From today’s Washington Times:
Public radio is no longer just for baby boomers and news junkies, it turns out.
WETA 91.9 FM on Friday will join nearly a dozen other public radio stations in debuting Fair Game from PRI with Faith Salie, a one-hour weekday evening broadcast that host Ms. Salie describes as the radio “love child” of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
“What we share with The Daily Show is an inclination to reach out to younger listeners and an irreverent, skeptical take on hard news,” said Ms. Salie, a comedienne who previously starred on Bravo’s improvisational sitcom, Significant Others.
“Unlike The Daily Show, we don’t just cover politics. We like to think of it as the evolution of the variety show.”
Fair Game will feature interviews with newsmakers and celebrities, along with musical and comedic performances. Field correspondents will also contribute to the program, tackling, in Ms. Salie’s words, “such weighty issues” as the Miss Adams Morgan Pageant, an annual drag-queen event in Northwest.
“There’s also a lot of unscripted, spontaneous interaction with random phone-call recipients,” Ms. Salie added.
Minneapolis-based Public Radio International is producing the show, which will be taped at WNYC New York Public Radio’s studios. Other PRI programs include the This American Life with Ira Glass and The Tavis Smiley Show.
Ms. Salie, a Harvard-educated Rhodes scholar, described the show’s targeted demographic of twenty- and thirtysomethings as an audience somewhat “ignored” by traditional public radio programs.
To court younger listeners, Ms. Salie will use the Web to solicit feedback from listeners, such as band recommendations and suggested questions for guests.
Fair Game is intended “both to amuse and to challenge their way of thinking,” Ms. Salie said. “I think that comedy, when it has a point and when it’s rooted in fact, can be just about the most provocative tool there is in terms of shaking people’s consciousness.”
The show is slated to debut nationally in January. WETA will air Fair Game on Fridays at 10 p.m.
I’ll post again with other stations and schedules as soon as I do a little poking around. Also, start looking for some great press to roll out in December. Cousin is workin’ it, baby! Woo!