by Kevin Allman
On Monday, April 15, I had an Income Tax Day to remember. I was invited to hear a “proposal” from the general manager of KCRW. The proposal was, in fact, a notice of a fait accompli. Le Show was being cancelled from the airwaves — something I had suspected might be the nature of the proposal, but the surprise was the timing: “effective immediately”. Thus does public radio, in one more small way, come to resemble ever more closely commercial radio’s way of doing business.
Le Show, which had been a 30-year staple at KCRW, featured Shearer's mix of barbed political satire, radio sketch comedy and music. KCRW management told the LA Weekly that it will "continue to distribute the show for podcast and national syndication, and will continue to support the show on its digital platforms."
Shearer is not the first Louisiana radio host to fall victim to changes at KCRW. In 1998, native New Orleanian Chuck Taggart, who presented a weekly program featuring Louisiana heritage music, was dropped from the station (Taggart began a new show at KCSN-FM, which he ended in 2008).
WWNO general manager Paul Maassen said the University of New Orleans' NPR affiliate intends to continue carrying Shearer's program, but said he hadn't talked to Shearer about possibly making WWNO the new home base for Le Show.
"We have a great relationship with Harry," Maassen told Gambit. "We'll see if he approaches us."