Magazine article The Quill

'Connection' Lost on WBUR-FM; Hosts Go Online

Magazine article The Quill

'Connection' Lost on WBUR-FM; Hosts Go Online

Article excerpt

Boston's WBUR-FM and two of its employees - "Connection" host Christopher Lydon and senior producer Mary McGrath - parted company on March 1, putting an end to both a bitter two-week standoff and a 6-year-old popular call-in show.

The 10 a.m.-noon talk show had been distributed by National Public Radio since January, reaching nearly 75 markets.

A statement from Lydon and McGrath on March 1 pinned the blame squarely on WBUR for the show's end. "WBUR broke the 'Connection' today instead of negotiating the future of the program with the people who created it," the statement declared.

The key problem in the contract negotiations appeared to be Lydon and McGrath's desire to own "The Connection" and a share of the program's future revenue growth, while WBUR saw Lydon as simply a paid employee who hosted the show.

Within days of Lydon's and McGrath's suspensions, five "Connection" staffers -- Hitesh Hathi, Katherine Bidwell, Jake Shapiro, Amy Macdonald, and Dan Furst - turned in their resignations in protest. …

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