the wonderful news and information WNYC provides, but they never mentioned the thorn among all those roses. I do notice, however, that Lehrer is getting snarky, not always but on occason and if he keeps it up he's going to be just like Hockenberry. I'm sure they all think snarky is cool and hip and with-it.

Jun. 03 2009 09:25 AM
rancho deluxe

hockenberry just sucks, he is a pompous ass.Any program based on his style will fail, he is bearable in very short exposures, as was his role before the takeaway. No donations for WNYC, they are mostly responsible for this crap.

Jun. 02 2009 02:27 PM

Were you around last Friday when they lost electricity at WNYC? I turned on FM at 9-ish and got uninterrupted Morning Edition -- didn't know why but it was terrific. They were using NPR NY studios. They came back on from their new studios a little after 10am. I wondered what was happening on AM. And I wonder how the pledge drive is going between 8 and 10 on the AM station.

Jun. 02 2009 11:14 AM

takeaway - still garbage. giving my $ to another station.

Jun. 02 2009 08:15 AM
Steve G

I couldn't take it any more. If I am listening before 7am, I have the radio tuned to WQXR.

Be sure to tell listener services you refuse to give any money to the station which gives airtime and money to the takeaway.

Jun. 01 2009 10:47 AM
jaymo lobo

I don't get all the negative vibe here. I find the Takeaway to be a delight in the morning. Morning Edition sounds more like a Bush White House press conference to me; over-produced, stuffy, "correct", conservative, over-replayed, and little more informative than local evening news, which around here is pitiful.

May. 30 2009 09:10 AM


May. 28 2009 11:01 AM
Special Monkey

Would you stop insulting the Sesame Street generation, that was a cool show. And the Satellite Sisters weren't all bad - weren't they only on on the weekend? That's tolerable. I hope Udora Udoji stays away, and obviously The Takeaway is still a bogus excuse for programming. Fried Judea sucks also - I'm pretty happy her old show got canceled, now for The Takeaway. I think they are trying to get a rise out of us what should we do???

May. 27 2009 10:28 PM

It's been over a year since this show was introduced....while it is not as annoying as it was when it first came on the air, it is still not worthy of public radio. I so miss Morning Edition between 6-7 am. The content and delivery of this show pales in comparison.

May. 26 2009 06:29 PM

"We miss you" -- speak for yourself Suzie. I wish Adaora all the best but I hope she finds a rewarding career NOT IN RADIO.

May. 26 2009 06:08 PM

I guess I don't listen as often as I thought, I've been wondering where Adora has been. I finally googled it. Congratulations for staying home with your baby. I could not go back to work either, mine was not a public position and a no-brainer for me, but obviously this was extremely difficult. So though we miss you, enjoy your baby even on the impossible days and know you'll find a great job (that pays money) when you're ready. Good luck.

May. 26 2009 07:10 AM

The Takeaway didn't cause Soundcheck Smackdown, but they have the same parents. The same "thought process" that spawned Satellite Sisters, Soundcheck Smackdown, news as performance art, spawned The Takeaway. WNYC thinks that the way to attract young, cool, hip listeners is with inanities. They (literaly) have no respect for their listeners, especially their young listeners. (They seem to think their older listeners are a bunch of addeled bores.)
I long for the days when WNYC took for granted its listeners' intelligence and wide-ranging interests. I wish I could get back the money I put toward the independence drives. WNYC was a much better station when it was poor and smart.

May. 23 2009 08:25 PM

Emailed this to listener services today. They need to be told. Over and over and over again:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Yesterday I received from you a donation request in the mail. The letter included a list of programming that a donation would support. Naturally this list wisely excluded The Takeaway, but even if it were possible that the Takeaway were funded entirely by other means, I will not even consider supporting WNYC while it continues to waste air time with this utter rubbish. “Takeaway creep” - the insidious leaking of the Takeaway’s inanities into other WNYC programming makes the Takeaway more than outstandingly poor programming; it is a veritable cancer. Could features such as “Soundcheck Smackdown” have preceded the days of the Takeaway? I seriously doubt it.



May. 21 2009 12:03 PM

yes, maybe Hock can be potty trained, Udoji plus Hock was really awful, so almost anything compared that is an improvement.

May. 18 2009 07:05 PM

I don't know just WHAT they are trying to do now. It is clear they are changing course. Andrea Bernstein was non-awful this morning.

May. 18 2009 03:28 PM

This show does NOT have "serious journalism" as one of its goals -- It wants to be the "Inside Edition" of public radio. This show wants to be what WNYC "management" sees as young and hip and cool. Short bits and lots of jumping around for the short-attention-span Sesame Street generation. One of the long-time WNYC denizens of pledge drives resigned(?), shortly after WNYC became independent, saying that management (she mentioned names but I won't) had no understanding of public radio. A number of people are arbitrarily gone.
The Takeaway isn't going anyplace -- it's going to be one as long as there's funding. And IF they get funding it's going to be on FM for 2 hours. You can bank on it!

May. 17 2009 09:31 AM

Is it better than dead air? Not sure.

May. 14 2009 02:04 PM

Well, Rgd, I think she is temporary anyway. And any replacement for Udoji (unless they get the REAL Robin Quivers) is going to be an improvement. But it seems that without going all the way and also replacing Hockenberry this show will never present serious journalism. I suppose what I was saying that I was surprised that it was no longer so offensive that I could not even stand to listen to it. Saying it is listenable is a long way from saying it is "good."

May. 14 2009 10:17 AM

You know FrankD, I was wondering if she (Farai Chideya) was going to be a glimmer of light to help this worthless show, but when the conversation turned to how ivy league colleges were stressing students out (as in eating disorders) she piped in: "I went to Harvard and I had an eating disorder. Put me in the demo. I wrote about it." Like this is what...move on. I always get the feeling that the questions are all being read from a script and that the hosts aren't even listening to the guests responses. Seems like they're always watching the clock. Probably because they try to squeeze too many guests on. Why is this show still on? It's like they've taken the "public" out of Public Radio. Have all these comments from the past year been ignored? Sad stuff.

May. 13 2009 11:10 PM

Farai Chideya seems to be the replacement for Adaora Udoji. She was the host of News and Notes before it was cancelled a few months ago. She's a smart woman and she doesn't mispronounce every other word. She may stop this ship from sinking.

May. 13 2009 08:46 AM

Today's show actually was not that bad. Darn, I never wanted them to "fix" it. I think Udoji brought out the worst in Hockenberry. Today the only completely annoying part was Femi Oke's incomprehensible headline news.

May. 12 2009 08:23 AM

You may be right. Could have been a mutual agreement to part company. But I found it strange that on her last day, she announced that she would be back in about 2 months, instead of leaving it open.

May. 08 2009 04:23 PM

so she had a baby when she was encouraged to leave the show? the take away is awful but that seems a little extreme...

May. 07 2009 07:05 PM

Did anyone hear Hockenberry's brief announcement on yesterday's program that Udogi wants to spend more time with her newborn and has left the show? Hmmm. Sounds to me like someone caught on to the fact that she was the biggest weakness in the show, and the choice was not necessarily hers. They are now seeking a replacement.

May. 05 2009 11:49 AM


May. 04 2009 05:20 PM

this blog is by far the most commented over the past year,with over 1,000 entries,the next closest would have a dozen entries.This program will obviously be unplugged soon.

May. 04 2009 01:32 PM

Wow - this complain-o-blog has become one of the 10 most commented things about their show. And yet the power of hatred does not get the show off the air. Maybe we should use the power of sarcasm, no really.

May. 04 2009 09:34 AM

I believe that he thinks Faith Saley (sp?) is interesting and funny as well. What's in the water?

May. 04 2009 09:28 AM

the take away must go away,it is a failed frankenstein experiment, a train wreck, but it is somehow exciting to hear how awful a program can be, so sad for a great station like WNYC to be responsible for this trash.

Apr. 29 2009 05:31 PM

Got up at 5am today to go birding in Central Park -- Had to listen to Takeaway 6-6:30. Hockenberry(sp?) announced it and said "Amazing!" Well, at last he's said something I can agree with. He then went on to ask if you believe what the govt. is saying about swine flu -- Obviously he wants you to say that you don't. He's very snarky and that's very unattractive -- His model seems to be Don Imus, who's also unattractive but less so than the Hock. So we're into our 2nd year of this nonsense. I DON'T CARE WHAT OTHER LISTENERS THINK OF THE NEWS, I JUST WANT TO HEAR THE NEWS. I ALSO DON'T CARE WHAT HOCKENBERRY THINKS OF THE NEWS OR THE WEATHER OR THE PRICE OF EGGS. TAKE AWAY THE TAKEAWAY. PLEASE!

Apr. 28 2009 12:46 PM
Robert Palumbo

I am trying to navigate the cacophony that masquerades as news/journalism/information. There are few safehouses which make me feel that I am connected to the real world beyond my hamster wheel. I awake at 6:15 to get myself and my child ready for work and school. To be bombarded by a program like The Takeaway, which tries so hard to be young and hip, (John Hockenberry was born in 1956), is not helping me connect to my world. Now, I awaken to a godawful musical theme and a pair of yakkers who have no chemistry...wait a minute, I'm critiquing their chemistry? That's absurd. I've now changed my wakeup station to a jazz channel, and only after the Takeaway is taken away do I revert to NPR for MOrning Edition. Go away Takeaway. Or bring in some real young people with an authentically fresh approach to information and presentation. I'm sure they're out there...this is a lazy attempt to patronize the "young" audience. A choice probably made by people for whom John seems young.

Apr. 23 2009 11:29 PM

Sorry, Waldo, it was RanchoD that said 4/26. The Wikipedia article says that the program "launched" on 4/28/08. I saw Ira Glass on Colbert last night and as he was listing PRI shows I was holding my breath to see if he mentioned "The Takeaway." In fact he didn't but possibly that was only because Colbert was constantly interrupting him. Of course they want to compete with Morning Edition, they are after the Neanderthals who don't "get" Morning Edition and for all I know they are finding a few (people who like the show may not be smart enough to find their way here and comment?).

Apr. 23 2009 10:54 AM

Sorry, FrankD, but 4/26 was a Saturday last year and I think Takeaway started on a Monday. (I'm particularly sensitive to the idea that it started on April 26 because that's my b'day and that would be just too cruel.)
Ira Glass was on with Colbert yesterday and they talked (among other things) about the "competition" between PRI and NPR -- It hadn't occured to me quite as forcefully that the real purpose of Takeaway was to lure customers from NPR's Morning Edition. I'M GUESSING, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn that an evening news show is in the works to compete with ATC.
It seems more and more unlikely that the Takeaway will be tinkered with and tinkered with until they get something that people can listen to without throwing up. They will then offer it to cash-strapped stations at cut-rate prices.
What I want more than anything is to be able to listen to the computer and have the sound throughout the apartment rather than only in the room which houses the computer.

Apr. 23 2009 09:27 AM

so right, this show is a complete abortion. It will go away sooner or later.

Apr. 22 2009 01:09 PM

I think I'm going to be too busy to do any picketing. And as someone said, perhaps extra publicity would be a bad thing -- besides at WNYC they will be inaugurating the new glass studio in a few days. Wonder if The Takeaway will be broadcasting from that? Rancho, it is almost hard to remember the complete and utter horrible-ness of the first weeks of this programs. Bike horns honking, random loud noises, Hock's guitar. Deliberately dumbed down and deliberately annoying ear-crap. A flawed concept if there ever was one. It isn't that much better now.

Apr. 21 2009 03:26 PM
rancho deluxe

the 1 year anniversary is the same date as the first entry in this column april 26th. It seems like this mess has been going on for 10 years...although i despise what hockenberry has created i have to say that a quick listen this morning it sounded much more like morning edition, no inane side kick banter... i still hate the show for the waste of a year, but it does demonstrate that some major tinkering could almost make the take away listenable....

Apr. 21 2009 12:29 PM

When is one year anniversary? I thought it was April 1 but April Fool's day would be too good to be true. I've been waking early switching from FM to AM and back again. I did notice that Hockenberry was gone for a while -- looking for another job? One can only hope...
I note that Takeaway is only one instance of dumbing down of WNYC -- The woman who does local news afternoons/early evenings (Amy something?) is folksy and jolly and jokey -- much like the friendly news of the 1970s. WNYC now has little understanding of/respect for public radio audience. Lopate is now interviewing Marie Osmond and doing other pop culture stuff. Eventually I expect (hope) that we'll be able to get NPR programs directly from NPR. I now like to run NPR program stream.
Perhaps we should have allowed Rudy to sell the stations to the highest bidder - A new public station would have started up much like the old one -- intelligent and literate. I dispair...

Apr. 15 2009 08:10 AM
Steve G

Had to wake up early this morning. Tried once again to give this program a try. It's hopeless.

On to WQXR, waiting for Morning Edition to start at 7.

(and no, I really don't want to hear what 'ordinary folk' would write on their income tax form. )

The Takeaway is news and entertainment for junior high kids. Dump this mess.

Apr. 15 2009 06:52 AM
r. d.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO TAKE THIS SHOW OFF THE AIR?? I've never been so disappointed in Public Radio. They're disrespecting their listeners.

Apr. 12 2009 11:13 AM
Kathy Lambert

A couple of months ago we made a really great change, we got a Sangean clock radio. Before it, we listened exclusively to Cape & Islands NPR because it was the only thing we could get in. This thing will drag in stations from all over the place, including WBUR that still runs Morning Edition!

Our mornings are definitely changed for the better!

Apr. 10 2009 03:57 PM

Even the website is kind of messy, too.

Apr. 10 2009 02:14 AM

why are they expanding air time for femi okey? its hard enough to listen to her try and present the news.

Apr. 08 2009 04:47 PM
Special Monkey

Does Brian Lehrer _really_ like The Takeaway, or does he just say so because Laura Walker told him to?

Apr. 07 2009 10:04 PM
Special Monkey

What is wrong with WNYC? What is wrong with Liberty Mutual? What is wrong with PRI? What is wrong with the Knight Foundation? Are they crazy? Stupid? Demented? Why is Laura Walker still heading WNYC? Someone, please give me some answers. Blarg!~

Apr. 07 2009 08:41 PM

You made one erroneous statement Waldo. I'm the parent of someone on the show and I hate it.

Apr. 07 2009 01:18 PM
rancho deluxe

1 year anniversary coming up, seems like 10 years, what can be done? i will call wnyc listener services a few more times, rant here, but when will this stinking pile of manure be tossed in the compost bin?

Apr. 07 2009 11:24 AM

Well, I've been away for 2 weeks and the Takeaway is still on the air. It's somebody's baby and it ain't going no place. I've listened to Don Imus a couple of times when I've been up early and I'm not kidding when I tell you that Imus is better than this mess. 30 Rock should have a show about a TV show based on the Takeaway -- A "news" show and it's awful, almmost everybody hates it (except the mothers of the people on the show), but the powers-that-be won't take it off the air. I note that Liberty Mutual is still funding -- They have "The Responsibility Project." Now, if anything comes close to defining irresponsibility, it's the Takeaway.

Apr. 07 2009 06:48 AM

the take away still sucks, with the sun coming up earlier i now often listen to 15 minutes of crap before Morning Edition at 7am. It gives me a great appreciation for Morning Edition.

Apr. 03 2009 06:14 PM

I agree with Sam. News and Notes was great reporting, and a bit of a counter balance to the very anglo centric NPR norm.

Mar. 30 2009 08:12 AM
Josh Breeden

thanks Di, it got me wondering how to take it down, any publicity will keep the mess on the air. It's hard to believe that as bad as it was to begin with that it has deteriorated over the year, how bad can it get? It's like watching a train wreck.

Mar. 25 2009 02:37 PM
Carol Hwang

Di said it perfectly.

Mar. 24 2009 05:42 PM

The inanity and ineptitude of this ghastly program have been well described by others. I want M.E. to wake up to, not this pathetic blather. And would someone please tell the newsreader with the British accent (Femme?) that "twenty minutes to the hour" is a complete statement of the time. Adding the words "THE TOP OF" to "the hour" is a waste of breath and a meaningless attempt at trendiness ... rather like the entire rotten mistaken EXPENSIVE idea of The Takeaway. I have wrestled with the decision to stop sending money to WNYC after all these years, but THEY have failed ME. I can't believe that the people whose judgment I trusted have allowed this abomination to pollute the airwaves for so long. If I wanted to hear inane giggling, failed attempts at humor and interviews so inept they make me blush with shame I could listen to those commercial radio "morning shows". This "news show" needs to be put down TAKE THE NASTY THING AWAY.

