WGBH nixes Open Source

Breaking public-radio news: starting in July, WGBH-FM (89.7) won't be carrying Chris Lydon's Open Source program.

Surprised? So was I. After all, the Globe recently reported that Open Source--which was just dropped by its former distributor, Public Radio International--had scraped together enough money to keep operating through the end of the summer.

But WGBH spokesperson Lucy Sholley says it's so. "WGBH was proud to bring [Lydon] back to public radio, and we wish him and Open Source Media the best of luck," she adds. "We hope there will be other opportunities for us to work together in the future."

The tipster who alerted us to this development also said that Open Source Media, Lydon's production company, still owes 'GBH thousands of dollars in studio fees. (To state the semi-obvious, Open Source Media rents out 'GBH studio space to make the show.) Sholley wouldn't comment on this. "We have a business arrangement with Open Source Media in that we lease them our studio space," she says, "and it would be inappropriate for us to comment on a business arrangement."

I've tried and failed to reach Mary McGrath, Lydon's producer; if I get comment from her or Lydon, I'll post it here. In the meantime, it's hard not to wonder how this development will affect Open Source's fundraising efforts--and whether some of the program's recent benefactors might regret their decision.

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