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Monday, January 30, 2006

Chicago to Get Slightly Less Twee

I don't know how I missed this--nor do I quite understand why the Gawkers of the world haven't been chewing it over and using it as an occasion for mockery of some sort--but This American Life is up and moving to the real world, pursuant to its deal with Showtime to televise its preciousness.

Such a move has been rumored for some time now--I remember calling Ira Glass once to check it out when I was at the Tribune more than a year ago--so it's not really a surprise. But seeing as how the presence of Glass and his Show of Shows here in Chicago has long been central to the "we're just as good as New York" line of argument, you'd think his defection to the First City would merit a mention in the Chicago Tribune. You could spin it as a local boy makes good story.

Moreover, what does this mean for WBEZ, the public radio station here that produced This American Life, and presumably minted a good deal of money selling it, through Public Radio International, to public radio stations around the nation?

As for the show itself, I doubt it will make a difference. I guess the worst that can happen is that a TV-addled Glass, finding himself surrounded by pale sycophants in a soulless, expensive city that thrives on the accumulation of wealth and buzz, begins to whore his name out to the manufacturers of hip lifestyle gadgets. Or did that already happen?