Support For NPR And Frank Tavares

frank tavaresIf you listen to NPR at all you have heard Frank Tavares. Frank is the guy who does all the underwriting announcements nationwide from his home in Hamden!

For those of us who’ve longingly lusted after a Herman Miller Aeron chair or knew the names of obscure charitable foundations who support public radio, it was because of Frank.

A few months ago NPR decided to replace freelancer Frank with a staff announcer. His last session happened this past weekend.

He posted this on Facebook:

Well, barring any unexpected emergencies during the 7 weeks remaining on my NPR contract, the 4-hour-plus recording session I did Saturday morning with Wilma Consuls may be the last of the Tavares voiced funding credits. These are scheduled to air the weeks of November 11 and 18. Bundled together in various groupings, there were just short of 600 individual credits in this last session–about average. The final one was for our friends at The TED Radio Hour–CIG01, “And from Cigna, a global health service company, dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. At Cigna dot com,” followed by our nipper. At the end, a little anti-climactic. Wilma and I chatted for a minute or so, “Well…talk to you sometime….” followed by, “This is a good night from NPR Hamden.” Closed the mic, dropped the line, then had lunch standing in the kitchen, while the dog watched closely, hoping I’d drop something. Sigh…

I commented on Frank’s page it won’t be the same, not having him in the shower with me. He’s in the car too and in my office.

I don’t like change. I don’t like this change.

Support for Frank Tavares comes from NPR listeners everywhere, listeners like me.

Facilitator… That’s Me

I’m not sure what the proper term is – emcee, host, moderator? I personally like facilitator, though I can’t give you the exact definition of the word. Whatever it is, I did it today, as I shepherded a roundtable discussion on air quality at Southern Connecticut State University. I think it went very well.

This is a skill I never knew I had until Dave Brody, producer for Inside Space, had me moderate a few “Star Councils”; panel discussions on space&#185. Once, I told a panelist (I think it was Bob Zubrin, founder of The Mars Society), “I’m not calling on you until I actually see smoke coming out of your ears.”

My approach is to be the opposite of anyone I’m questioning. I don’t care what your beliefs are, I’m your antithesis, and I’ll make you justify every position you take. It really forces people to become more passionate and factual as they begin to speak.

It becomes clear from the start that no statement will go unchallenged.

Being contrary is its own reward. So, this is totally fun for me.

When I was first approached to do today’s panel, I was skittish because it looked like the panel members might be all of one mind. A lovefest with no critical thinking would be worthless. I was assured there would be diversity of opinion and I was not disappointed.

Sometimes, I think I’d like to try my hand at doing this at some tech or broadcasting convention, but I have no idea where to go or who to contact to get the ball rolling.

&#185 – I am reminded by Dr. Frank Tavares at Southern Connecticut State University, that it was he who got me to moderate my first roundtable. It had to do with the future of communications. My boss (who I never really got along with) was a participant, as was the GM of the local cable company and a few others. We pulled no punches.

It was Brody who got me to do these in quantity, with world renowned experts, on the road at scholarly meetings, with an audience of opinionated and well informed experts. And, of course, doing the “Star Councils” on-camera made them even more fun.

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