I’ve held off writing about this, but this last Sunday for the first time in years, I didn’t prepare a “Someone You Should Know” tribute for that segment on Kevin Whalen’s “Pundit Review” radio.
As the time I usually do the segment came and went, I reflected on the fact that what started with Matt Burden and was handed off to me 4 or 5 years ago had survived that long.
Each week, Kevin would have me on to talk about our heroes down range and the awards for valor they’d earned. “Someone You Should Know”, was, according to Kevin, the most popular segment on the show. He always wanted to attribute it’s success to Matt or me. But both of us realized that without Kevin’s platform and generosity, SYSK would never have made it on the air or become the hit it became.
I’m not sure how many we did in the almost 7 years Kevin’s show was on, but it has to be hundreds. And they’re all preserved right here in the Pundit Review archive.
WRKO, the station that carried the show, made a business decision to change the Sunday night talk line up. That, of course, is their right. As Kevin said:
After 374 Sunday’s, this was our final show on WRKO. It has been a great experience. I had many people to thank, starting with Gregg Jackson who pushed me into this crazy idea in the summer of 2004. There are lots of folks at WRKO to thank, from Todd Feinburg to Howie Carr to the great roster of producers, Sandy, Bernie, Producer Rob, Dan the Man, Ed, Horseshack. I don’t have a bad thing to say about WRKO. They gave me a great platform to do what I wanted for 374 weekends, so you won’t hear me complaining or saying they owe me week 375. In fact, I owe them.
Kevin’s a classy guy and I agree with him. For that extended time we had the opportunity to tell the stories that weren’t getting much coverage in the press.
Anyway, here’s my bleg. If you have a blog – it doesn’t matter what kind – and you’re looking for material, why not start popping one of these stories up each week for your readers (who will soon be listeners). There are some that we call the “way back machine” where a hero from WWII, Korea or Vietnam is honored. The rest are from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Regardless of whether or not the platform that WRKO so generously allowed us for so long still exits, these stories deserve to be heard and these heroes honored.
Oh, and one last thing … my and I’m sure Matt Burden’s profound thanks to Kevin Whalen for the opportunity he gave us here at Blackfive to honor our troops. Kevin has been a supporter of our troops for years, is active in the Boston area in promoting groups and charities that help the troops and has also been a very good and close friend. I’d also like to thank the wonderful and loyal Boston area listeners who tuned in every week to hear these stories and made me feel so welcome on their airwaves. Thanks so much
I’ll admit I miss our Sunday talks already. I’m hoping some other station will hook him up as he’s one of the best interviewers I’ve ever listened too (I’ll tell his secret – when he interviews someone he prepares. If it is the author of a book, he actually reads the book … yeah, the whole thing).
Hopefully he’ll pop back up on the air and at some point SYSK will resume. Until then, if you wouldn’t mind, maybe you could help keep it alive and honor those who’ve sacrificed so much to keep us free.
Update: Kevin drops us a comment and in it says:
If anyone wants to embed the audio for these great stories on their blog, drop me a note at punditreview -at-hotmail-dot-com and I can share the code with you.