Mar. 24 2009 10:05 AM

I just listened to the last episode of News and Notes and thought how unfair and sad it was that the show ended. On the last shows, Tony Cox talked about how well the staff got along. I could only think about how I heard Femi Oke snipe at Farai and Daljeet. It always sounds so unprofessional. Even if she "only joking" it's still cheesy. If this show is going to remain on the air and I have to listen to it can you at least pretend to get along for the audience's sake? There's enough #@$% in the world without having to listen to it on the radio.

Mar. 20 2009 11:06 PM

I just saw the big colorful advertisement for this show on Channel 13. There is not much hope that WNYC is going to "do the right thing" here. - - - - - - And I have been listening to Ira Flatow's Science Fridays on podcast. He is so wrong for that show, he has the enthusiasm but no knowledge and not enough judgement. I was thinking that if you swapped Ira Flatow to The Takeaway and Hockenberry to Science Fridays, both shows would probably improve. Except that the best moments in Science Fridays are when Flatow shuts up and lets the guest talk, Hock would never do that.

Mar. 18 2009 09:45 PM

yes the show really sucks, when will they get the message that no one likes the program? I feel bad for WNYC

Mar. 16 2009 06:43 PM

i've started getting up earlier just to avoid listening to this awful show.
WNYC should to do the right thing and remove TT

Mar. 16 2009 05:12 PM

Waldo -- my inference was that the old Producer quit. Would you want to work with those people? Would you like to be held responsible for making them behave? I think it's hard to stay on at an impossible job no matter how much it pays.

Mar. 08 2009 02:48 PM

(Continued from previous post)

You probably don't have time (or stomache) to read it all, but at least scroll down through it. INCREDIBLE.

I've been betting that the show is going off, but it's looking like the tripe is going to hang around for at least another year.

Note: I had to break this into 2 posts because they allow 1000 characters and I had 1009.

Mar. 08 2009 07:01 AM

So I looked at the job listing for the Executive Producer -- I infer that the former Exec Producer got canned -- and rightly so.

The job description is a barrel of laughs. For example:
"The Takeaway is a new multi-platform morning drive news program that is creating a new model for morning news and public broadcasting in the 21st century. The show is rooted in the values public radio is best known for: highly credible journalism, depth and context, but breaks out from the medium's conventionally packaged sound."

The job requirements are hysterical -- the only thing the guy/gay does not have to do is walk on water and fly without a plane.

Here's the listing, provided by Sam:

(To be continued)

Mar. 08 2009 06:59 AM

Sam, no, it has only been on WNYC-FM from 6 to 7 AM. They threatened to add an extra hour but it hasn't happened. SO FAR.

Mar. 04 2009 09:52 PM

Did WNYC recently remove an hour of this show just before the pledge drive? I could be mistaken, but I thought it was on the FM station for two hours, then repeated for two hours on AM. Now it's only on FM for one hour.

Mar. 04 2009 08:28 PM
hockey mom

have a look at the other entries on the most commented over the last 7 days list, it is entirely made up, all but one of the listings have no comments at all over the last 7 days, interesting

Mar. 04 2009 05:53 PM

the take away is hockenberry's monster. It has his smug, inane imprint. It is not possible to listen to him for mare than 60 seconds. Another personality would make all the difference, it would also be a good time to loose femi okie, udoji, the sound effects, and 'your listening to the take away' reminders every 5 minutes. I guess not much left to salvage......

Mar. 04 2009 05:43 PM
rancho deluxe

get rid of hock and udoji then see what happens.

Mar. 04 2009 05:34 PM
r. d.

I refuse to donate a dime to WNYC until this show is off the air. Not one dime!

Mar. 04 2009 12:14 PM

I prefer all of the guest hosts to adora; she and hockenberry together are toxic.

Mar. 04 2009 09:02 AM

I like Farai Chideya. She's great. I was sorry to see News and Notes get the ax. That's a great show and represents a badly needed perspective. Especially now. Short-sighted of NPR to cancel it.

Mar. 03 2009 07:32 PM
hock radio

caught the tail end of a discussion about multitasking and interrupting people. are they really that self-unaware or just trying to justify garden variety rudeness by calling it multitasking. TT should be taken off FM and AM, and be made available solely on Twitter. It's PRI for the ADD.

Mar. 03 2009 09:37 AM

Sam found the Exec Producer job listing. On the one hand it proves they are trying to keep this stupid show on the air. On the other hand it reveals the difficulty in taking responsibility for running this show. A particularly interesting note in the job description is that the producer should "manage the hosts". Who would like the job of managing Hockenberry? Here is the listing -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Mar. 02 2009 07:46 PM
walter gropius

something is going on to try to save the take away. everyone at WNYC knows the program stinks, but they are trying to salvage their big investment. For god's sake WNYC dont waste your time, please pull the plug on this huge mistake asap.

Mar. 02 2009 04:57 PM
gartner quadrants

Interesting article on TT homepage, "Some print media to start charging for content". Maybe pri/wnyc should try this for the Takeaway and see if can be self supporting.

do i hear crickets?

Mar. 02 2009 10:38 AM

Fixed -no - removed -yes. I have been lobbying the station to remove this annoying commentary show. The show is flip and chatty, but I really dislike the commentary from John Hockenberry which is often full of slightly incorrect statements.

Mar. 02 2009 09:34 AM

any program can be 'fixed', the basic problem with the take away is the host,hockenberry's personality can not carry beyond his specialty: the 2 minute feature story.Extending his ironic/idiotic banter is toxic.the premise of creating a 'drive time' program for public radio is sad, personality driven faux news is idiotic.

Mar. 01 2009 11:36 AM

It's actually on the WNYC website:

Feb. 27 2009 11:00 PM

This show could be fixed. Its problems could be remedied. Strip away the inanities that waste time. Even the "headline" segments suffer from this. Snark is no substitute for analysis. Fake banter is another time-waster. The segments are tedious, too. There is no original reporting on the show--merely an interrogation of a (real) BBC journalist or a NYT reporter. That makes the show a dull because there's no variety and it's not made up by silly banter. It's obvious they want to do something different with the news, but they haven't hit on the formula. Experiment with the format! Have longer segments, or shows where you do is examine one topic. Have someone on the air who knows a about the topic instead of just reading lame copy (listens can tell, you know). A few changes could make a big difference.

Feb. 27 2009 10:59 PM
rancho deluxe

for me it was not the economy but the lack of balls on WNYC's part in letting such a clearly offensive program to continue. the take away is beyond any WNYC programming that i just dont like, it is so awful it questions the sanity and future direction of WNYC. I hate to not support the other great programming, but it is the strongest way to send a message to the station. When the take away goes away i will contribute.

Feb. 27 2009 02:37 PM

Hi Sam --

I went to and couldn't find that listing. I did find an NPR job listed for a Health producer. I hope that was a mistake because hiring a new exec producer would probably mean that the show is going to have another year. Do you still see it listed? How would I search to find it?

-- --

Notice how on Monday they were talking enthusiastically about getting enough pledges for the day in the morning, and having the afternoon and evening programs pledge free? But it evidently didn't work out, because there were afternoon and evening pledge drive spots all week. The economy?

Feb. 27 2009 10:00 AM

Worthwhile live radio requires hosts who dare to think on their feet, who will not do a segment on diversity so robotically as to ignore the benefits/detriments complexity of diversity actually manifesting itself live on air.

Consider how much more lively and informative this morning’s program could have been if the hosts had asked this new judge straight out why she sounded like she was reading from a prepared text rather than speaking extemporaneously, and how litigants can expect her to handle the complexities of the law when she cannot handle the simple rules of English grammar?

Feb. 27 2009 09:15 AM

This morning’s segment on judicial diversity was appalling both for the grammatical ignorance of the newly appointed judge and for the continuing inability of the Takeaway hosts to think in the moment outside scripted talking points.

The new judge demonstrated a frightening ignorance of basic English. In just a few sentences she repeatedly said ‘criterion’ for ‘criteria’ and made the grating error of ‘more beyond’ rather than ‘more than’. How can the public expect a judge to follow and apply complexities of law when she is incapable of following and applying elementary rules of language?

That was the crucial question raised by this new judge’s shocking incompetence, but The Takeaway hosts failed to ask it, which demonstrated yet again the major problem with The Takeaway itself, namely, that the hosts lack the wit and courage to react to the moment and see outside the box.

The result is that Takeaway listeners get canned radio, it may be live but it is not alive.

Feb. 27 2009 09:12 AM

What happened to The Takeaway's executive producer? I see that job advertised on

Feb. 27 2009 12:15 AM
Steve G

I noticed the same thing during the Pledge-a-thon. Most of the other programs are listed but nary a mention of The Takeaway.

They probably don't want to alienate folks who are on the edge of donating money.

If they know this already, why do they keep shoveling money into this lousy show. If I want to hear an overbearing host interrupt and cut off his guests, I can watch Charlie Rose.

Feb. 26 2009 01:44 PM

very creepy, the take away is
self promoting

Feb. 26 2009 01:10 PM

so sick of the take away: inane banter leading to moronic requests for listener involvement,its pathetic. the disappointment, frustration and anger at these inept fools keeps building, i would like to do something but even negative publicity for this show may keep it on the air longer.......

Feb. 25 2009 03:31 PM

Well, they mention the Takeaway when they have pledge drive moments DURING the Takeaway. It was pretty awful today, Hock was soliciting six word mottos to get us through rough times. Here is one.



Feb. 23 2009 10:58 AM

I've been noticing that The Takeaway hasn't been mentioned at all during the pledge drive (at least not while I've been listening). I noticed that at one point the pitch-person was talking about all the great programming that WNYC offers: Radio Lab, On the Medic, etc., etc., etc. But not a mention of Takeaway.
Now, Satellite Sisters was not a non-profit endeavor. It was listed in the tax papers as a wholly owned profit making subsidiary. That's how SS went to ABC when the funding dried up at WNYC. I wonder how Takeaway is set up. It really seems like an appropriate program for commercial radio. Don Imus is pretty old and they'll need a replacement soon. Hockenberry would be just the guy.

Feb. 22 2009 11:33 AM

So most of the people who hate the Takeaway aren't intelligent enough to appreciate it? Didn't hear Juan Enriquez when he was on because I was streaming NPR on line during that broadcast. You sound as if you had something to do with the creation of the show. If so, you should be strong enough to admit your mistake and go on with your life. Really, the Takeaway might not be as bad as Satellite Sisters.

Feb. 22 2009 11:28 AM

I used to adore John Hockenberry until this show was created! From hearing him rudely and aggressively badger guests like Maurice Hinchey (a smart and decent guy) to his commenting on what song his sister loves (who cares?) to Femi Oke's gaffes (she is charming, but this is not the right venue for her), I just can't take it any more.
Its strained, artificial banter just isn't working. It follows instead of leads, lowers instead of improves the quality of talk radio. Please stop.

Feb. 21 2009 10:08 AM
walter gropius

hockenberrry and his sidekicks have wasted almost a year of precious air time, WNYC refuses to let this huge mistake go. something must be done.

Feb. 20 2009 01:19 PM
Jawin Talkenbury

Hard hitting stories like "What should we ask Oscar winners? (If you had to be paid in candy, what candy would that be?) are the reason that The Takeaway stands head and shoulders above the rest of those other supposed "news" shows. And FYI, the only acceptable answer is "Red Swedish Fish".

Feb. 20 2009 10:39 AM
Randi L

Is "Takeaway Fan" actually the alias of John Hockenberry?

Feb. 20 2009 09:24 AM
someone who can't take it

can you imagine these clowns doing this program a year from now? what a waste of air time. Please sooner rather than later, pull the plug on hockenberry.

Feb. 19 2009 01:49 PM

You said that you read the postings from the beginning...did you listen to the program from the beginning?
It is because of the input from WNYC listeners that the show has improved...however, there is still room for further improvement.
Is it too much to ask the experienced journalists that produce this show, to use their vast expertise and not produce a show that sounds like a (poor) college radio program?

Feb. 18 2009 05:00 PM

please do normal news! i can't stand waking up to this show's snarky tone and the constant interruption of it's guests. the hosts are way to cool for anyone's good - maybe comedy central?

Feb. 18 2009 04:55 PM

I am sure you meant...Bob Edwards...

Feb. 18 2009 04:54 PM
home sick today

home sick today, so i slept in and had the misfortune of listening to this drivel again. maybe it's the fact that i only listen when i am sick that clouds my view, but the lack of quality has not changed. this morning, jh couldn't get enough of himself yucking it up about burris "in flames", and he and his udoji-clone continued to interrupt, cut off, and make generally inane noises (wow!) during the potentially serious segment on automakers, and the complete waste of time on facebook. still, it's an incentive for me to get well.

Feb. 18 2009 02:07 PM

when will the take away go away? soon i hope. the hosts are insufferable, the banter inane, a complete embarrassment for listeners and WNYC.

Feb. 18 2009 10:56 AM

I agree that too much is made about the Stern reference...and I'm glad critical listeners appreciate the journalists interviewed on the show. I just think the skill of the interviewing deserves a little appreciation too. Pulling the most interesting revelations and insights out of an interview subject is a real talent and JH is good at it. It would be a rare guest who could tell a compelling story and/or offer insight in a few minutes without any crafted guidance and good, pointed questioning. And lots of those interviewees sound like they really enjoy the more relaxed style and occasional injection of humor. Plus the hosts generally seem to accept some ribbing when someone thinks they're off the mark. Finally, no worries about the mixup on Bob Edwards. I believe John Edwards is the guy who speaks to the dead...a wholly different skill altogether! :)

Feb. 18 2009 09:48 AM

It was John Hockenberry who made the reference to Howard Stern. The article is still up on the New York Magazine web site:

J.H.: ...Howard Stern is a model here

And just to help you understand JH's point, the show resembles the Howard Stern show in that there is a dialog and commentary between the hosts with lots of quick breaks and interruptions. It conveys the news through a discussion with humorous components and sound effects. He was mostly talking about the concept of a sidekick. I don’t listen to either show, but I doubt that JH meant much beyond that. I wouldn’t take it too literally.

If you want to attack the people criticizing the show, you may want to read them more carefully. Many have expressed respect for the news people and organizations involved. It's what they're doing that degrades the quality of NYC programming, not who they are.

That said, I’m grateful that you didn't point out my misspelling of the word drivel, my calling Bob Edward "John Edwards," or my typo.

Feb. 17 2009 03:22 PM
rancho deluxe

the take away has been ignored by WNYC listeners, and staff. When will it just go away? I check in to see if it is still on the air every so often when i wake up early. it hasnt changed, still non stop snark and self promotion. what kind of program has to tell you what you are listening to every 5 minutes? The hosts are unbearable. I used to think Hockenberrry was interesting but that was for very short features. For one hour or two he is insufferable, Udoji is even worse. Femi Okie? just incredible, how anyone could listen to this crap for an hour amazes me.

Feb. 17 2009 02:45 PM
T the T

Once again, while the critics of TT take aim at the show and its many shortcomings, the supporters take potshots at the critics: "Many of you commenters seem frightened of any change to your routine", "To conflate that show with the Takeaway demonstrates a serious lack of clarity and intelligence". Oh, well.

Feb. 17 2009 12:20 PM

Wow. I checked this page out way back when the show started. I'm amazed by this endless vitriol. How can anyone call this show shallow? I hear NY Times and BBC reporters, not to mention journalists from the WSJ and Financial Times, etc who usually offer a little something extra beyond their already excellent in-depth reporting in print. Did anyone hear Juan Enriquez this morning? That interview was in-depth, insightful, and intellectual. So was the interview with the reporter from the Washington newspaper about bi-partisanship. Have any of you actually ever heard Howard Stern? To conflate that show with the Takeaway demonstrates a serious lack of clarity and intelligence. Relevant and worthy news can be presented in a lively way without being drivel. Morning Edition is still on the air. All 4 hours of it. I'm just amazed that variety is so hated. If ME had been completely replaced, I could understand the outcry. But this show seems like a worthy addition to the public radio landscape.

Feb. 17 2009 09:59 AM

Prattle and beeping--I don't need drival in the morning. I guess it's successful if the goal was to evoke Howard Stern as I read in an earlier post because I had actually complained to NPR, suggesting they should just go all the way and hire him. It's true to ATC repeats (I thought NPR fired John Edwards to switch to more live programming???), but I'd rather hear the same good story twice than all this annoying noise. Don't debase WNYC--stick to intelligent news and talk. If you want a new show, why not take a story and go into more depth, maybe a theme per day or hour, like This American Life, but focused on a specific issue in the news. Teach me something. Don't give me a watered down mealy porridge off the top of the pot. Dig deep and give me something more please.

