July 27, 2016; Washington, D.C. – After September 30, 2017, weekly broadcast production of the Best of Car Talk programs will end. NPR and Car Talk came to this decision after consultation with key station personnel, programmers, researchers, listeners and Car Talk’s own staff.
“We will make the 2016-2017 season of Car Talk the best of the best. We will edit, enhance and program the very best of the 30 year series,” said Doug Berman, Executive Producer of Car Talk. “In many ways, the Best of Car Talk is the best of public radio — honest, authentic, original, warm, interactive, broadly welcoming and unforgettable.”
“Car Talk has been an enormous part of public radio’s past and present. There is no other program quite like it. Thanks to Doug Berman and his team for their partnership, the research and deep thought they have put into choosing this path forward,” said Anya Grundmann, Vice President of Programing at NPR. “We are in a moment of transition for weekend programming across the public radio system. This coming year, one of the top priorities of the programming team at NPR will be to focus on creating new weekend programming to extend value of Only A Game, Weekend Edition, Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, and Ask Me Another - all foundational to a strong weekend schedule.”
Car Talk began as a local program on WBUR, its longtime home base in Boston, in 1977. After developing an early loyal following among WBUR listeners, the show made its national debut with NPR in 1987. Remarkably, Car Talk has been produced at WBUR for all of its 39 years, along the way becoming one of the icons that defines public radio.
Car Talk remains a favorite among more than 2.6 million loyal listeners every week. Research shows Car Talk is still a gateway for new listeners and it will continue to be programmed that way for the next 14 months. Stations interested in continuing to broadcast more traditional repeats of Car Talk after September 2017 will have the option to do so. Listeners will also be able to enjoy weekly podcasts of the 30-year series after September 30, 2017.
The Car Talk web site, Facebook page, Twitter and other social media will continue, both to serve their existing audiences and to provide opportunities for engagement for all listeners, on podcast or radio. Car Talk will also continue its highly successful vehicle donation program that has donated millions of dollars to NPR Member stations.
About Car Talk
Car Talk is a hilarious, fast paced call-in show (tangentially) about cars, featuring Tom and Ray Magliozzi, two MIT educated brothers who began as owners of a repair shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The program was originally developed at Boston's WBUR beginning in 1977. After being nurtured there as a local program for ten years, Car Talk went national on NPR in 1987. The uninhibited Boston brothers were an instant nationwide hit, dispensing automotive first aid and roadside philosophy to millions of listeners on more than 600 public radio stations. Winner of the Peabody Award, Car Talk has been lauded by the media since its national premiere in 1987. In addition to NPR, it’s heard all over the globe via satellite, on commercial stations, and via the stations of Armed Forces Radio. Car Talk's podcast consistently ranks as one of iTunes' most popular, with over 2,300,000 downloads a month. Car Talk is produced for NPR by Dewey, Cheetham & Howe and WBUR in Boston.