We have suffered a great tragedy.
Our ComCast has decided to cancel our access to KQED the PBS station in San Francisco. We are not alone in the anger about this arbitrary decision. There is a whole long discussion about it on Nextdoor, a web site to share information with people in your immediate neighborhood.
We contacted ComCast and KQED and KVIE to find out whose decision this was, Nobody was particularly interested in our complaints, but we did find out that it was ComCast's decision. Why? Because content on KQED is the same as KVIE.
For one thing, there is Check Please, Bay Area, the program where three people share their favorite restaurants and everyone goes to try all three out and then gather with host Leslie Sbrocco to share their opinion.
Sbrocco also gives her tips on wines, the group is drinking and tips about wines in general. She has been voted one of the top 100 most influential people in the American wine business.
She does not broadcast on KVIE.
Then there is Greg Sherwood, one of the principal announcers.
Greg is the son of Don Sherwood, the self-described "World's Greatest Disc Jockey" in the 1950s. As Peter Anderson wrote on that page I just linked, "Driving from Marin and up Waldo Grade into The City every day, you could pass cars and see that everyone was smiling and laughing at the same time — all tuned to Don Sherwood’s morning show on KSFO-AM radio."
I love this particular clip from that article: "His radio show was the gateway to The City for visiting celebrities from Hollywood. He interviewed them all. Terry McGovern once told me that Judy Garland was staying in a San Francisco apartment, and a visiting Sherwood came to interview her, said something fresh to her, and listeners were greeted by the sound of Garland hurling a toaster directly at Sherwood’s head."
We were great fans of Sherwood and saddened when lung cancer took his life...and then delighted many years later when his son showed up on KQED. It was always fun seeing Greg, who looks so much like his father.
It is particularly fun when Rick Steves runs his travel specials on KQED. Yes, they run on KVIE too, but they don't include the extensive chats he has with Greg Sherwood. I will miss those.
There is Newsroom, KQED's own version of Washington Week in Review, but centered on San Francisco area news. Newsroom began in the 1950s when there was a newspaper strike so a bunch of newspaper people went to KQED and started a newspaper on TV. They even read the cartoons. It has evolved into Newsroom.
Last night, after Jeopardy was over and I was going out to the kitchen to cook dinner I handed the remote to Walt and asked if there was anything he wanted to watch. "Yeah," he said, "Check Please. But I can't."
We have been members of KQED for more than 50 years (and of KVIE for more than 40). It is going to kill us to end our membership because of a decision Comcast made.