Is there a media outlet in the Philadelphia that's more consistently in its own way than WHYY? (Don't answer that. There are only so many hours in the day.) But man: WHYY. The name is appropriate. Buried into a casual update on its website, the station revealed that it's done with the nationwide syndicated show American Routes:
What programs won’t be on any longer?
We’re saying goodbye to Car Talk, a program that has had a great run for over a quarter of a century. You can keep enjoying the program at cartalk.com.
We’re also saying goodbye to American Routes. You can hear the program online at americanroutes.wwno.org.
Now, there's a few things about this. One is that this is not how you thank the producers of what is arguably the greatest radio feature on Philly music that has ever been produced. Another is that even minus that, American Routes is one of the great beloved American present-day radio shows; I don't know a single person who's heard it that dislikes it, and in fact, you could even go so far as to say that American Routes does a public good in teaching American musical history for free, to all within earshot, and in doing so provides knowledge that our schools have pretty much given up on teaching. That American Routes is going out in part to make way for America's Test Kitchen Radio, Freakonomics Radio and The New Yorker Radio Hour — all worthy programs but all already well-established podcasts with their own platforms and distribution — makes this sting a little more. (But that's WHYY for ya: The only way to get kicked off the air is either dying, or staying relevant.) We're currently hearing that we're not the only ones putting the station on blast. We'll keep an eye on it, but in the meantime, read our 2010 interview with Nick Spitzer of American Routes.