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A Fond WUNC Farewell To 'The Best of Car Talk'; 'On The Media' Comes To Saturday

Car Talk Hosts Tom & Ray Magliozzi and On The Media - Saturdays on WUNC
Richard Howard (Tom & Ray Magliozzi)
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Car Talk Hosts Tom & Ray Magliozzi and On The Media - Saturdays on WUNC

There are some changes coming to the North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC Saturday program lineup in July. NPR is ending its production of The Best of Car Talk; now it's time to say goodbye to the edited reruns of Click and Clack.

The last broadcast of The Best of Car Talk on WUNC will be June 24. The following Saturday, July 1, On The Media, hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, will join the WUNC Saturday line up. 

Car Talk with Tom and Ray Magliozzi debuted on WUNC-FM on Saturday August 5, 1989. The program which began as a local show on NPR member station WBUR in Boston in 1977 was ostensibly about cars and their maintenance. However, it was really about people, relationships, and the irrepressible and contagious laughter of brothers Tom and Ray. The brothers were known affectionately by their nicknames, "Click" and "Clack".

201713_click_clackdefined.mp3
The identities of 'Click' and 'Clack' are revealed in this classic 'Car Talk' clip.

'They were authentic and it really changed the sound [of public radio] at the time.' - Brooke Gladstone

"Tom and Ray gave public radio permission to laugh," said WUNC Program Director David Brower.  "They loved their listeners and that came through every week.  Even after five years of reruns, it's hard to let it go."

A WUNC Listener's Guide announcing the arrival of Car Talk on WUNC
A WUNC Listener's Guide announcing the arrival of Car Talk on WUNC

Tom & Ray announced their retirement from the show in 2012. Their program, culled from the Car Talk archives, was re-branded as the Best of Car Talk.  Tom Magliozzi died in 2014 from complications related to Alzheimer's disease.

On The Media Host Brooke Gladstone spoke with WUNC Morning Edition host Eric Hodge about the legacy of Car Talk and how On The Media covers  journalism, media and the First Amendment.

"They were authentic and it really changed the sound [of public radio] at the time. And I think has something to do with all the different voices we hear right now," said Gladstone.  About On The Media, she continued, " There is such an avalanche of information. Sometimes it helps to have someone provide a little tool or some perspective in order for you to navigate this ocean of information. And we do that and we do it with humor and we do it with passion."

WBUR produced this Car Talk video celebration a few years back: