The Search Begins – Who Will Replace Fred Andrle?

To keep the lawyers and human resources off my back I must be careful here, but allow me to give you an inside glimpse into the search for a new talk radio host for WOSU Public Media.

The application window has shut and we have received nearly 200 applications to fill the position being vacated by the retiring Fred Andrle. 200 applications is not all that unusual for a broadcasting opening, but I find a few things remarkable.

First is the large number of applicants who think they can do what Fred Andrle does every day without any training or experience. I’m sure a lot of people say, ‘Hey, I watch the news. I’m well read. I can talk for two hours a day.’ It’s the legacy Fred has left us. He makes it sound so damn easy. What listeners don’t hear is what Fred and all good talk show hosts do behind the scenes. The moment Fred leaves the airwaves, his nose is buried in a book or in briefing papers, preparing for the next show. At night he’s watching, listening and reading to keep up on everything, I mean everything that’s going on in the world. Being a news and public affairs talk show host is a 24/7 job; it’s much more than 2 hours of gum-flap between 10 and noon.

Second is the large number of extremely qualified applicants. That’s also part of Fred’s legacy. Thanks to Mr. Andrle, WOSU owns the thoughtful balanced local radio talk franchise in Central Ohio, and a lot of really talented people want to pick up where he leaves off. It will make our job selecting a candidate very difficult, but it’s a nice problem to have.

Third, the pool of applicants reflects our times. There are a lot of very talented people inside and outside of media who are unemployed and looking for work. That makes the selection process that much harder, knowing that some applicants not only want this job, they need this job.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress, and we welcome your thoughts.

- Mike Thompson

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