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Bye For Now
Sometimes it's best to rip the band-aid off, and then the balm and explanations can follow: I'm leaving Think Out Loud.
I'll be staying at OPB, but after more than two-and-a-half relentlessly exciting years as the online host of Think Out Loud, I've accepted a position to create pilots for a new weekly arts and culture show. The plan after that piloting process is a little less clear, but most likely I'll work to blog-ify OPB News.
The role of online host was, from the beginning, an odd job. I manage a community of people I've never seen, and give voice to people I've never heard. The odder thing, of course, is that it largely worked. Despite the fact that I never met the vast majority of you — or never realized it, if we did meet! — I feel like I've come to know this community. You are a handful of hardcores (I was about to make a list, but you know who you are!), scores of regulars, hundreds of dabblers, and uncountable lurkers. You constantly surprise me with your civility, eloquence, and openness. While threads on many other sites start with name-calling and then descend into digital mud-slinging, we've been blessed with real, substantive conversations. Your community spirit made my job much easier, and much more pleasant, and I'm confident that spirit is here to stay.
If this show took me to some inspiring and fascinating corners of the internet, it also gave me the opportunity to make live radio in unexpected places. In the last two months alone, I've found myself at a food cart picnic table, cowering under a tree in a rainy Laurelhurst Park, and steps away from the "medication lounge" at Southern Oregon NORML. It's also been a fantastic crash course in Oregon's geographic and human diversity. I've logged thousands of miles in the last few years — from the coast to Bend, Vancouver to Cave Junction, Corvallis to Enterprise — and Travel Oregon, if you want a hearty and heartfelt testimonial about this state's splendor, just give me a call.
And then there's the staff of the show. Once a week we read the credits, and you hear a whole list of names and titles, but I think it's hard to overstate just how much of a team effort a show like TOL is. It takes an immense amount of before-the-show and behind-the-scenes work for on-air people to not make fools of themselves on a daily basis. Much of that work is done by people whose efforts are largely unsung. It has been an honor and a daily pleasure to work the entire team.
So given all of this, you might be wondering, why am I leaving TOL? Basically, it's because the chance to shape a new show from the ground up was just too exciting to ignore. I'll still be a substitute host here, and you'll probably also see me commenting in these very threads every now and then.
Most importantly, I may be leaving TOL but TOL isn't leaving this community. Everybody here will be paying more attention to the wit and wisdom that bubbles up from this site than ever before. We'll still produce hours of radio based on your suggestions, and we'll bring your comments and questions onto the air each morning. There's bound to be some experimenting in the weeks and months that follow as we figure out what works best on-air and online, but OPB and Think Out Loud are committed to forming a more perfect union of radio and web. We hope you'll stick around for part 2.0 of the ride.
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