Click, Clack, Stall

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Photo Courtesy the Hollywood Reporter

With the ever changing world of radio being stuck in an everlasting limbo trying to figure out what it can do with itself, one of the most listened to shows over the past 25 years is done as of October.

“Car Talk” had become a staple in many NPR listeners weekend routine. The Tappet brothers have been making the process of radio-based call-in automobile diagnostics into something that attracted loyal fans all over the country.

While admitting they were not always accurate, not always helpful, they did develop a loyal following and got some people who would never get their hands dirty up to their elbows in engine oil. Truth be told, I listened mainly when in cars of other people who were fans. Oddly enough though I knew dozens and over the years was able to catch their program many times.

While I respect their longevity in a very fickle business, my main point here is the state of broadcast radio. (I won’t even touch on satellite radio and all its ails.) There are so many stations that are being run by computers, quite literally existing in a closet. One or two voice over people (who used to be DJs in many cases) that are now working an hour or two a week (getting paid significantly less than they used to, which wasn’t much to begin with.) In other instances they are trying to cover an artificially large range of listeners usually only to fail miserably.

So while an entire industry flounders we see yet another sign of the way it was go by the wayside. The ‘Car Talk’ guys have stalled and are headed to the garage, a living metaphor for the industry they have watched over the past 25 years.

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