Feb. 16 2009 06:54 PM
hockey mom

yes, because it becomes more like morning edition.

Feb. 13 2009 11:16 AM

I think this format could work without pretentious egotistical jerks as the hosts. Whenever Hockenberry or Udoji are out for some reason, the show almost works.


Feb. 12 2009 07:54 PM

JH has publicly stated that he intended to copy the Howard Stern style, so to say that it is "too Howard Stern" is just confirming the goal of JH. The discussion on the TakeAway is not on an elevated level, not when the host uses his (inaudible) audio clips of his children and ignores the guest (who one can only presume was invited to participate in the dialogue). Levity must be judiciously applied. It is "a bad thing" when the jokes are about the person / sad situation that was just being discussed. That is not what I expect from a public radio news program.

Feb. 12 2009 05:32 PM
Takeaway Fan

Sure, the format -- a series of guests in conversations -- lends itself to some interrupting, but I don’t see it as a problem or even notice it. They have brought on so many memorable guests and I think the back and forthness is what makes the interviews enlightening. Like it or not, there is something that people enjoy about radio talk in the morning. But when it happens on public radio, some people immediately feel as if it’s debasing or too “Howard Stern,” even though the discussion is at an elevated level. The show is not supposed to be simply "news coverage." And some levity is not a bad thing.

Feb. 12 2009 05:23 PM

Yes, but let the interesting guests finish their thoughts...or even begin their thoughts before interrupting them and cutting them off mid-sentence. Or seeming to ask a question and then interrupting the guest to play a nearly inaudible audio tape of your children...that is not acceptable news coverage.

Feb. 12 2009 05:05 PM
Takeway Fan

Many of you commenters seem frightened of any change to your routine. I think the show offers a great alternative to the kind of restrained, sometimes grave tone of npr. I like Morning Edition, but switching registers and having some lively chatter with interesting guests is worth trying on public radio. And frankly, despite all your resistance to change, I think it works!

Feb. 12 2009 04:54 PM

What's so awful? How about not interrupting someone just as he/she starts to answer the question you just asked...or stop the inappropriate banter after serious topics have just been discussed, or... do I need to continue, just read the comments above. At least 90 percent are thoughtful comments on how to improve this experimental show. And, as a result, several improvements have been made. This show should be a podcast or web-only program...or it should be on sometime in the afternoon.

Feb. 12 2009 04:44 PM
Takeaway Fan

I'm horrified by the nasty comments about the show and the hosts. I think both Adaora and John are a welcome addition to wnyc, and to morning radio in general -- they mix intelligent discussions with lively banter -- what is so awful? I'm disappointed that Adaora is off the air for a while; her "take" is always honest and thoughtful, and she has a terrific laugh. I would miss this show terribly if we lost it.

Feb. 12 2009 04:05 PM

Last week, John, Adaora and Femi were all "off the air" and the show was almost bearable. From the little I heard, it seemed that the replacement hosts allowed the guests to finish their thoughts, they didn't have so much inane chatter and the news was presented in a straightforward manner...a much needed improvement. Perhaps the regular hosts can learn something?
Also, I have noticed that "The TakeAway" is getting "talked-up" a lot by the other WNYC programs. Forget it WNYC, that is not going to change our minds, improve the show or take it away.

Feb. 12 2009 03:43 PM
rancho deluxe

Frank et al
count me in for an anniversary picket, i'm sure at least 12 people will show up, i will bring at least 8.

Feb. 12 2009 11:31 AM

They omitted the September minutes. And in scanning through this file I noticed that a moderator deleted Waldo's adjective a few messages back, about Laura's friend at the meeting he attended. So does that give extra significance to the fact that my hypothesis that Mark Jeffries was John Hockenberry was NOT deleted? Just wondering. BTW I might be good for a picket on April 26 if necessary. If we know we have a dozen people or more then perhaps someone should alert the media (not the NY Times, the BBC, or WNYC!). F

Feb. 10 2009 06:59 PM

They finally posted some Board Meeting minutes. I was interested that the May minutes had some very lukewarm comments by board members about the show. The November minutes -- sound like a boring meeting. Aren't there some meetings left out?? Check here


Feb. 10 2009 06:47 PM

Thanks, Waldo

"The FM: It will become more reliably classical"

"perhaps Spalding Gray describing a favorite haunt, says Walker."

"The FM and the AM will continue to simulcast Morning Edition and All Things Considered, which according to management are audience and underwriting successes"

My, what we've lost...

Feb. 10 2009 05:23 PM
rancho deluxe

sunday april 26th is the one year anniversary of the TA, i suggest an 11am pre-bruch picket of WNYC if the show is still on the air.

Feb. 10 2009 03:40 PM
former hockey mom

udoji will not return. This is hockenberry's mess. Nothing will right this sinking ship, it is interesting to see how they will scurry around before it sinks below the waves. If they try in desperation to foul the post 7am FM waves with this excrement there will indeed be unrest.

despite the majority of excellent programming i will continue to withhold support of WNYC until TA is gone.


Feb. 10 2009 03:33 PM

A blast from the past:

Feb. 10 2009 11:14 AM

FrankD: I hope you're right that WNYC isn't planning 2 hours on FM, but it's really surprising how inconvenient it is to keep switching stations on those occasions when I get up at 6 and turning off the radio at 8am on the one radio in my apt. that's turned to AM (only radio which can get AM).

There was a group organized (2002?)to protest the cancellation of daytime classical music - the group disbanded when it became more important to protest the Iraq War. Those folks had good confidential contacts inside WNYC and I wonder if any of them are around now. I went to one board meeting and talked to some [adjective deleted] guy from WNYC who seemed to be very "in" with Mrs. Walker. It was a complete waste of time.

Feb. 10 2009 11:08 AM

Steve G. re: picketing. I am reasonably sure that would have happened if they had followed through on the plan to have TWO hours of the TA on FM every morning. And if they ever try it, I think that street corner may become a busier place. With the status quo, though, I don't think it is likely.


Feb. 08 2009 10:51 PM

Neddy, if you are serious, just use Google Image Search and type in Femi Oke. You might also see her picture if you typed in Speech Impediment. I think she may be the worst feature of the TA, it is hard to hear her murdering the language when you are actually curious about the news in the headlines.


Feb. 07 2009 04:01 PM

is there a photo of the cute sounding english newscaster.

she should get five times more airtime, particularly with adoura on mat leave.

please email me her photo

Feb. 07 2009 12:44 PM
Steve G

Has anyone picketed WNYC's spiffy new headquarters to get this awful program off the air?

Feb. 07 2009 07:35 AM

Hockenberry was on the Lehrer show this morning - I posted a comment (nicely) that he had lost his credibility by his association with the Takeaway. I said I was on my way to WQXR. The comment was, of course, pulled. They're very touchy.

Feb. 06 2009 05:43 PM
rancho deluxe

humm.... Udogi is incredibly hard to listen to, thanks to Gene for a perfect analysis, i would add the TA is worse than waterboarding.

Feb. 06 2009 03:10 PM

Just as I switched onto WNYC at the very end of today's show, I heard Udogi announce that she was taking 2 months off for maternity leave. Although her absence can't redeem this travesty, it will at least improve it, since, IMO, she is the weakest link. Hockenberry wished her good luck in a tone of voice which sounded more like "don't let the door hit you on your way out".

Feb. 06 2009 10:22 AM

I wouldn't schedule a plug-pulling party just yet. The TA is now funding promotional spots on Channel 13, pushing their connection with the NY Timnes and BBC World Service. Looks like they still believe their own press releases.

Feb. 05 2009 12:05 PM

Who listens to this? Who can take it?

I first noticed when my alarm went off, as usual set to WNYC, and I was soon going, "Why is this woman shouting at me?" I soon realized that she wasn't shouting, really, but something in her voice/attitude _sounds_ that way.

In fact, the whole show is shouting, as if sheer noise level and self-congratulation will save it.

If I had to pick just one descriptor for "The Takeaway," I'd say:


Feb. 04 2009 01:08 PM

Hey Rancho, that's an idea. I would sponsor some dead air if it replaced the Takeaway.

Feb. 04 2009 10:49 AM

Frank, dead air would be better than the take away. RD

Feb. 04 2009 10:45 AM

Hope you are right rancho. What worries me is that it might be cheaper to pay these clowns than to "rent" Morning Edition... FD

Feb. 04 2009 12:10 AM
rancho deluxe

The Take away will be gone soon. Inside info has it that there is absolutely no support for it at WNYC, in fact it is considered a huge joke. No one expected it to such a complete failure.

Feb. 03 2009 10:47 AM
r. d.

I was actually glad when I heard there were going to be budget cuts, HOPING that The TakeAway would be taken away. It's so awful.
And now, looking at these comments, I wonder what "Public Radio" even means. Do they listen to the public? Do they care?
I think this show is a slap in the face to all who have written in (and I know many friends who have emailed directly). They don't care what we want.

Feb. 02 2009 11:16 AM

This program is absolutely the worst. A complete and utter failure for WNYC. Who will take charge and pull the plug?

Jan. 29 2009 05:39 PM

There's an ad for PRI on the Takeaway website -- It's possible to give directly to PRI (which I won't since they distribute this abomination of a program) but I wish it were possible to contribute directly to NPR -- Morning Edition, ATC, Wait, Wait...
NPR does good work.

Jan. 29 2009 01:41 PM
hock radio

hockenberry has become an annoying joke. his compulsion to be snarky is like a kid mugging to get attention. it would be interesting (although unlikely) to get a look at wnyc contribution reports and see how this deadweight has dragged them down.

Jan. 29 2009 11:04 AM
Phil Berent

I and many others are insulted by this program and have stopped contributing to WNYC as a result. If you are wondering why contrubutions are down ...THE TAKEAWAY is the reason (of course im sure the economy hasn't helped).....
Take of this horrible show, stop insulting your listeners with this garbage and your complete lack of response to the universal hatred of this drivel, and I for one and I am sure many others will once again become contributors..

Jan. 29 2009 08:08 AM
rancho deluxe

things may get ugly if this program stays on the air past their April 1 year anniversary.This program is an inane, insipid, insidious snide steaming pile.

I never thought i would listen to a program that would make the 'satellite sisters' sound thoughtful.

Jan. 27 2009 11:08 AM

I tried to listen again this morning. Still dreadful Why is this program wasting time on "what historic figure does the governor of Illinois remind us of?" Wake up WNYC! There are important stories to cover. I want NEWS in the morning. Not fluff and silliness.

Jan. 26 2009 11:29 PM

Listened for a bit this morning, who said this program was improving? What a waste, worst radio program ever, please take this frankenstein monster off of life support.

Jan. 26 2009 06:07 PM
auger of the mind

the inauguration day ordeal (i mean show):

chatter chatter inane chatter race chatter inane chatter race chatter race inane chatter inane chatter race chatter chatter chatter inane chatter race

more wasted airtime.

Jan. 20 2009 02:18 PM

This show is HORRIBLE. Make it stop!

Jan. 19 2009 06:27 PM

In a word, "SMARMY."

Even when they have good topics and interesting guests you can't listen to this show without coming away feeling dirty, soiled, "smarmed."

Evidently this is what Laura Walker enjoys.


Jan. 15 2009 10:21 AM
same as it ever was

The rudeness and fluff continue. When will this failed experiment end?

Jan. 13 2009 04:50 PM
wishful thinker

"i cant imagine that this unholy crap could continue for more than a year."

Been saying that for 8 years of the bush administration *sigh*. can't imagine that laura walker's ego is any less gigantic than w's. not holding my breath (but am holding my contributions).

Jan. 08 2009 01:50 PM

i cant imagine that this unholy crap could continue for more than a year.

Jan. 07 2009 02:03 PM

Hey former hockey mom, do you have some good news for us, or are you just hoping/expecting that this production will be pulled after one year is up?

Hope so - then I can restore my morning radio to FM, _and_ start contributing to WNYC again.

Jan. 07 2009 12:09 PM
former hockey mom

woke up early only to find the 'Take Away' still on the air and as awful as ever, 120 days until they shut it down, cant come too soon.

Jan. 06 2009 11:08 AM
Steve G

Here's a weekend quiz.

How many people think that for Monday's Takeaway, Hockenberry and Udogi will 'spice up' Femi Okie's Gaza reports with whistling sounds and going 'Boom!' in the background?


One of the problems with foundation-funded radio is that you can lock yourself in the studio and ignore the public. At least in commercial radio, the refusal of sponsors to buy ads can get a show canned.

The Takeaway should be retitled the 'The Gone-Awry'....and Go Away.

Jan. 04 2009 01:18 PM
blue screen of death

@ steve g - the takeaway is more like Microsoft Bob - dumbed down, unnecessary, and a waste of money. although, the project was at one time managed by melissa french (now mrs. bill gates), so i guess having connections (like laura walker) always helps bad projects going longer than they should.

Dec. 29 2008 01:16 PM

So this morning WNYC is having a one day pledge drive - the nice lady said I should send money. So I was thinking about it when she said I should remember the news that WNYC had given me all year long. That made me think of the Takeaway. I'm not going to send any money to keep Takeaway on life support. No sir. I'll take (away) that money and buy myself "some really good European chocolates." Thanks for the suggestion WNYC. I'll take (away) some chocolates over the Takeaway any day of the year. <>

Dec. 29 2008 09:33 AM
Steve G

Tried it again this morning.

Nope, The takeaway as greasy as the porcupine meat the food guy was talking about during the 'Christmas foo' giggle-fest.

I heard credits of funding from Bill Gates. The Takeaway sort of sounds like the Microsoft Vista of radio programming.... flashy, crude and barely workable.

Get rid of this show.

Dec. 25 2008 07:03 AM

That is just terrible. Of course Ketzel Levine is NPR and The Takeaway is PRI, so there is no real connection. But that is still terrible...


Dec. 23 2008 06:28 PM
cup of dirt

what's wrong with public radio? ketzel levine gets laid off while the takeaway continues to pollute the airwaves and internet. sad.

Dec. 23 2008 11:32 AM
rancho deluxe

The idea that the Take Away will improve to the point of listenability is laughable. the Hockenberry/ Udogi combination is painful and sad, add Femi Okie and you begin to question the sanity of the producers. As the Take Away drags on it is obvious that this overfunded mess will have to continue for at least a year, 4 more months of wasted air time.

Dec. 16 2008 06:14 PM

I'm surprised to see people so upset about Radio Lab. It is one of my favorite things on Public Radio, and I wish it were on more often. Then again I am a scientist and that is what I am responding to, the science content of the show. The beeps and boops are annoying, but I hardly notice them in the context of what they are saying. Having similar beeps and boops on The Takeaway combines with the egotistical arrogant personalities of the hosts to push it over the edge of unlistenability. F

Dec. 12 2008 03:00 PM

To Publicradiogeek, et al:
I was able to listen to Takeaway for almost 15 minutes yesterday (I get up at 5:45am on Thursdays), so perhaps you're right that the program's improved. However, I can't believe it was ever any worse than what I heard yesterday before I switched to silence (couldn't get AM at all).
Anyway, the show's not going anywhere unless it loses funding. Without funding it will be cut loose without a fare-thee-well.
WNYC wants to put on as much locally produced stuff as possible to avoid sending bucks to NPR, hence Radio Lab and Takeaway. It seems to me (just an impression) that more and more time during Morning Edition and All Things Considered is being taken up with locally produced "news" and this causes me to wonder what great (at least more interesting) stuff I'm missing.
I think we're not very far away from a system which will allow listening via internet without having a computer in every room. That will free us from WNYC.

Dec. 12 2008 09:48 AM
space monkey

i had to tune into on point via the internets. i'm not listening to radiolab!

Dec. 11 2008 08:50 PM
space monkey

i know this is to post about how badly the takeaway sucks, but why in god's name is "radio lab" in on point's place tonight on AM? i might listen to radiolab on a weekend, but WTF?

Dec. 11 2008 08:45 PM
former hockey mom

'The Take Away' can not be 'improved',what is truley amazing about the program is that it is awful in every way imaginable. If you were going to create the worst radio program on earth from scratch it would be hard to beat 'The Take Away'.

Dec. 11 2008 02:58 PM
Petition to take away The Take Away
PRI and WNYC's "The Takeaway" does a disservice to listeners.

