On Point

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For the military term to be "on point", see Take point.
On Point
Genre News: analysis, commentary, features, interviews, specials
Running time c. 110 min.
Country United States
Language(s) English
Home station WBUR
Syndicates National Public Radio
Host(s) Tom Ashbrook
Creator(s) Graham Griffith
Producer(s) Karen Shiffman
Julie Diop
Sam Gale Rosen
Pien Huang
Eileen Imada
Stefano Kotsonis
Hilary Barngrove McQuilkin
Alex Kingsbury
Dean Russell
Recording studio Boston, Massachusetts
Air dates 17 September 2001 to present
Opening theme "Everything is Alright"
Website OnPoint.WBUR.org
Podcast Podcast / RSS feed

On Point is a two-hour call-in radio show hosted by Tom Ashbrook, a former The Boston Globe foreign editor and reporter, author and Internet entrepreneur. It is produced by WBUR in Boston and syndicated by National Public Radio. The show addresses news issues, as well as arts and culture, health, technology, environmental, and business topics.

It is distributed to 229 public radio stations across the United States by NPR.[citation needed] Major markets include New York City and Washington, D.C., as well as Ann Arbor/Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Miami, Florida, Nashville, Tennessee, St. Louis, Missouri, Des Moines, Iowa, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, Tampa, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Eugene, Oregon, and parts of California. On Point averages more than 600,000 podcast downloads a month.[citation needed]

Past guests[edit]

The show has featured political guests such as former President Jimmy Carter; former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Secretary of State James Baker; and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Other guests of public note include Gloria Steinem, Bill Cosby, Camille Paglia and Noam Chomsky; music mogul Russell Simmons; Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike; Jack Welch, George Soros, Jeff Bezos, Tom Perkins and Eli Broad; and journalists David Remnick, Eleanor Clift, Trudy Rubin, Andrea Mitchell, Andrea Stone, Martha Raddatz, Clarence Page, Ron Brownstein, Chris Matthews, David Gergen, Ellen Goodman, Thomas Friedman and David Brooks.

The show also features a wide array of arts and culture programming. Musical guests have included: Joan Baez, John Mellencamp, Indigo Girls, Adam Yauch, Lou Reed, k.d. lang, Herbie Hancock, Martin Sexton, Gregg Allman and Ry Cooder. Recently, actor Jeff Bridges also featured as a guest.

Notable coverage[edit]

The show traveled to Shanghai, People's Republic of China, to broadcast a week of programming from April 14–18, 2008. Topics ranged from the Beijing Olympics to Chinese cinema. Among the guests were leading China analysts, officials and journalists. A new website was launched to coincide with the trip.

In the run-up to the 2008 presidential campaign, the show interviewed Barack Obama, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, John Edwards, Ron Paul, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Sam Brownback. Election commentators included Donna Brazile, Tom Brokaw, Bob Shrum, Dana Milbank, Tony Fabrizio, Joe Klein, EJ Dionne, Pat Buchanan, Peter Hart, and Hendrik Hertzberg. The show traveled to both the Democratic and Republican conventions, broadcasting live in the morning and at night.

Tom Ashbrook's medical leave[edit]

Host Tom Ashbrook went on medical leave in November 2007, to undergo heart bypass surgery. He resumed full-time broadcasting January 2, when he discussed his medical journey in a show with his doctors and nurses.

Time and location[edit]

On Point is broadcast live from Boston, Massachusetts on WBUR FM (90.9 MHz) from 10 a.m. to 12 noon ET, occupying the former time slot of The Connection, and repeated from 7 to 9 p.m. There are almost always distinct topics in each hour, with the first hour tending to be more serious and news driven than the second.

The show often features senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly and historian Jack Beatty, as a news analyst. Jane Clayson, former CBS morning anchor and correspondent, is commonly the show's fill-in host; NPR's Jacki Lyden, John Harwood, Anthony Brooks, Jessica Yellin, and James Hattori have also hosted.

On Point was created by Graham Griffith, and first broadcast on 17 September 2001, to provide special coverage in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The show's popularity led to it becoming a standalone program, first broadcasting under the On Point name on 4 February 2002.

It is led by senior producer Karen Shiffman and directed by Eileen Imada.[1]

The On Point theme music, "Everything is Alright", comes from the Four Tet album Pause.[citation needed]


External links[edit]