Sunday, July 24, 2016

If Soterios Johnson leaves WNYC, does that mean the world is coming to an end?


Plus: Dilbert's CEO on "Making the world a better place"

Soterios abandoning his WNYC mic? Is this really allowed?

by Ken

Yeah, sure, the world is going to hell in a handbasket -- Trump, Hillary, Nice, Istanbul, Munich, blah blah blah. Normally I would be happy to solve those problems, but this week we've got a real problem. When I got around to opening the latest issue of the recently instituted member newsletter of WNYC, our public-radio station, I was promptly assailed by this bombshell:
We're Going To Miss You, Soterios!

We're starting this month's newsletter with some news you may have already heard: Soterios Johnson is moving on from WNYC and is headed to sunny, warm California at the end of August. He's accepted a position as Director of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Partnerships at the University of California, Davis. We’re happy for Soterios, but we’re having a hard time imagining waking up without his dulcet voice to start the day.

During his time with us, Soterios has become an important part of our morning routines, and we're all going to miss him. So, we wanted to give our members the opportunity to help send Soterios off. We've created a form for you to share your thoughts and memories of Soterios's time at WNYC, and we'll share what you write with him before he heads out west. And be sure to listen to your radio in August—we have some special plans of our own for seeing Soterios off!
Say what? Soterios Johnson leaving WNYC?

Now this sounds lovely for Soterios. And what WNYC listener doesn't wish the station's much-loved morning guy well? That is, as long as it doesn't involve depriving us of this uniquely welcomed, welcoming, and trusted voice. Hey, consider the thousands of hours of station pledge drives I've listened through largely because there on-air was Soterios. It just didn't seem right not to listen.

Who the heck, you may be wondering, is Soterios Johnson? Here's the website answer:
Soterios Johnson

Before you ask... it's Greek. And, so is Johnson (via translation). It's a long story... Soterios Johnson seemed strangely drawn to the news, even as a young child.

As a kid he would lull himself to sleep listening to WCBS NewsRadio 88. "As a kid, I always wanted to be in the know... and to spread the word," he says. In high school, Soterios worked at a small FM station in his hometown in New Jersey, followed by a four-year stint as an undergraduate at Columbia on WKCR, New York. He was an Associate Producer at Newsweek On Air and worked in the field of science journalism for several years. He earned his master's degree at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.
I suppose I ought to try to explain for the benefit of unfortunate folks who aren't in the habit of waking up to Soterios just why he's so uniquely "welcomed, welcoming, and trusted." And it's not just because you've come to understand that "Soterios" is really a name and "Soterios Johnson" is a real person. It's because . . . nah, if you have to ask, you have to be there.


In this November 2015 interview, WNYC's Soterios talks about the legendary obstacles to building a Second Avenue subway with Hobart and William Smith Colleges history professor Clifton Hood, author of 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York, who says: "The problem with New York City from 1920 to today is that we've never been able to come up with a formula that would provide the subways with the money they need to maintain good shape."

Well, okay then, good luck in California, Soterios, dammit.


[Click to enlarge.]

This is so perfect that I really can't think of anything to add to it.

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At 7:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just stating the fact: after he left WNYC morning show significantly reduced LGBT discussions.


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