This petition asks that PRI and WNYC either dramatically improve the quality of this news program or remove it from the WNYC's schedule.

In April 2008 the program began running for an hour on each of WNYC's AM and FM channels, since then it has grown to two hours on AM. It has replaced two well-regarded news programs, Morning Edition on FM and BBC World Service on AM. The program describes itself as (
"the new national morning news program that delivers the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. Hosts John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji, along with the BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston, invite listeners every morning to learn more and be part of the American conversation on-air and online at"

Dec. 10 2008 11:21 PM
Julie M.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take away The Takeway so that I don't have to listen to Morning Edition on the scratchy AM station anymore.

The Takeaway epitomizes everything that I hate about other radio stations and morning shock jocks...interviewers talking over their interviewees, leading questions that I presume are supposed to be provocative and loud, annoying sound effects.

I listen to NPR so that I can listen to intelligent, rational, measured discourse, which I DO NOT get from The Takeaway.

The Takeaway is trying too hard to be cool and innovative and interactive, and it is pathetic and embarrassing to listen to.

I know I sound like a curmudgeon, but as a young professional who is totally plugged in, I can tell you that this show does absolutely nothing for me.

Hopefully enough of these negative comments will convince the station programmers to remove The Takeaway from its line-up and bring back Morning Edition full time on the FM channel.

Dec. 10 2008 10:53 PM
rancho delux

i was hoping that the budget cuts would cut 'The Take Away' too bad. Awful is too good a word for this program, it is insufferable,insidious,inane and idiotic.

Dec. 10 2008 07:41 PM
Steve G

NPR just announced it's laying off 7% of it's staff. Too bad the funding for this awful programming can't be transferred from PRI and given to an organization capable of mounting good programming.

I tried to listen once again. The Takeaway is pitiful.

I spent 20 years in professional radio and would be ashamed to be connected with such rotten programming.

Dec. 10 2008 07:34 PM
space monkey

Just heard about the cuts, would have much rather they cut the horrible Takeaway (yet I'm getting so adept at swithing to FM right before 8am. I can't say I know about Day to Day, but also rarely think New & Notes is any good - though I do listen, and it might have grown slightly on me, or improved of late.

Laura Walker should be removed for letting the buzz kill of the Takeaway to continue.

Dec. 10 2008 06:17 PM

NPR just canceled two shows: News & Notes and Day-to-Day. Now I know that the TakeAway is a PRI program, but the two programs just cut by NPR are far superior to the TakeAway amateur hour. It is too bad. If WNYC wants to improve their lineup, maybe they should look at picking-up those two shows and dumping the TakeAway.

Dec. 10 2008 04:08 PM

I have completely changed my listening habits due to this awful show. I don't get AM that well and don't like tuning while getting ready in the morning, so WNYC's loss has been WFUV's gain. I must add that the reverse was true several years ago when I got hooked on Morning Edition. I catch a couple of minutes here and there and find it as silly, trivial and insulting to the intelligence as I did last April.

Dec. 10 2008 12:51 PM

I saw Lehrer's comment on 'The Take Away' on the NY Times blog. There were obviously alot of questions submitted to him about 'The Take Away'. Many. many WNYC listeners are incredulous that this show is still on the air. Lehrer is under tremendous pressure not say anything negative about it. It is obvious that 'The Take Away' sucks and can not continue for much longer.

Dec. 08 2008 01:38 PM

Well, there was a temporary improvement when Udogi was "away", and Hockenberry was doing a credible job of hosting the show by himself, interviewing guests who were mostly economics experts without trying to prove he was smarter than they were. Then, after about 10 days, Udogi returned, once again spicing up the interviews with lots of pointless followups and "mmhmmms". I'm back to WHYY.

Dec. 08 2008 11:44 AM

"Increased airtime with Hockenberry at his studious and respectful best"??

I think you must be confusing the actual show with your fantasy. The show has improved only very marginally, and both hosts are as tactless and unprofessional as ever.

Dec. 05 2008 06:10 PM

I don't think The TakeAway is going anywhere soon. Even Brian Lehrer has been spouting the party line recently in the NY Times. See "Answers From Brian Lehrer of WNYC" ( ) In fact the first question he answered was about this lamentable program.

Dec. 04 2008 04:30 PM

Please sign the petition to improve or remove this program. I have sent emails to WYNC, PRI and the Knight Foundation directing them to it, so if you really want change...

Dec. 03 2008 12:38 PM

Public Radio Geek.

What you have said emphatically does not add up to any sort of "TIME HAS COME" statement unless you mean time to cancel.

But I will concede that the show is better than it used to be. Previously I could not tolerate the damn thing for five minutes. Now I often listen to the half hour between 6:30 and 7 AM. I cuss at the show but I generally don't turn it off. Generally I would say we are nowhere near the neighborhood of "good" but the show is approaching "tolerable" which is new for me.


Dec. 02 2008 02:48 PM
public radio geek

Hey there FranK D, hockey mom, Waldo and all the regulars: I have some late breaking good news for all of us: the show is improving. And remember, it's Christmas and there are no new hires going on in public radio. So let's cheer them on for the modest but (still) significant changes they've made in so many areas: the increased airtime with Hockenberry at his studious and respectful best; the steadily decreasing presence of Udoara who is not a bad broadcaster but a terrible fit with JH; fewer inane sound effects; better guests and a clearer focus on the national scene so they have a shot at getting the ME audience. In an atmosphere of local station cutbacks, there's a growing market for a cheaper alternative to ME for that second hour. The takeaway's time has come (at last).

Dec. 02 2008 02:20 PM

the Take Away has not been subscribed to by many affliate stations,so it is a matter of time before it is aborted. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I agree that however difficult it is to listen to Hockenberry bather on, Femi Okey and Udogi are far worse.

Dec. 01 2008 12:41 PM

Sad but true, Ben. In all its inept glory, it survives as a testament to boardroom hubris and bottom-line decision making. Its producers seem to be unwilling or incapable of making the most obvious choices, such as getting Udogi and Femi Oki off the show, that would significantly improve it.

Nov. 26 2008 09:48 AM

is this program still on the air? wow i thought it would be removed after a few months.

Nov. 25 2008 05:46 PM

I still entertain the vain hope that SOMEONE sympathetic might attend the CAB meeting tonight and report back. There have been no minutes posted since The Takeaway started in the Spring, and evidently there is a news blackout as well. I doubt if the New York Times would want to report a noisy protest against something it is supporting...


Nov. 18 2008 03:44 PM

Takeaway is NOT an NPR program - Don't let Takeaway sully NPR's reputation by blaming NPR for such nonsense. WNYC is responsible for this silly program. The BBC, the NYTimes and WGBH must be so embarassed -- if not they ought to be. And shame on Liberty Mutual and other funders.

Nov. 18 2008 10:42 AM

mgduke, very perceptive comments. I think Hockenberry has a lot of intelligence, and is an award winning journalist. He has been given an assignment here to be Howard Stern and he has turned off a large part of his brain. His knowledge of history is also probably a little weak. But he is no moron.


Nov. 14 2008 12:27 AM
mg duke

WNYC makes a terrible mistake whenever it overlooks its greatest asset for producing unique and exciting new programming, i.e., New Yorkers. Please send this team of Takeaway morons back to their ignorant bush, and use New York listener dollars to give air time to some people shaped by this unique city into the sharp wits and generous spirits that could wake up the nation with an innovative and worthwhile alternative to NPR.

Nov. 13 2008 10:39 PM

The raw stupidity of everyone involved with this moronic show beggars belief. I haven’t listened for months, but this afternoon when I went to the WNYC home page there was a banner quote from one of the Takeaway’s experts pontificating that ‘a hundred years ago lobster was junk food, nobody would eat it, they were just underwater bugs’. I checked the audio, and the moronic quote is cheered by moronic chuckles from Hockenberry and Udoji.

How can people that ignorant get on the radio? How can they even dress themselves to get to the studio?

The basic problem with the Takeaway is that the hosts are morons and not New Yorkers. Any New Yorker would know that a hundred years ago was the heyday of the famous lobster palaces, places like Churchill’s, Rectors, Shanleys, etc., where the ‘nobodies’ who feasted on the 'underwater bugs' were Diamond Jim Brady, Lillian Russell, Stanford White (who famously met little Evelyn Nesbit over some champagne and claws), etc.

Nov. 13 2008 10:38 PM

The next meeting of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) will be Tuesday evening November 18 at the usual place, Ethical Culture 2 West 64th St.
I am grateful that they made the type larger here, it was pretty microscopic for a while. And I am grateful that the Moderator isn't being such a complete tool. In my message above I suggested that the most abrasive and irrational poster here was in fact John Hockenberry in disguise (which I honestly believe) and the message didn't get smoked in 30 minutes. They really have stopped caring. Is that a good sign?

Nov. 13 2008 01:39 PM
Steve G

I have to get up early, so I decided to switch on The takeaway.

Between the constant Liberty Mutual ads, the tough to understand British accent newsperson and listening to John talk over people he is supposedly interviewing (and of course, the useless bleep-boop noises), The Takeaway remains as it started, JUST PLAIN AWFUL.

Funding should be cut for this disaster immediately.

Nov. 11 2008 06:51 AM

Were you around when Mark Jeffries was posting? He was mostly here in May soon after the show started.

I had the distinct impression that this was Hockenberry defending his own show. Am I just crazy or did anyone else think so? I suppose it is kind of a "Rear Window" scenario.

Certainly he seems to have gotten shut down hard at some point. You can scroll back to May or search for "Jeffries" but most of his posts have been deleted.


Nov. 08 2008 07:50 PM

I wonder if anyone at WNYC (in a position to do anything) ever looks at this site. And if they do, I wonder if they care. It feels as if this is just a place for the "complainers" to blow off steam in a harmless way.
I heard a promo from Mrs. Walker thanking people for their contributions during the pledge drive and promising "more" wonderful new programming. So fasten your seatbelts, folks, if that new programming is anything like the Takeaway, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Nov. 02 2008 11:03 AM

I guess they really don't want to hear what anyone thinks, since the comment page is impossible to read. Just in case anyone at WNYC cares, The Takeaway is still awful.

Oct. 31 2008 05:25 PM

Tried to listen again this morning. The silliness continues, today asking listeners how they would describe the election campaign in a few words. Who cares? I want in-depth content and commentary about real issues, not phone-in games.....Please put Morning Edition back in this key 6 AM time slot on the FM dial.

Oct. 31 2008 08:40 AM
Cathy Moore

You know what? I feel the same way and I didn't know that others felt the same way too. Let's go back to what npr WAS. Cathy

Oct. 30 2008 11:44 AM
former hockey mom

why isn't the take away ever mentioned during WNYC's pledge drive? could it be that the show is a complete disaster? That the program is so ill-conceived that any mention of it will keep listeners from donating?

Oct. 24 2008 01:53 PM

Ha ha. It's funny that this show is still on air and that this comment page still exists. The pledge drive reminded me that I no longer a member (because of The Takeaway) and I listen a lot less often. Thought I'd check in and see if this show still exists.

Now, I either watch NY1 in the mornings or listen to Minnesota Public Radio online. MPR is the best.

Oct. 24 2008 11:36 AM

............comment 743.............
During this pledge drive I have hear every other show mentioned as an example of the great programming offered on WNYC....Every show except the TakeAway. .
This week I have been on a different work schedule and I have been subjected to more than my usual 15 min of the TakeAway, it is still abominable, with inappropriate laughter at serious subjects by Femi Oke and Adaora Udoji. .
I just noticed that this program is offered in 21 cities, I wonder what their audiences think of this program. .
So this is a call out to the other cities, represent & tell us what you think.

Oct. 22 2008 10:09 PM

OK WNYC, joke over. The Takeaway has had its six months, and its team have arrogantly refused to listen to all criticism. As several have already said, nobody listens to Public Radio for a "morning zoo" show.

I now intend to cancel my WNYC monthly sustainer subscription. I will not reinstate it until the week the Takeaway goes off the air.

Oct. 22 2008 05:01 PM
bill slater

the take away will pass. It is universally hated. WNYC deserved better.

Oct. 22 2008 03:45 PM

Pledge drives are certainly a time when the stations are listening. I'm going to try again to tell WNYC that they will get no contributions until this show is gone.

Oct. 22 2008 03:08 PM
bill slater

The Take Away is still on the air? Wow I thought this program would only last a few weeks, it really sucks.

Oct. 21 2008 01:27 PM
Fifi Steinweg

Yes, I appreciate most other programming on WNYC, but I deeply resent trying to listen to Morning Edition on AM since The Takeaway - radio for the hard of thinking - has taken the 6am FM slot.

I will not donate, not even in a tiny way, to the Takeaway; I am not going to have my money spent on such frivolous ill-conceived rubbish. If I'm still a WNYC listener when The Takeaway is axed, I will consider contributing. But not until then.

Since The Takeaway, "Public Radio' has become an untrustworthy epithet which no longer assures one of quality or standards.

Oct. 21 2008 11:25 AM

Comment 738

I have to confess I donated after all. They had a multiplier going this morning on WNYC and my wife said we listen too much not to donate. I think the money for The Takeaway mainly comes from foundations. It is certainly true that the good stuff on WNYC outweighs the terrible stuff broadcast between 6 AM and 7 AM... All of those foundations have "CONTACT" buttons on their web pages. Please write them and ask them to stop giving money for The Takeaway.


Oct. 21 2008 09:17 AM

I was in Washington this weekend listening to WAMU which does NOT broadcast Takeaway (Hurray!). They're also running a pledge drive and in one of their pitches during Weekend Edition they mentioned a comment by Steven Colbert talking about Morning Edition and how informative and quiet the program is -- Morning Edition doesn't need/use that Morning Zoo format, etc. Really could be heard (to me, but perhaps I'm not being fair to Colbert) as a negative comment on Takeaway. I tried to find it via google but couldn't locate it. If anyone feels like listening to WAMU and their pitches (via computer) you might hear it. But maybe now WNYC will call WAMU and tell them to stop talking about Colbert. ;-)

Oct. 20 2008 02:16 PM

Where do replies go when I hit the "submit" button?

You're asking for "site." Do you mean "location"? If yes, why don't you say "location"?

Oct. 20 2008 02:08 PM

So how long will it be before they just do away with this part of their site and push their propaganda that the success of the show has exceeded their wildest expectations?

Oct. 20 2008 10:22 AM

Here is a fundraising suggestion for NPR. Offer listeners the opportunity to pay off the financial obligations of the Take Away so that it can forever be removed from the air and we can go back to listening to Morning Edition at 6am.

Oct. 19 2008 12:56 PM

Comment 733
Until yesterday, this site was tracking the number of pages and comments.
Now that it has backfired, because over 700 -negative- comments have been submitted, they have removed this feature (along with the buzz up feature mentioned above).
I say that we keep tracking the number of comments until WNYC and PRI recognizes their lapse of judgment and takes away the Takeaway.
Comment 733.

Oct. 18 2008 05:20 PM

Until today, this site had the option for people to read and "vote" in agreement or not with the comments posted. Hundreds of people have voiced agreement with the more than 600 negative comments about the TakeAway. Now its all deleted. WNYC, why has the truth been delted?

Oct. 18 2008 12:42 PM
bill slater

dont bother calling the WNYC pledge drive to complain about the take away. The 'volunteers' are an outsourced company in West Texas.I will contact the foundations though,

Oct. 17 2008 12:07 PM

In these diffciult economic times, why is any foundation or corporation wasting money on this drivel?

Oct. 17 2008 11:14 AM

Here's the info on the Knight Foundation:

Oct. 16 2008 05:43 PM

Starting today I have to get up at 5:30 on Thursdays (other days can sleep until 7) -- I listened to ME until 6am (very professional, informative). The Takeaway started with Hockenberry and some nonsense about Joe the Plumber. I've heard Hockenberry over the years and he seemed OK but this morning he seemed cynical, nasty and filled with contempt (for Joe the Plumber or McCain or both I'm not sure) but I hit rhw "off" button at once.

Liberal Hate Radio: No thanks...

Oct. 16 2008 05:41 PM
bill slater

call WNYC 888 376 9692 and tell them no contributions until the take away is removed.

Oct. 16 2008 04:35 PM

Does anyone know HOW to send feedback to the Knight Foundation, the "Responsibility Project", and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting? If they turn off the money tap the show will rapidly disappear. As long as the foundation money is rolling in, Ms. Walker will happily continue her pet project. I played around looking at Knight Foundation websites but there is more on how to donate or how to apply for a grant. It isn't easy to see how to write an angry letter. And the foundations are probably the best place to apply pressure.


