By: Ellen Murphy (3)

The Former Joe Show

Ellen Murphy writes a requiem. The Joe Show on KBAI is being shut down. The noon every day show is the victim of a decision of large corporate media located 2,000 miles away.

Ellen Murphy writes a requiem. The Joe Show on KBAI is being shut down. The noon every day show is the victim of a decision of large corporate media located 2,000 miles away.

• Topics: Whatcom County, News Media,

On Friday, July 28, Joe Teehan’s noon to one “Get-Naked-Friday” will be Bellingham progressive radio’s “Farewell-Friday” because KBAI-Progressive AM 930 or Cascade Radio Group, or Saga, or somebody, has shut down “The Joe Show.” I’m not ready for the back story. I’m too busy mourning for the constant feeling of loss, the constant having to use “former” as a prefix to other valued things, like the EPA, the Interior Department, the Department of Education, indeed, the presidency of the United States of America. Now I will have to say, “the former Joe Show.” Is it a bit less weighty than the others? Yeah, but it feels just as heavy, because “The Joe Show” was (past tense-really? PAST tense?) here; it was now; it was every day; it was relevant and needed, and funny, and reasonable, articulate, and intelligent, and all right—intersectional; and now that I’ve said that, it was nonviolent too. Joe focused kindly on his guests, but if his differing view was needed, he made his points by simply telling about things he’s learned, and how he learned them. I swear his ego is utterly subdued.

Joe Teehan has offered Whatcom County and Northwest Washington the best in progressive radio talk-show broadcasting for many years. Not surprisingly, considering his genuine mid-West trombone player humility, I couldn’t find the exact number on his various internet pages. But every single week day Joe’s personality and values have shined through his radio interviews, and his news broadcasts too. When values shine, we can see them, know them, benefit from them by feeling their reflection. I believe he valued mutual respect, fairness, critical thinking, humor, and—since he really was a music major grad and trombone player—harmony.

Don’t think Joe wasn’t accomplished at handling dissonance. I said above that Joe begged to differ by way of telling stories. Since his KBAI interviews were meant to help others tell their stories, I learned how Joe handles the art of differing by listening to an interview with Joe, conducted by a down-on-progressives libertarian guy who hosted his own show. The host was cordial, but if the idea was to cure Joe of his progressiveness by means of historical facts and logic, the libertarian had a bad day. The nicest bad day he’d ever had.

Everything changes, sure. Joe’s a top talent; he’s a proven master at challenge; something good will happen.

But this isn’t about him; it’s about me. After Friday the 28th of July and the last Joe Show, and Monday high noon rolls around, what am I supposed to do?

About Ellen Murphy

Citizen Journalist • Member since Jun 21, 2011

Dick Conoboy

Jul 29, 2017

 Thanks Ellen,

I was not aware of this.  Will he be sticking around to do the news for KGMI?

It appears there will still be one last Joe Show on Monday, if the KBAI site is to be trusted.  Announcement can be found here.

Joe had me on his show several times to talk about rental registration and inspections.  He was always friendly and courteous.  I personally think he could have been a bit more hard-hitting with some of his guests who got away with saying things that were” doubtful in origin”.  In fact, I told him that when I last saw him about 6 months ago.

It will be interesting to see what program changes will be coming about as Joe leaves.  For a so-called progressive station, I don’t hear many truly progressive voices on the airwaves emanating from the KBAI towers. 


Joy Gilfilen

Jul 31, 2017

Joe was outstanding as an interviewer, he was entertaining, literate, skilled and capable at handling many viewpoints.  He worked to get good logical discussions on the show, and it was a valued viewpoint for this community.  His show will be greatly missed.  



Edward Bosteter

Aug 03, 2017

This was my email to Don Kurtis, manager of KBAI:

I am very disappointed with the format change on KBAI. I was an avid listener to the previous Progressive format. Your station has effectively removed any alternative to Right Wing radio in Whatcom County, following the trend of the rest of the country. This one sided slant to the news and issues is very detrimental to our society.

I listen to KGMI in the mornings for news and the John Batchelor show at night, but will now turn to Internet radio for the rest of my listening - your advertising on KBAI will NOT be heard by me and many others and I will be sure to contact about this issue and avoid the remaining advertisers on your other stations.

Please keep the John Batchelor show - it is the last bastion of intelligence on the airwaves in Whatcom County.

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