There’s big news in the Boston public radio world, as Christopher Lydon returns to the airwaves tonight at 9 with “Radio Open Source,” the radio/podcast interview program he’s been doing for some years now. He’ll be on for an hour every Thursday, with weekend rebroadcasts.
And in a sign that times change, he’ll be doing it on WBUR (90.9 FM), from which he and producer Mary McGrath — who still works with Lydon — memorably departed in 2001. Lydon and McGrath got into a dispute with then-general manager Jane Christo over the ownership of “The Connection,” the show they helmed at the time.
Technically this is more of a ramp-up than a return: Lydon had been appearing regularly on Jim Braude and Margery Eagan’s show, “Boston Public Radio,” on WGBH (89.7 FM). I’m a paid contributor at WGBH, but I think it’s self-evident that the rivalry between the two public radio powerhouses has led to better local programming at both stations.
Here is what I reported for The Boston Phoenix in 2005 as “Open Source” was about to launch at UMass Lowell. (Lydon and company eventually affiliated with the Watson Institute at Brown University.)
Lydon is an on-air legend and McGrath knows how to do terrific radio. Best of luck to both of them.
Photo (cc) 2012 by Mark Fonseca Rendeiro and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.