Oct. 15 2008 02:31 PM
rancho deluxe

for a second i thought a cancellation date had been announced! No, they have to let it drag on for a full year that means april 2009, what a waste.
Too much money has been thrown at this mistake, nothing will stop another 6 months of idiotic, inane, insidious, self promoting bombast.

Oct. 15 2008 01:02 PM

Has WNYC announced the cancellation date for your program? Or are they giving you more time to pollute the air waves with inane gibberish, whining commentary and pointless, meandering questions? I understand that WNYC put you on the air to reach an audience it was not reaching. Now it has lost the audience that it had reached, and I haven't heard anyone say they were switching to The Takeaway from their previous choice for morning fare.

Oct. 15 2008 09:08 AM

Once again, ruined my morning. Sign up to improve or improve "The Takeway"

Oct. 14 2008 08:58 PM
concerned listener

yes the Take Away can be stumbled upon before Morning Edition begins. Like watching a train wreck, listening to even ten minutes of the take away is excruciating. It must be hard for Hockenberry to continue with his huge mistake, Udogi, femi and company are just happy to be employed.

Oct. 14 2008 12:56 PM
Ann Toth

Motivated perhaps by whatever it is that compels people to stop for an accident, I turned on "The Takeaway" this morning. In the 15 seconds I could stomach, Oke was "reporting" on the Santa Ana winds; Hockenberry interruped with what he thought were hilarious remarks, and Oke giggled, "You're teasing me!" This show cannot be saved.

Oct. 14 2008 11:34 AM
rancho deluxe

The Take Away: one half year of insidious drivel fouling the air on WNYC. I am embarassed for those at WNYC who had nothing to do with this failed experiment. Please move this program to the 3am slot if you must air it.

Oct. 13 2008 04:27 PM

This comments posting disappeared from not only "the most viewed" but also from "the most commented" listings. Hmmmm....
I had to search for "mornings" in order to find the 72 pages, 717 comments submitted so far, the majority of which are not in favor of the Takeaway. Perhaps that is why WNYC and the producers of the Takeaway have decided to hide this comment section.

The program only has made superficial improvements, the theme and presentation of the "news" is still as unprofessional and disjointed as it has been from the first day.

I can only, once again, ask that The Takeaway be removed from the morning schedules of WNYC AM and FM.

Oct. 12 2008 12:48 PM
a former hockey mom

The show will not improve, it must be removed like a wart or worse.

Oct. 10 2008 01:36 PM

They've toned it down a bit, but it's still pretty dreadful. Silly and insulting. I find it so frustrating to try to listen to Morning Edition at 6 a.m. through harsh static, but I can't listen to the Takeaway's jibberish. This morning I tuned in just to see what was going on. In a few minutes, I heard Udogi suggest that the Civil War started around 1880 and both of them ask the audience for their favorite names for the financial crisis! What a waste of air time.

Oct. 10 2008 11:14 AM

Got a fund-raising letter today

"Just take a look at a sample of the exceptional programs that WNYC brings you each weekday:

Morning Edition
The Brian Lehrer Show
The Leonard Lopate Shoe
Soundcheck with John Schaefer
Fresh Air with Terry Gross
All Things Considered
Evening Music"

Let's see, did we miss any? Hmmmm....

I think I know how I am going to reply to this.


Oct. 09 2008 08:02 PM
a former hockey mom

No one regularly listens to 'the take away'.Only when i wake up too early and hear the last excruciating 10 minutes, or am reminded about the show from the WNYC promos for it do i get mad and go to this site for some venting.

Oct. 07 2008 12:04 PM

I listened in for the first time in a very long time today. I heard absolutely no banter between the two hosts. Hockenberry clearly seems to be the alpha host, and he is more subdued and serious in his questions and style than he was when NYC first launched the show. Udogi is exactly the same--her contributions to the dialog are still mainly "wow" and "I did not know that", and she takes forever to compose a question. I'm not sure she listens for the answer.

Nothing I've said is to be taken as an endorsement of The Takeaway. It is still a waste of airspace, and as long as it continues to clog my local airwaves, I will continue to listen to ME on Philly's WHYY at 90.9 FM.

Oct. 07 2008 11:41 AM

I would improve or remove "The Takeaway" to make my mornings better. I have started a petition to do so. Please sign.

Oct. 06 2008 10:51 AM
Early Morning Listener

It is soooo lame that they are hiding this post. You can post your specific complaints on the daily digest topic I am sure. The ones just labled the takeaway and then the date. Just be specific to the daily conversation and why it is so bad. I can no longer listen to this station. I am listening to some local college station with music, which I would prefer not listening to. I want to listen to Morning Edition in the morning, but can't get AM. I now CAN NOT listen to morning edition till I get home at night and I have to turn on the computer and listen to a podcast. This is a waste of time for me, except that the information from the show is useful enough for me to go out of my way. It is very frustrating not to be able to listen when I want to. I also changed my monthly donation to go directly to NPR. No more money to wnyc.

Oct. 05 2008 07:14 PM
a former hockey mom

no donations.
more calls to listener services.

Oct. 03 2008 04:37 PM
a former hockey mom

Just received a mailer from WNYC for early donations. I sent back an empty envelope with comments regarding the take away.Until this inane program is removed not another cent to WNYC.

Oct. 03 2008 04:35 PM
a former hockey mom

Is anyone listening to the Take Away? Please call WNYC lister services to remove this crap program from the air.

Oct. 03 2008 04:26 PM
George Kohn

While this is probably not placed in the right discussion, I would just like to say that The Takeaway is possibly the worst news show I've ever listened to, and has caused me to turn off public radio during my morning drive.

Please dismiss your two no-nothing, humorless hosts and try again.


Oct. 03 2008 02:43 PM
Special Monkey

I'm an AM listener, and get up around 7:30ish, so it really sucks for me (the Takeaway seems always to creep in), at least I can go to FM - (I'm becoming adept at this). This show doesn't belong on AM or FM, ao please FM listeners, don't try to pan it to AM only. I've sometimes switched to Bloomberg on AM, which isn't bad. I'd like to know what Brian Lehrer thinks of the Takeaway (he should have a call-in). Laura Walker should take a pay cut or get fired. She makes more than $450,000 (last year) according to non-profit statements on the WNYC website. I also think News & Notes sucks. If you are not Black the show really doesn't apply; which really is narrow casting, and not great on Public radio.

Sep. 30 2008 09:27 PM
Eulalie Renfield III (Miss)

And now "The Most... Commented" list is reduced to "In Last 7 Days". Only three items listed. Hmm... I wonder if this section would have been the fourth.

Clearly, they're trying hard to hide this embarrassing feedback and want to discourage further postings. This probably also accounts for why their links are so slow.

Sep. 30 2008 09:12 AM
a former listener

take it away

Sep. 26 2008 02:30 PM
a former listener

Yes the word deplorable is perfect for 'the takeaway'. Despicable may be too harsh but im not so sure. The self-absorbed inanity of this program is unsurpassed. I have a feeling that this thread may surpass one thousand entries before 'the take away' goes away.


Sep. 26 2008 02:29 PM

Because of the page structure here a lot of people will miss the eloquent message (#700) posted by MGoodrich. If you jumped to the end please go back a page and read it.

How are they hiding this thread? It is inexplicably missing from "most viewed" but it's right there on "most commented."


Sep. 26 2008 12:44 PM
vp syndrome

Clearly, the Takeaway has become the Sarah Palin of public radio. No questions, controlled access, a public joke.

Sep. 26 2008 12:23 PM
Early Morning Listener

why are they hiding this thread?

Sep. 25 2008 11:26 PM

I find the TakeAway so awful that I actually prefer to listen to Morning Edition at 6 am through the static of poor AM reception. Need I say more?

Sep. 25 2008 08:10 PM
a former listener

Hockenberry should know better than to continue with this huge mistake. Sometimes things just dont work out as planned. The take Away is fundamentally awful and Hockenberry knows it, but he is obligated to continue, must be hell. Udoji and the other annoying supporting cast are just happy to be employed.

Sep. 24 2008 12:49 PM

Personally I want the show to be as annoying as possible, I wish it hadn't changed from the first week with the bicycle horns and abundant loud noises. If they keep toning it down it's going to slip under people's radar. So it's a good thing that the annoying lady is back, along with the annoying Hockenberry and the annoying Udoji. They'll get themselves cancelled, just give them enough rope...


Sep. 24 2008 12:39 PM

Ann, I am so with you on the "" lady. I also thought they'd finally axed her, but, she's baaack! For wahtever reason, she is absolutely appalling to listen to.

Sep. 24 2008 11:23 AM
Ann Toth

Spoke too soon. The "dotta com" voice is still there. This cannot be a good omen. Save yourselves!!

Sep. 24 2008 06:25 AM
Ann Toth

April of 2009? Please make it stop before that! On a positive note, I think they finally got rid of that frightening automaton woman who did the underwriting announcements. Then again, I don't listen to WNYC all that much anymore, so maybe she's still there.

Sep. 23 2008 12:18 PM
a hockey mom

the Take Away is self destructing,but it will take some time. Everyone at WNYC knows that the show sucks, they know that the listeners hate it. WNYC's experiment has failed badly, by april 2009 the Take Away will be gone.

Sep. 23 2008 10:57 AM

Taking the time and making an effort to soundly and reasonably express our dismay at the decision to produce the takeaway has proven pointless.

Laura Walker & Co have "won" ... they get to claim victory in this battle; and when the station begins to fail, and Walker is ousted from her perch, a new executive will come on the air and beg forgiveness and ask for more money to fix this debacle (sound like the financial crisis?).

And in the end, the listeners will be punished again.

Congratulations, Laura Walker, you've killed one of the greatest public radio stations in history.

Sep. 23 2008 08:54 AM

[[[#629 Posted by downtown, August 20, 11:12AM
Have you looked at the revamped WNYC website...
Of course, now that I have pointed this out, the blank page will probably be filled. Interesting though, that there is not even a link to this website.]]]
Yep, they fixed it. Now if they could just fix the radio program, maybe perform a TakeAway-otomy and remove the offensive program from the schedule.

Sep. 19 2008 08:24 PM
a hockey mom

low-brow groan-inducing rubbish that is The Takeaway,couldn't have said it better.

Sep. 17 2008 02:19 PM
James A. Finder

Seconding Joe #687 and Hockey #686, this show has wrecked my mornings and my previous admiration for WNYC. Ditto on no more contributions until I've been paid back for the inconvenience.
Why did they deliver an unintelligible blast of heavy-metal music this morning (intro to a political report delivered by some stammering kid)?
Why do they fill their air time with their own promos over and over, as well as bizarre commercial material from Liberty Mutual?
Now that ME is available on AM, I'll try to get that, but if I can't, I'm off to WQXR.

Sep. 17 2008 12:04 PM
Joe Huybens

At last! I've found the plug-n AM aerial for my clock radio, so I will always be able to get Morning Edition in the mornings and will never ever again have to suffer sampling a few minutes of that low-brow groan-inducing rubbish that is The Takeaway.

However, WNYC is not off the hook; once ME goes, I shall probably stop listening altogether; I too have noticed this phenomenon dubbed "Takeaway Creep" infecting the station.

"Public" radio??? WNYC might as well be just another commercial station.

Sep. 17 2008 11:39 AM
a hockey mom

Received my WNYC donation mailer yesterday, sent it back empty with a note: 'no contributions unil the take away is removed'.

Sep. 15 2008 05:10 PM
No more money to WNYC

that is it.
i've had it with Takeaway.
i will no longer support WNYC in any fashion.
i will no longer listen to it.
i will no longer contribute money.
i will tell everyone i know to stop listening.

Sep. 14 2008 09:42 PM

I went to this web page:
and posted the following comment:

Please post the minutes for the CAB meetings held since February 2008.
The Takeaway is about as unprofessional "news" program that can be produced. Please remove it from the morning hours. If it must remain, please consider making it a web-only broadcast.
If you visit this page: -- you will see that there are at least 69 pages (over 680 posts) – Most of which proclaim a profound dislike of this program.

Sep. 13 2008 02:37 PM

I went to to view the recent Advisory Board minutes. I was interested to see what the minutes had to say about the Takeaway. The latest minutes available are February 2008. I guess nothing important has happened since February.

Sep. 13 2008 10:23 AM

The Community Advisory Board meeting is a great place to blow off steam. But note that it's an "advisory" board and nobody has to pay any attention to what they advise. There's only one person who has any real authority at WNYC and The Takeaway is her newest baby.

Write or email underwriters -- that's how Satellite Sisters got dumped. Then write or email Listener Services or Membership.

Sep. 12 2008 10:38 AM

WEDW -- Connecticut Public radio. 88.5 FM. All Morning Edition. No Takeaway. I've become a member there, no more contributions to WNYC.

Sep. 11 2008 02:45 PM

To quote myself, my post #247 began:

On May 14 there was a meeting of WNYC's CAB, Community Advisory Board, which was dominated by "expressions of outrage & disgust toward the program". People here could apply to join the board but AFAIK there won't be another meeting until September, by which this situation may be resolved.

End Quote. If you go to the URL above, you will see the minutes of old meetings and the dates of future meetings. In the meeting minutes from Jan and Feb 2008, there are zero and one members of the public, and the Board discusses the lack of interest. "When there is trouble, more people show up." I wonder why the minutes of the May meeting have not been posted? I wonder when the September minutes will be posted? I would love to hear how the meeting went last night, but I doubt if I will read about it in the New York Times...


Sep. 11 2008 01:43 PM
enoch needles

so i guess "the takeaway" is schtick on a pig?

Sep. 10 2008 03:06 PM

I only listen long enough to hear if it's still there and is still as dreadful. (It is and it is.) But I like your suggestion of posting the new stations we're all listening to. I also think people need to stop contributing and let WNYC know why.

Sep. 09 2008 11:17 PM
a hockey mom

woke up too early again and tried to listen to the last 15 minutes of the Take Away. It is unbearable: the constant self promotion, guest interuptions etc. The worst radio program ever.

Sep. 09 2008 12:16 PM

For the first five minutes of the 6am hour today when Carl Castle was delivering the news of Morning Edition, I thought WNYC had actually come to its senses at long last. Alas -- then the Takeaway came back and it's clear you're not interested in your listeners advice.

As someone who has never contributed to your station, never written a note like this and overall never expressed my opinions publicly before, let me be very clear: I would gladly begin contributing to WNYC IF you put Morning Edition back on the 6am slot.

The only incentive it offers now is that I actually start my day at 6am sharp so I can turn off the radio.

Sep. 09 2008 06:08 AM

stop wasting your time on this pathetic station. once upon a time it was great; then Laura Walker strode onto the scene. Now it sucks.

enjoy your work and listen to your own radio station on

Sep. 08 2008 11:05 PM

Since we have hit a new page, let me reiterate, it is important to go to the meeting THIS Wednesday evening:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008: 7-9 p.m.

New York Society for Ethical Culture - Ceremonial Hall

2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West)


Sep. 08 2008 06:53 PM

Many times, I will turn on my computer and listen to KQED. On of the largest public radio stations.
Note that it is from California and they did not buy into this Stanford U. project.

Sep. 08 2008 06:41 PM

I don't listen to the show (when it comes on the air, it is my incentive to start my day...away from the Takeaway). That said, I have been stuck "listening" to the program off and on since it started, but no more than 15 min...that is all my ears and brain can suffer through at one time.
And each time I do hear the program, I am **always** disappointed by the lack of professionalism and news.

Sep. 08 2008 06:38 PM

I've been looking at comments after an absence of a few weeks -- They are a very few exceptions but they're very, very negative about this show.

BUT I notice that everybody who commented listens to the program. WNYC doesn't give two hoots if you don't like the show but they do care whether you listen or not.

CHANGE YOUR STATION. Listen to WQXR or WABC or TV or anything else. WNYC will NOT take this program off until you turn your radios off.

Change your radio dial and then come back here and post your new station. If enough people do that they'll take this abominable show off the air.

Sep. 08 2008 10:54 AM

Seriously, cancel this show. It's disingenuous, uninteresting, and frankly, for me I want to listen to public radio, this seems false and annoying.

This tries to appeal to all the people who aren't listening by offering up a program which nobody that is listening wants to hear. You won't expand your audience, you'll only put off the audience you have now. This is true of WNYC and other stations that air the show.

To other stations, take my advice. There is a lot about New York and California that are bellwethers of what will appeal to other markets when they get there but this isn't one of them. This isn't because NYC, CA are any less bellwethers, rather, the people who put this show together are trying to reverse engineer the process. The show sucks, you probably see it, I see it. It's coming from New York but its the suffers from the Times Sq effect. Disney bought it and now it sucks.

Sep. 08 2008 07:14 AM

The meeting is Wednesday night. Yes, I hope a lot of people from here attend (I can't). Has anyone seen the minutes from the meeting a few months ago? I heard it was an anti-Takeaway riot...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008: 7-9 p.m.
New York Society for Ethical Culture - Ceremonial Hall
2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West)


Sep. 07 2008 11:53 AM
space monkey

anyone notice how laura walker keeps coming on the air to thank listeners who donated during the kresgee challenge but please keep sending in the cash? she's basically saying thanks, but we're still really short to get the kresgee money. i bet it's because of the takeaway and people withholding (i know any chance of me giving, and during these matches i'm inclined) was eviscerated by what they've done to AM mornings. anyone going to show up for their meeting at ethical culture? i hope someone makes signs - and protests!

Sep. 06 2008 12:23 AM

I beg you! Please discontinue this horrific show! It has ruined my mornings. How many more listeners have to beg/plead/cry? How many more listeners need to shun WNYC? Is this how you serve the community?

Sep. 05 2008 10:43 PM

This is SO SAD. I sure hope someone is listening.

I have loved this station since 1972. Are you REALLY going to make me turn my back on it? I hate hate hate hate hate the Takeaway, and I hate hate hate hate hate these Laura Walker changes. Put it back, let us love the station the way we used to!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sep. 05 2008 09:03 PM

We've definitely seen that "takeaway creep" this summer, Frank. Evening Music just isn't the same.

On the other hand, as an update from when I first dropped in on this site (maybe close to 25 pages of "Mornings need a make over" ago), the powers that be might be happy to hear that my entire household has cut out all of our early morning radio: no Takeaway, no Morning Edition. We've also cut out 90% of our WNYC listening throughout the week. We are younger (30s), we are Internet-savvy, we lean left and we contribute to charitable causes. But we're not renewing our membership because, to be honest, the station's just no longer something we love.

Sep. 05 2008 02:31 PM
a hockey mom

udoji, hockenberry, and femi okey are by far the worst group of hosts ever assembled. Their snide attitude is so opposed to the intelligent environment i expect from WNYC. Please take away 'The Take Away' as soon as possible.

Sep. 05 2008 11:54 AM

I have been noticing signs of "Takeaway Creep" on WNYC. While I mainly care about the "breakfast" and "supper" offerings, I feel some of the same hackles rising when I happen to tune in to Terrance McKnight in the evening. "Laura in Queens said that this Mozart Piano Concerto made her think of the color blue. What color does it make YOU think of? Let me know on my blog!" I am afraid Terrance may be part of the problem here.

And that new ad, "One piece of direct mail uses 300 Douglas Fir trees... It's a METAPHOR!" I know it's supposed to be jokey but there is that attitude, that listeners are unimportant and you can say or do anything and why should they care? I could imagine the ad being lifted from a Takeaway script. It's about at that same level of "annoying."

I suppose that when I have lost ALL respect for WNYC I at least have the option of WHYY, but I do wish I got a better signal from Philadelphia...


Sep. 04 2008 02:48 PM
a concerned listener

'The Take Away' continues to embarass WNYC and alienate listeners. Enough is enough, for god's sake pull the plug on this crap.

Sep. 03 2008 12:53 PM
enoch needles

If there was any remaining question of The Takeaway's NOT being serious journalism, it was thoroughly and irrevocably erased this morning with Hockenberry's snarky and snotty discussion of Fred Thompson's speech in which he made light of John McCain's experience as a POW.

Of course, I visit dailykos and huffpo and get my giggles at the pomposity of the gop and the overblown emphasis on McCain's captivity as proof of his ability to lead, but guess what - I don't represent myself as an impartial, objective analyst of the news.

Clearly, Hockenberry and Udoji want to be on The Daily Show where they believe their smug, self-satisfied schtick will earn them the fame that public radio just can't provide.

TT crossed the line this morning and not in a good way.

Sep. 03 2008 12:20 PM
The Amazing Kresge

I had an interesting and telling experience this morning driving to work. Out of (morbid?) curiosity, I switched over to wnyc-am at 9AM. The Takeaway was on.

True, I was still a little foggy in a post-holiday Tuesday frame of mind, but the relentlessly perky chatter of the hosts, combined with the inferior and static-filled AM reception, made TT virtually indistinguishable from the other selections on the AM dial.

And then it hit me - THAT'S what The Takeaway is - the perfect AM drivetime program - laughing hosts, shallow reporting of superficial stories, and shout-outs to loyal listeners. That's what it is and that's where it belongs.

It has no place on FM or public radio.

Sep. 02 2008 01:19 PM

Brian Lehrer is almost the personification of WNYC, or rather the "good" side of WNYC, just as Hockenberry -- well, never mind.

Lehrer makes about half the salary of Laura Walker, and I think he's worth it. It is a pity to miss Lehrer because of Hockenberry. Just about everything Brian Lehrer does is inspired and he certainly deserves his recent Peabody award.

And one has to wonder what Hockenberry's salary looks like...


Sep. 01 2008 10:17 PM

is this show still on the air? egad, the producers at wnyc must be deaf, dumb and blind.

thanks to this show, i no longer listen to wnyc in the morning at all. the downside is that i frequently don't remember to turn on brian lehrer, and only hear a small portion of leonard lopate's show.

the afternoon programming has an excellent show that the takeaway could only dream of becoming, it's called "Tell Me More" and it's quite good. Careful, considerate conversation about pressing topics of the day. Appropriately set in the afternoon. oh, of course, it's an NPR show, not wnyc ... how silly.

the best change wnyc could make to their morning programming is to terminate the takeaway and bring back morning edition.

Sep. 01 2008 09:02 PM

from the NYTimes: Your public-radio pledge dollars at work: N.P.R. announcers have a much-in-demand “Henry Higgins” to train the brain to speak naturally and plane. To best convey ideas, “scripts should have no more than one thought per sentence.” In radio, “the big adjective is a verb.” which is quoting an article in the WashPost:
Now maybe PRI should invest in the same...

Sep. 01 2008 10:05 AM

Comparing this show to Stern isn't very nice to Stern. At least he's capable of pulling off a one-liner.

The only good thing about the show is that's sort of fun to wait with morbid fascination while a guest is speaking, just to see what non-sequitur or inane comment Udoji will make in interrupting them. Funny to hear the bewildered guest try to pick up the dropped chain of conversation. Sometimes when the radio wakes me up and I lie in bed hearing her speak, it makes me laugh.

But mostly it just makes me want to punch the wall.

Aug. 31 2008 02:44 PM

How long do we have to accept entertainment posing as news, superficial interviews and commentary, and rude hosts? I'm exasperated with Adoara's most frequent comment: "Wow!" whenever a guest presents a thoughtful insight. "Wow!"?????? Frankly, I have heard my 13 year old cousin having more profound discussions with her friends.....

Aug. 29 2008 02:31 PM

This program is public radio at its worst. Bring back Morning Edition in the 6 a.m. time slot. You've lost me as a subscriber....

Aug. 29 2008 02:16 PM
a concerned listener

please stop the 'take away'. this stain on WNYC will be harder to remove as time goes by. what are they thinking?

Aug. 27 2008 12:07 PM
The Amazing Kresge

was it yesterday that i heard chattering about target and clothing prices? i was still half-asleep, but i could have sworn i was listening to a room full of giggling sorority sisters.

then again, maybe i was.

please make it stop.

Aug. 27 2008 10:04 AM

I have not joined the protests about Laura Walker's salary. I do think it's disturbing that CEO's in general are too highly paid these days, but I actually think L.W.'s salary in that PDF file is more or less commensurate with what she has been doing for the station over the last decade. What I would like to see are more recent numbers, salaries as of this year. I think there would be more to chew on in the 2008 salaries than in the online document.


Aug. 25 2008 12:42 PM
special monkey

Holy Moly, I checked out that PDF - it's insane and ridiculous that the President of a public radio station makes more than the president of the United States. I think WNYC's president should be "let go."

Aug. 23 2008 04:21 PM
James A. Finder

I too am not happy with this show, its personnel or format. I have written directly to WNYC and asked them to terminate my monthly contribution immediately, since this show has basically wrecked my mornings.

Aug. 22 2008 11:10 PM
The Amazing Kresge

re: pr geek's insightful analysis, I can only hope that no one will be rewarded ("more lucrative shows") for this disaster. But here's another possibility - inspired by the success of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, the folks at wnyc/pri decided that what public radio needed was something along those lines. Hockenberry overstated the case by citing Stern, but (as prg stated) the "sped up, commercialized target demo" that wnyc/pri wanted so desperately to attract seemingly demanded the shallow end of the info pool. At this point, I'd be hard pressed to call Hockenberry a genius - it doesn't take a genius to see what a mess this program is.

Aug. 22 2008 03:44 PM
public radio geek

re: Kevin Redman's comparison of TT & "Heat" from the early 90s (also featured Hockenberry). Entirely different shows, much more content in Heat. That's why listeners are rebelling. TT reflects back the target demographic's opinions, and lifestyle (sped-up, commercialized). It's the narcissism of infotainment, when the contract with the listener is to present unfounded speculation as news, and chat up biases & banalities with such intensity. Then there's the question of narcissism of the talent who shill the trivia of their personal life and sell this dross as "news". For people of genius like Hockenberry, this a hard fall from the idealism of Heat to the cynicism of TT. Very sad. Nevertheless, the show will have to be cancelled eventually, and everyone will live to go on to better and more lucrative shows.

Aug. 22 2008 03:14 PM

R.e. Ann Toth's post, I couldn't agree more about that robotic-voiced "dot com" advertisement announcer. Her voice is almost unbearable, especially since it interrupts programming not just at the top of the hour, but unceasingly, throughout each program. According to some people I've talked to about this, other NPR stations have far fewer advertising interruptions and constant branding announcements than WNYC, especially since Laura Walker took over.

Am I going to be "moderated" for saying that?

Aug. 22 2008 12:18 AM
a concerned listener

my prediction is that udogi will go before the program is pulled, in an effort do something to try to save the program. as awful as hockenberry is, udogi is even worse. obviously it will not make any difference.

Aug. 21 2008 03:18 PM
The Amazing Kresge

I noticed this morning that Laura's thank you message said they're still working toward meeting the Kresge challenge.

I thought the one day pledge break was supposed to sew that up.

Guess not.

Would be ironic if they were $454,808 short :)

Aug. 21 2008 01:39 PM

Frank, how funny! I was at Natural History the other day and a man going up the stairs ahead of me had a WNYC messenger bag. I was tempted to ask him whether it was an old one (I suspect it was) but I decided not to clutter up my afternoon with a discussion of a radio station. I used to have a t-shirt that had "WNYC-It's my station," but I got rid of the t-shirt at some appropriate time, a good number of years ago. I also used to have a Steve Post coffee mug which eventually broke -- He was the official WNYC morning curmudgeon. He was very clever and very funny. I dare not comment on his current show as that might be seen as uncivil.
Frank, I don't understand your comment about my being "subtle." The WNYC people with negative attitudes (nattering na-bobs of negativism) have gone on to other places and we now have people with positive can-do attitudes. We are very lucky.

Aug. 21 2008 11:06 AM

Waldo, now you're being almost too subtle...

I just got a new laptop tote bag. All my old tote bags say WNYC on them. I'm glad to have one that doesn't advertise my affiliation with the station. Times sure have changed. Sigh!


Aug. 21 2008 10:42 AM
Scott Munroe

It is shows like this that I had found public radio to be a safe haven from. Even commercial radio doesn't hype itself this much, with a mention of the "Takeaway" name every 20 seconds. The awful banter of this show is almost as bad as that we endure during fund-raisings. Please stop.

Aug. 21 2008 10:22 AM
Ann Toth

I had stopped listening to WNYC altogether, since the combination of "The Takeaway" and the maddeningly robotic voice of that hideous commercial announcer set my teeth on edge. In a triumph of hope over experience, I turned on the radio this morning, and heard Femi Oki talking about a "hoowicane" in a place called "Floyda." Then Adaora Udoji began chattering: the only thing that has changed is that she seems to have added a kind of Locust Valley Lockjaw affectation to her repetoire. Finally, the dread commercial announcer came on to do a spot for a product with "toe-may-tos,"
whose address finished with "dotta com." Back to WFUV for moi. Gosh, I hope this isn't too mean.

Aug. 21 2008 09:51 AM

Frank - I'm not "in the business," but I used to know somebody who knew somebody who worked at WNYC. That was in the days shortly after the station split from the City. At that time there was much disagreement (albeit, quiet) over how the station should march into the future. Things are much happier now with everyone on board with the direction the station is taking and everyone working happily together.
I used to go to board meetings, which are very interesting and worth getting up early for.

Aug. 21 2008 09:38 AM
ron stern

i don't need to repeat the long list of negative posts about the takeaway - i agree with them all. sufice to say the takeaway is horrible. the sooner it is gone, from both am and fm, the better.

Aug. 21 2008 01:04 AM
a concerned listener

i'm sure 'the takeaway' is the elephant in the room at WNYC right now. how to deal with failure of this magnitude? unfortunately with such a huge investment this frankenstein monster must slog on for at least a year and then quietly disappear. april 2009?

Aug. 20 2008 06:25 PM

How is posting a publicly available salary considered a "personal attack?"
Page 36 of the Form 990

Aug. 20 2008 04:56 PM

Hockenberry is taking a vacation, Udoji was off today as well I think, then there is this blank page.

Do you think change is in the air?


Aug. 20 2008 01:04 PM

[[Comment moderated. Be civil: Please respond insightfully and respectfully. There is room for disagreement, but please disagree with people's ideas. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.]]

Aug. 20 2008 12:59 PM

Have you looked at the revamped WNYC website...
Of course, now that I have pointed this out, the blank page will probably be filled. Interesting though, that there is not even a link to this website.

Aug. 20 2008 11:12 AM

Hi Waldo

Sometimes paranoia pays off, I actually saved copies of your posts thinking that they might be deleted. The most interesting part was the IRS statement which is of course supposed to be available to the public.


Aug. 20 2008 10:33 AM
Where's Waldo

Hey Waldo - another maneuver they pull is to move any critical posts into this thread where people have to go looking. It's almost comical seeing the lengths they'll go in order to pass off this pig in lipstick.

Hope I wasn't being uncivil...

[[Comment partially moderated. Be civil: Please respond insightfully and respectfully.]]

Aug. 20 2008 09:29 AM

I posted a link to the WNYC audited financial statements (without comment) and a link to the WNYC IRS Form 990 (without comment) and they pulled the post for "incivility." This is all public information which is accessible on the WNYC website, easily found through google.

Aug. 20 2008 09:22 AM

Long Islander -- PRI and definitely not NPR. But otherwise, agreed.


Aug. 19 2008 09:48 PM
Long Islander

I have tried very hard to get into this show, but have given up. It trivializes news, and has turned serious journalism into infotainment tripe. NPR should be ashamed to have this show on its schedule. I have changed my morning radio settings so that I no longer have to listen to this I am greatly disappointed that NPR is more interested in being on a cutting edge than providing quality programming.

Aug. 19 2008 09:27 PM
concerned listener

The Take Away's spectacular failure continues. How much longer can it go on? Is it worse than the Satellite Sisters? YES The SS was also insipid but at least sincere. The Take Away is despicable in every way:
self important,
and ultimately wasteful.

Aug. 19 2008 12:45 PM
Another morning ruined by TT

This morning's simpering chatter from Pennsylvania and its quaint voters almost made me long for Hockenberry's condescening rudeness. Almost. Rest assured, I won't sleep in tomorrow.

How's that capital campaign going, wnyc?

Aug. 19 2008 11:12 AM
from the ether

Thanks for another insipid, unlistenable morning! How much more of this must we endure?

Aug. 19 2008 11:03 AM

Today WNYC is doing a one-day capital campaign on the air. I think we should all call and email listener services, explaining that we will not contribute a penny until TT is gone. And "To The Point" is brought back. And the hateful corporate drone reading the commercials every 5 minutes is fired.

Aug. 19 2008 10:53 AM

Thanks for the inside info Waldo, are you in the biz?

I wouldn't have a clue how to find that sort of stuff.


Aug. 19 2008 09:05 AM

[[Comment moderated. Be civil: Please respond insightfully and respectfully. There is room for disagreement, but please disagree with people's ideas. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.]]

Aug. 19 2008 07:59 AM

I remember, Frank, when SS went commercial and I agree that commercial radio would be a good place for Takeaway. I think money is committed for 6 to 12 months so it's not too early to start persuading the foundations to put their money elsewhere.
SS was heard on the Chicago station and Chicago listeners went crazy over it -- some of them came to the WNYC message boards (since discontinued) to complain loudly about how awful it was. I carried on a correspondence with one Chicago complainer for quite a while until we celebrated its cancellation.

Aug. 19 2008 07:45 AM
space monkey

satellite sisters were easier on the ears than the takeaway. wnyc are shooting themselves in the feet. please EVERYONE do not give wnyc a red cent - send them a bill, wnyc you are disgracing yourself, get it over with, take it away, get new hosts, change the format, AT LEAST acknowledge the error, and expose the plan to fix.

Aug. 18 2008 09:53 PM

Actually Waldo, the Satellite Sisters "went commercial" jumping from NPR to WABC radio. I could almost imagine a fate like that for The Takeaway except 1) it's probably even less popular than Satellite Sisters was and 2) the millions of dollars from foundations would pose a problem. And I think that money is already committed, so not entirely sure what good it would do to bother CPB or the Knight Foundation at this point. It probably is a good idea to send back the WNYC pledge envelope with an explanation for why it is empty, though.

Here is more on Satellite Sisters. If you miss it you can still find the podcasts, those sisters just keep on yakking.


Aug. 18 2008 03:32 PM

Frank said: "WGBH owns a piece of the Takeaway Pie. They stand to gain if the show succeeds, and they lose if it fails, just like WNYC. So both this show is going to be on the air in both Yankee and Red Sox territory until the last dog dies. Or until someone in charge smacks her forehead and says "what was I THINKING?!?!"

Actually, Frank, The Takeaway is going to be on the air until it loses its funding. If you want to hasten its demise, write to the funding organizations. That's how Satellite Sisters got gone. ;-)

Aug. 18 2008 02:29 PM

A couple of weeks after the "Takeaway" first blighted my morning airwaves, I re-set my alarm radio to AM 820. Last week I decided to give the "Takeaway" a second chance, in the hope that they might have listened to their audience, and at least smoothed off the roughest edges. Wrong move, it's as bad as ever. Shallow, amateurish, irritating, and in their refusal to respond to criticism, arrogant too.

Perhaps our (ie the WNYC audience's) only hope is that the "Takeaway" contract has a 6 month option. Then maybe we have only a couple of months more to suffer this rubbish.

Think about it, WNYC.

Aug. 18 2008 02:17 PM

Where is JH? He has been absent for quite a few days now...

Aug. 18 2008 12:04 PM

No Hockenberry today.

Has anyone noticed that when EITHER Hockenberry or Udoji is missing, the show gets palpably better?


Aug. 18 2008 08:01 AM

Please bring back Morning Edition from 6am to 7am on WNYC 93.9

The Takeaway is simply awful. It does not match the high quality radio on which NPR prides itself.

The Takeaway only offers the banal and sophomoric discourse common to morning drive time shows elsewhere on the FM dial.

The personalities of John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji are not engaging and interesting enough to carry the show.

Please get rid of this program.

Aug. 17 2008 04:13 PM

In Thursday's segment on smart grids The Takeaway sunk to a new low. The hosts not only cut off the guest, Bracken Hendricks, who was trying to explain how a garage could be used as a generator to fuel an electric vehicle, but belittled him in the process--snickering in the background, and shutting down the interview by ordering him to "unplug from the grid" in mid-sentence. After he was off the air they continued to yuk it up about his "enthusiasm". One wonders how much longer this show will be able to attract any guests.

Aug. 16 2008 03:44 PM
Alvin Duerrer

This from Wikipedia: "In an exchange about the program, hosts described it similar to Howard Stern's radio show in a the New York Magazine interview [9](published April 27, 2008)." Hockenberry said: "I really think that, you know, Howard Stern is a model here." Hockenberry and Udoji go on to say "We gotta find a Baba Booey." Howard Stern as a role model, need I say more. Perhaps Howard Stern can match the $2,000,000 for the Kresge Foundation grant, has anybody at WNYC thought of soliciting a donation from him, might be impressed that he is thought of as a role model by a team of NPR reporters.

Aug. 15 2008 10:01 PM
Lee Simonson

This is a miserable substitute for Morning Edition. It is such a contrived program. Cheery hosts, a silly sound effect, the "ironic" British newscaster? C'mon! Interviewers who far more concerned about time constraints than the quality of the interview: the annoying and disrespectful cutting-off of interviewees in mid-sentence. The silly takeaway question of the day. STOP. You made a mistake, admit it and move on.

Aug. 15 2008 07:12 PM

The stupidity that is The Takeaway is driven home every time Hockenberry or Udoji blurts out a "Wow." This morning, a comment on Russia's invasion of Georgia inexplicably garnered a wow. Could someone please explain to these moronic radio personalities that these wow's are dead air, much like this show? Maybe while you're discussing dead air at WNYC, you should consider the entirety of The Takeaway.

Aug. 15 2008 07:10 AM

I have listened to the show evolve and work through kinks over the last month. I recently heard a level of "on the news" reporting regarding the Georgian conflict. I noted that The Takeaway was on this story in a way during morning drive that was way ahead of the others. Thank you. As an immmigrant from Poland, I have a unique perspective on what is happening and thank you to The Takeaway for deciding this was a story worth following before everyone else. My mornings have changed in that I expect that I will get this sort of information. My only critique now would be, please, perhaps we could loose the beeps?


Aug. 14 2008 04:38 PM
Diane Hasday

I don't know if my e-mail got through...this program is like a constant junk cable channel news cut people off in the middle of sentences, no depth, who cares what songs support candidates, how about policy issues. I am hard pressed to support this station anymore. I'll keep my money.......

Aug. 14 2008 09:37 AM
Diane Hasday

This show really is starting to sound like cable channel sound bite junk!! You cut people off in the middle of sentences to go to your news person who doesn't have much to say, stories are cut where ever...important things are given no time and stupid stuff is stupid, your requests for songs, etc. News, hardly. I am hard pressed to support this station anymore....

Aug. 14 2008 09:34 AM
Paul Smadbeck

The weight lifter's sound-bite: only the latest in the idiocracy that is THE TAKEAWAY, public radio's "dumbing down" of intelligent programing.

Aug. 14 2008 06:46 AM
Ben C

I tuned in early again to see if 'The Take Away' was still on the air. Unfortunately it was, and worse than ever. I thought there might be some changes but it still is just awful. I will not contribute until this program is terminated, this is an embarassment for a great station but the longer it goes on the less respect I have for WNYC

Aug. 13 2008 05:39 PM
It's "The View". Only it's on radio. And stupide

Like, OH. MY. GOD.

No softball in the Olympics? Theme songs for McCain and Obama?

My alarm was less annoying than the mindless chatter of TT that I endured by sleeping in this morning.

No contributions from me while TT is on.

And maybe forever.

If this is the future of public radio, it deserves to die.

Aug. 13 2008 12:41 PM

Darrell, I couldn't agree with you more, and the vast majority of the postings here also do. I've stopped my monthly contribution to WNYC, but I'm not sure this strategy will have any impact. The answer I received was to "just give it time." It's a dreadfully thin, silly program, and the kind of program I turn to public radio to avoid.

Aug. 13 2008 12:05 PM

Darrell, if this were an NPR show, you might have a point.

Unfortunately the "co-producers" are PRI and WNYC and various other letters you see at the bottom of this screen.

They seem to be deaf to what is going on here, or nearly so.


Aug. 13 2008 12:02 PM
Darrell Paster

This show is an amalgam of intelligent topics and totally inane banter that amount to a waste of precious time in the morning. I just listened to a another listener sing a Paul Simon song (off-key) to Barak Obama, to what end I cannot say. It was not entertaining nor informative. I do not know what they were thinking when they came up with this idea, but it is a total disaster. It means that I (and many of my NPR-listening friends) must keep two radios in the kitchen and bathroom so we can switch back and forth from AM to FM so we can hear Morning Edition. This show is an impediment to an informed electorate and the antithesis of everything NPR stands for. I know this will be a difficult show to kill given the strength and investment of the Co-Producers, but I am sure some farsighted executive at NPR will have the courage and foresight to close this show before it causes real damage to the NPR listener base.

Darrell Paster

Aug. 13 2008 09:12 AM
George S.

As many bad things as I have to say about this awful show - can you at least make your Web site display THE MOST RECENT COMMENTS FIRST, LIKE EVERY OTHER COMMENTS PAGE ON THE INTERNET?

I mean, duh.

Aug. 12 2008 12:35 PM

Before "angry angered's" comment gets deleted, let me chime in with support. TT is a disgrace and an embarassment to public radio. I too, will probably never contribute again to wnyc and certainly not why TT pollutes the FM band. Good luck with that capital campaign.

Aug. 10 2008 10:21 PM

WGBH owns a piece of the Takeaway Pie. They stand to gain if the show succeeds, and they lose if it fails, just like WNYC. So both this show is going to be on the air in both Yankee and Red Sox territory until the last dog dies. Or until someone in charge smacks her forehead and says "what was I THINKING?!?!"


Aug. 09 2008 08:35 AM

I'm wondering what effect The Takeaway is having on my station, WGBH.
When GBH began to air ME, I switched over from WBUR, because I like their local host better and they offer Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. But I've found The Takeaway so hard to take that I've switched to WBUR at 6:00 and often forget to turn the dial back to GBH at 7:00. If GBH were to pull out, it may hasten this show's demise.

Aug. 07 2008 12:18 PM

I get aggravated every morning now that Morning Edition at 6 am has been shifted to AM where I get mostly static. I'm astounded that WNYC just dumped its loyal ME listeners to promote this empty exercise in info-tainment. You've ruined my mornings - I want intelligent news and commentary, not talk-overs, rude interviews, mispronunciations, and silly questions posed to the audience. Move this program to AM, or put it out of its misery altogether!

Aug. 05 2008 11:11 PM
listener Ben C

Can WNYC just move 'The Take Away' to the 4am-5am slot?


Aug. 05 2008 02:52 PM
had enough

I listen to this program when I wake up early because I am too lazy to look for another station.I also enjoy a train wreck. Hockenberry seems to have lost his mind, Udogi is not ready for prime time and what can I say about Femi Okey? she fits in perfectly:off-key,self absorbed and vacuous. Even a train wreck can become tedious, I've had enough, please put this program out of it's misery.

PS if this program ever enters into the post 7am slot on the FM dial WNYC will have hell to pay.

Aug. 05 2008 02:30 PM

Concerned listener said: "I expect a national radio host to be able to pronounce Solzhenitsyn" Is this a "national" program? Go to the "station finder" and look at the list of stations. Thirteen states, which is misleading because in Illinois it is not Chicago but the local community college station in Kankakee that carries the program. In California the only station is in the town of Hoopa. I don't see Philadelphia listed. It is the college station in Athens Ohio that provides the only coverage there.

Perhaps this show has been a hard sell. Perhaps the people commenting here are not the only ones who see quality issues with The Takeaway.


Aug. 05 2008 12:58 PM

Ann, I just want to ditto your thoughts about Hockenberry's unacceptable cross (crass?) examination of Evan Kohlman, whose credentials and presentation were truly impressive. Why book a guest to interview if you're only going to set him up for 10 minutes of insults?

Aug. 05 2008 09:40 AM
On The Takeaway

Once again, TT reaches a new low...then sinks lower. Hockenberry has thrown away all the journalistic credibility he once had. This must be for the money. Udoji? Who cares.

Aug. 04 2008 10:36 PM
Ann Toth

Today's interview of Evan Kohlman, a terrorism consultant who produced a film used in the Hamdan trial,has to be heard in order to appreciate its staggering combination of pretentiousness, rudeness, and ignorance. Hockenberry was condescending, impolite, and uninformed about every aspect of this subject, and about the "guest." He spent the entire interview mocking him because of his youth. He would ask questions like, "what are you going to do next? Learn about the culture?" The poor guest responded that he had a degree in Islam, and had spent more than ten years studying terrorist organizations. Then Udoji jumped in to observe that she had "different perceptions" about terrorism, because she had travelled to the middle east. I suppose we should give her props because she did concede that she hadn't actually ever studied the subject. Oh it was nauseating. Maybe there was an intelligent discussion to be had about this subject, but it isn't happening on this hideous show.

Aug. 04 2008 06:28 PM

I'm weighing in with those of you who don't like the show and wish it would go away. In addition to the comments on the quality and appeal of the show, I question the demographic targets. I presume that spiffing up the web site and enabling the blogs is part of the approach to a younger, hipper demo group but the posts here are overwhelmingly negative. So much for the hipster vote.

I am in a fast growing demographic with lots of disposable income. That's right, I'm a Boomer, and we will be around for at least 30 more years, listening and contributing to public radio, or not. I might not be hip but I'm brand loyal, and if WNYC loses my loyalty now I won't be listening when they change their mind about this show.

Aug. 04 2008 05:23 PM
concerned listener

i expect a national radio host to be able to pronounce Solzhenitsyn, especially given four chances. this show continues to amaze me. hockenberry and udogi are truly awful. Please, it's time to dump the 'take away'

Aug. 04 2008 04:13 PM

Goodness! You people are very touchy! I'm sure it's tough to read so many critical comments. However, I don't believe you pulled my post for incivility. I must have come too close to the truth.

Aug. 03 2008 07:34 PM


I do not expect to adore every moment of programming on WNYC. I will

still love the station, even if it persists in nurturing shows which seek to public radiocize the Howard Stern/Morning Zoo/Generic Wacky Crazy Dudes Morning Show hijinx formula for dubious mega-successt would take a lot more than the Takeaway to keep me from my daily dose of Brian Lehrer. Still, I hope that WNYC sees the folly in trying to apply commercial radio morning show lipstick to its already beautiful, informative, and entertaining face. Please leave the awkward banter, vapid call-in questions, and bleeps and bloops to the pros, and please continue providing the substantial alternative to fluffy commercial programming which I and other WNYC listeners have come to expect.

Thank you so much for your time, consideration, and the service WNYC provides to me and my community.


Aug. 03 2008 05:06 PM

[[Comment moderated. Be civil: Please respond insightfully and respectfully. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.]]

Aug. 02 2008 09:25 PM

Please take a look at the Wikipedia entry. Currently the entry is a corporate p.r. statement. I made some edits the other day to correct what I thought were some very slanted statements, and it was completely replaced with the original press release. Surprise.

There is very little opinion about this show beyond the Mix, and there are no media reviews of this mistake for a morning show (anyone else notice the blackout?). Let's at least make it at least a bit closer to reality.

Aug. 02 2008 10:24 AM
former listener

the take away is unbearable. this program has driven listeners away in large numbers and ruined WNYC and NPR's reputation. Hockenberry and Udoji are smug fools.

Aug. 01 2008 05:28 PM

Are they being a little more polite all of a sudden? I only listen to the end of the show -- and Udoji was pretty awful with the "pardon" expert just a few days back, but since then the only interruptions I have heard was when the "Hispanic vote" guys interrupted each other.

If the hosts have started learning some manners, well, there are still 100 things wrong with the show, but THAT was what made me really angry.

Maybe they just forgot their extra cup of coffee, or maybe WNYC is sending them to Finishing School.


Aug. 01 2008 11:22 AM
Brooklyn Bill

I've just moved to New York from the Midwest. After listening to "The Take Away", I honestly feel that the worst broadcasts of college radio seem better organized and more intelligently discussed. This program almost seems like a crossover from mainstream media and lacks the unique and fresh flavor I'd associate with public radio. Having read the comments above, I hope I am able to find "Morning Edition"...

Aug. 01 2008 08:57 AM
On The Takeaway

If they had really wanted and believed in the concept of a cutting edge program, they would have introduced it as a web-only program. Then all those supposed hipsters that wanted that type of programming would flock to it. But, it's obvious to anyone who listens that it became obvious to Walker and Co, that the whole concept was shaky. So, rather than take a chance and try to build a new audience, why not just spring it on the 2nd largest radio audience in existence - voila - instant success.

Well, except for the fact that they've managed to alienate that audience. Of course, we'll never know the extent to which TT has negatively affected donations, and I don't expect wnyc to own up to its failure anytime soon.

I can only hope that someday, Hockenberry will look wistfully at that Peabody of his and think "I really used to be a journalist, didn't I?"

Keep hope alive.

Jul. 30 2008 09:56 PM

I do hope the guy doesn't get fired.


Jul. 30 2008 04:36 PM

FrankD....thanks for posting this most enlightening commentary by an "insider."
Surely, the WGBH employee cannot be alone in his opinion and other public radio employees also are advocating for the listeners to (re)move this program to a more logical time on the schedule, or better yet, make it a web-only broadcast.

Jul. 30 2008 03:50 PM

The remainder of the message above:

I'd be curious to get your audiences reaction to the program. Offering the program as a 2nd choice to Morning Edition is a lot less riskier than replacing M.E. with the new program. It would be interesting to see how the program does at alternative times on your main channel.


Jul. 30 2008 09:35 AM

If you must continue this show, please do at least 2 things:

1) Be honest in how you sell it. Call it info-tainment, and not news that "advances journalistic excellence in the digital age." This advertising is arrogant and totally disengenuous.

2) Move it to AM completely, returning Morning Edition to FM where the sound is of higher quality.

Or you could be truly wise - you can acknowledge how unpopular this show is, stay true to your mission of quality public radio, and just take it away.

Jul. 29 2008 10:23 PM

In response to Downtown #561--

I had the TA on today on my kithen radio, and did note some signs of progress: They made it through a very fluffy piece about bad-girl rock stars, like Amy Winehouse, without angering me with their attitude or incompetence, and Femme has learned how to pronounce Yosemite since yesterday (sounding it out?). Well, if fluff is what they do best, leave the heavy-duty stuff to ME, and bring on the fluff.

Jul. 29 2008 02:01 PM

question for moderators....
How can quoting what another poster wrote without changing their words or taking them out of context be considered "insulting other posters...," I am curious, so please explain.

If a comment is labeled as disingenuous, it is not an "insult" is a disagreement with what was said, which was (to summarize)...if you haven't listened to the show, how can you comment on how it is better than what it replaced...

Jul. 29 2008 10:41 AM
john b

by mistake i tuned in to the am and the take away was on, i had heard how awful the show was and wanted to listen to it. Unfortunately my wife would have nothing of it and we switched to the fm

Jul. 29 2008 12:30 AM
listener ben

is this abortion of a radio program really being broadcast nation wide? if wnyc expands this crap for 2 hrs on the fm things will turn very ugly.

Jul. 28 2008 03:33 PM

If you truly haven't listened to the program, please download some of the earliest broadcasts and compare them to the more recent broadcasts. Yes, the program is still lacking in providing news, but it has dropped some of the really annoying features.
Now, if we can just drop the hosts, the annoying beeps, the interruptions, the lack of news coverage, the.... oh just bring back Morning Edition.

[[Comment edited. Stop insulting other posters.]]

Jul. 28 2008 12:30 PM

I gave the Takeaway a try when it first aired, and was disappointed by the interrupting and shallow nature of the conversation. I listened again today and found the same issues persist.

Ms. Eudogi reads so aggressive and unsubtle-- it is clear she knows nothing about pardons and could not drop her agenda long enough to learn about them from the expert brought on the show.

I will be turning off WNYC whenever the Takeway airs. Please reconsider continuing this show.

FYI, I am a 33 year old woman who is a performing artist - just so that you understand the demographics here.

Jul. 28 2008 09:30 AM

Like your show - but twice in a row??
When WNYC advertised two hours of your show in the mornings, it gave the impression of a two-hour show. Judging from the opening I just heard - again - it seems they are just rebroadcasting the first hour.
Bring back the BBC!

Sorry guys.

Jul. 28 2008 09:29 AM

"We're giving you twice as much on the Takeaway." Whether you want it or not!

Jul. 28 2008 09:28 AM
Royston Coppenger

Please, take it away!

If I want to listen to inane chater I'll tune in to Mike and the Mad Dog. Really, bring back Morning Edition.

Jul. 28 2008 09:27 AM
derek valder

What have I changed ? I no longer listen to the radio. I tried listen to morning eddition on AM but the recepiton is very poor. Now theyare taking away that option. No more contributions to WNYC from me.

Jul. 27 2008 01:04 PM

So WNYC is going after Imus listeners -- Good luck with that Laura!

People who are interested in finding out what's going on and making views known should go to WNYC board meetings. Time and place are announced on air (if you're still listening to the station). Othrwise you can call Listener Services for dates/times. It's something of a mutual admiration society but it's just about the only chance to go around Laura and make your views known to the board.

Jul. 27 2008 12:58 PM

For what it is worth the comment deleted was about Hockenberry and Udoji. To me it seems a little difficult to discuss what is wrong with the program without discussing their on air personalities.


Jul. 27 2008 09:53 AM

"I'm looking forward to trying 'the takeaway'"

Believe me, it is better in theory than in practice.

[[Comment moderated. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.]]

Kevin, get back to us after you have "tried" listening to the program.

There was a reply to Kevin earlier, was it deleted??


Jul. 26 2008 10:02 PM
kevin redman

a commenter said "Listeners don't want this type of radio program on public radio. Most listeners tune into public radio as alternative to that type of programming."

I am a long time NPR listener.
I do want this kind of programming. It was always
relevant, innovative and full of heart.

I remember a similarly innovative show called "heat" that asked me to go outside with my radio on summer's night because we were going to talk about astronomy.

NPR can be so academic, earnest and pedantic
that it feels rigid.

I want the feeling of life in my programming.

I'm looking forward to trying "the takeaway"


Jul. 25 2008 03:55 PM
Milt Snitzer

With all the negative comments about The Takeaway, whose stupid idea was it to expand the program to two hours every morning on WNYC/AM? Perhaps it's cheaper than airing Morning Edition, or is there another reason. Also, do we have to be told every two minutes that we are listening the The Takeaway and then every five minutes about Liberty Mutual. Please, oh please, take away The Takeaway.

Jul. 25 2008 02:51 PM

This morning I called Listener Services to complain about this terrible show (the new number is (646)829-4000). I couldn't get a live person on the phone, but left a message. Surprisingly, there was a message on my machine when I got home tonight, from a very nice woman who wants to hear my feedback about the show. I think we should all call and loudly communicate that this show is simply not up to par. When they replace BBC News FM at 9:00 with TT, it's gonna get ugly.

Jul. 24 2008 11:58 PM
take me away

i thought the theme song was "warning shot" by thievery corporation, but no matter. it's the only good thing about this dreadful experiment. time to pull the plug, not extend by another hour.

Jul. 24 2008 08:41 PM

In our house we call "The Take Away"-The Leave Behind - the Get Away (from me) - and my favorite - The Stay Away
Idora is terrible! I don't think I have heard one intelligent question or comment come out of her mouth. John is not very good either and I think he agrees that Idora is terrible as well when he must constantly correct her.

If my bathroom radio dial was not set to WNYC in the morning I would not subject myself to the show at all - but noise used to beat silence during the morning's constitution, however in the case of the Stay Away, silence is golden.

Femmy find a new show for your cute (although too thick to actually understand the news) accent and try to reduce the trip ups and you may survive the train wreck that is the Leave Behind and perhaps you wont be left behind. Whoever thought they deserved a second hour should be fired immediately.

I love NPR and this show is ruining it. This is my first comment. Please NPR take away The Take Away!

Jul. 24 2008 07:01 PM
WNYC Life Long Contributor

Dave - guess what? WNYC does not care. Evidently they no longer need everyone's donations. I know about twenty donors going over to Channel 13 donations in the future myself included

Jul. 24 2008 09:09 AM

The new studios are at 160 Varick Street, near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. Easy to get to. You might want to walk past and have a look.

If you use Google Image Search and look for 160 Varick WNYC you will get images of both the new studio and Ms. Laura Walker.

I tried to "embed" the image according to the instructions but I got an error message, "contains markup."

Jul. 23 2008 10:35 PM

I emailed the station today to tell them I would not be renewing my membership.

Jul. 23 2008 10:35 PM
special monkey

I have to agree - The Takeaway is a bogus excuse for a radio news program. How many time each minute do you have to mention LIBERTY MUTUAL? How many times each minute do I have to hear the stupid Takeaway music - with the stupid drip sound? How many time a minute do I have to hear chit chat with no substance WHATSOEVER? I am not going to switch to FM I am going to switch stations! P.S. I also think New & Notes SUCKS.

Jul. 23 2008 10:03 PM
john b

despite having WNYC on all day in our office this will be the first time we will not contribute to the station. unfortunately this may be the only way to get through to the directors. This show is such an embarassment, i feel sorry for the WNYC staff for having to be associated with such lame inane insipid crap.

Jul. 23 2008 07:57 PM

How to ruin a radio station: So you started a new and much maligned radio show. What's next? Maybe they'll like it better if it's on twice as long. You'll never get another dime out of me to pay for this stuff.

Jul. 23 2008 06:35 PM
Ted Maynard

I have been a daily listener of WNYC for over 20 years. I always listen to it from 6:30 - 7 am. While I find The Takeaway modestly interesting, I miss the former program, as I am getting less news now. But my primary reason for writing, the first time I ever have, is that the person who comes on to do the intermittent news reporting (is it Femi Oke? -my apologies for not knowing how to spell her name - I couldn't find it on the WNYC website), speaks in a manner that makes it very difficult for me to hear her clearly and to understand what she is saying. I think it is because she speaks too quickly, and her words slur together. I never have had this problem with any other person on WNYC or NPR/NPI. It is a constant, daily problem with her. I hope that she can be coached to speak more clearly asap. Thx.

Jul. 23 2008 10:45 AM
Mary A.

One of the great things about NPR and WNYC is the focus on content, an outward focus on the subject at hand, the music, etc. The No Show and the Takeaway are notable exceptions. In both shows the hosts focus on themselves as media personalities to the detriment of both content and enjoyment. I don't listen to either of these shows because the hosts and their commentary are inane.

Jul. 23 2008 10:44 AM

It is disingenuous to advertise this awful program as "journalistic excellence" and a slap in the face to members to expand it to 2 hours! When fund-raising, wnyc is "our" radio station - we are begged to offer support, and we happily do. WNYC, listen. We do not want the TakeAway on "our" radio station. It was just a misguided experiment. Admit it, and move on.

Jul. 22 2008 07:05 PM

I wonder if making signs and picketing the studio will have to be the next step? Nobody pays attention to this website.


Jul. 22 2008 03:03 PM
walter gropius

When this show gets expanded to 2 hrs on FM that's when the riots start. What deal was struck to keep this crap going for 3 months after it has been so universally rejected by the listeners? I have lost all respect for John Hockenberry, his extended exposure has ruined his reputation and fouled our airwaves. Please remove this putrifying mess as soon as possible.

Jul. 22 2008 02:24 PM

Bad News
I just heard JH announce that the TakeAway was going to two hours on the AM station starting next week. The new schedule:
AM: 8AM-10AM

I called listener services and gave them specific reasons why I disliked this show...the interrupting hosts, the lack of "real" news, the bleeps and beeps, etc. etc. etc.

I suggested that the show be moved to the afternoon, to the web, anywhere but in the morning.

Jul. 22 2008 12:03 PM
fomer listener as well

Yep I agree this station has gone to the toilet. My husband told me they are expanding this crap to 2 hours. How could they knowing how crap the show is? Those kids at stanford must have some pretty powerful, and wealthy dads. They sure do waste a lot of time messing with the website statistics. I mean who could be viewing, and viewing website pages so much that this topic gets pushed down. There are hardly any posts on the mostly viewed topics. It's a ridiculous ploy.

Jul. 22 2008 11:37 AM
Kathy Bunk

So much for public radio? This has been a horrible experiment, and producers at WNYC should now move the Takeaway to am and let us have our mornings back. I used to really like John Hockenberry, but now he comes across as so pompous it's horrible. And Udoji is just a trainwreck. Really, guy, give up and let us enjoy WNYC again. At this point, I'd be interested to know if your contributions are suffering as a result of this new show.

Jul. 22 2008 09:35 AM
Charlene Stern

Whatever happened to grownup radio? Please take away The Take Away! Or, to paraphrase the immortal Dr. Seuss: I do not like it, Sam I Am, I do not like the new AM

Jul. 22 2008 09:34 AM

Please take away the Takeaway. The journalism is unprofessional - names are flubbed, interviewees are interrupted and its generally impossible to listen to without becoming frustrated. The news items are trivial - who cares about the Big Mac song?? This is the worst radio show I have ever heard.

Jul. 22 2008 09:33 AM

I've seen no sign of the TakeAway's ability to provide coherent news and insightful commentary. (Bring back Morning Edition!) But what struck me was that even a discussion about the opening of the Batman movie was complete drivel. An interview with the sheriff of Gotham, Wisconsin (Clever, huh?). Questions like, "Do you make it to the bat cave?" and "Any characters like the Joker in your Gotham?" The sheriff commented that "it's a very, very good movie; the acting is great." WNYC - wake up! You have an intelligent audience, and you're losing us, one by one, with the quality and general level of this dreadful show.

Jul. 21 2008 08:55 PM

The Take Away is now a running joke in our office. We are debating how best to creativly express our displeasure with WNYC for continuing with this mess.

Jul. 21 2008 04:19 PM
anne crawley

I'd like to hear more from your guests, less from you. Too often you interrupt the guest... or don't allow them to share enough of their expertise with us... so that you can add your comments.

Jul. 21 2008 10:15 AM

Last night I set the alarm for 7am - but I awoke at 6 this morning. I decided to putter around the house during the extra hour, turned on the radio and found: The Takeaway. I turned off the radio and went back to bed. I'll putter around the apartment another time.

Jul. 21 2008 10:09 AM
Ken Zarecor

I dont want to sound chronic, but this show stinks and is stinking more each day. It is personality driven news commentary--that may have a place on radio, but it should not pretend to be serious news coverage and it absolutely should not be allowed to bump what was expert and relevant news coverage. Plus the personalities in this case are not interesting, authoriatative or even slightly attractive. And the leaders of this sad band are attuned to the standard and pathetic NPR left wing, "them republicans are evil" John Dean party line. What is even more galling is that this biased drivel, coupled with desperate attempts to be precious and entertaining, are paid for by tax dollars--in other words, taxpayers are expected to pay for propagandizing that they may or may not agree with. "THE TAKE AWAY" should absolutely be taken away.

Jul. 21 2008 10:08 AM

Anyone looking for this board on the "most viewed" links won't find it, and I can't believe that it is because it isn't the most viewed. I think that Ms. Walker and her yes-people feel like they have had enough ego bashing, and are trying to stifle well-deserved criticism by making it even more difficult for critics to find this forum than ever before. Well, it's easier than yanking the show.

Jul. 20 2008 03:11 PM

former listener:

Those dollars in the toilet are mainly from foundations, read across the bottom of the page here. But otherwise your point is valid.

At least the 7 million dollars will make for some nice bonuses for Laura Walker and certain other folks at WNYC. Appropriate thanks for a job well done.



Jul. 18 2008 05:02 PM
a former listener

how much longer must this inane crapfest go on?The insipid banter and rudeness of the hosts are an embarassment. millions of listener dollars in the toilet.

Jul. 18 2008 03:17 PM

It appears I'm not alone in loathing this nightmare of a program. I don't need another chatty, silly morning gabfest, and I am not particularly interested in the constant "what do YOU think?" solicitations for viewer input. What I want is a serious, adult news show. Way to go, WNYC, play to the lowest common denominator, just like the rest of the mainstream media. They also cancelled Warren Olney's "To the Point," an excellent hard news program aired at 2pm on 820am, replacing it with Michelle Martin, who, while not as irritating as Hockenberry and Edogi, focuses on softer news.

Jul. 18 2008 11:06 AM
Alan Rosenberg

I agree with the vast majority on here: this show is appaling. To this add (in my opinion) Radiolab, Prarie Home Companion (I know, some people love it), Car Talk (in New York City?--why don't we have Mass Transit Talk?) and you end up with ALOT of pathetically wasted air time. I urge everyone to turn their dials (and their donations) to 99.5FM WBAI for excellent, intelligent talk.

Jul. 17 2008 10:21 PM

I was also offended by that rude and abrupt end to the interview today.
But it wasn't the first time. Just when the stories get really interesting,
the guests are cut off. I keep trying to give this show a chance, (really, only because my AM reception is bad), but it just seems to irritate me more each day. Some days I just turn off the radio before it comes on.
I agree with all the previous emails, (style of the show, the hosts, and the most annoying sound effects repeated ad nauseam). I'm so glad everyone
is speaking out; I only hope someone out there is reading.

Jul. 17 2008 01:57 PM