This is a hard, sad thing to announce, but WireTap is coming to an end.
The reasons for this are many, but the simplest way to put it is that 11 years is a long time to do something and it felt like time to try something new. The show has run longer than Seinfeld and All in the Family. It's run longer than I, or anyone, could have ever imagined.
It started from a simple desire to share the funny, smart people in my life with all of you. I wanted to create a place where we could hang out together and like-minded people could join us. I wanted to make something that felt different than everything else I was hearing on the radio, something that felt funny and real, that didn't shy away from the big questions ("why are we here?"), but still had room for the smaller questions ("why does this pork pie hat make my ass look fat?"). I wanted to make something that was weird and complicated in the way I knew life to be.
It's funny that something with such big ambitions started off with such a poor pitch. I just spent the past hour trying to find my initial email to the CBC. It was in an old Yahoo account I hardly use anymore and was dated December, 2003. This was the crux of it:
"My idea is basically a show that would involve telephone conversations — natural, conversational — some amount of writing."
Still amazes me that the CBC gave me the chance. I never stopped feeling grateful to get to be on the radio each week and never stopped being nervous about it. Each episode was fuelled by a wish to connect with you.
If you're lucky in life you might get to work with people who make you better than you are, and I had that good fortune, gifted with the most talented people you can imagine. Howard Chackowicz, Gregor Ehrlich, Buzz and Dina, Josh, Tucker, the late David Rakoff — the list goes on and on, but these were the voices I heard in my head when I was dreaming it all up in bed at night. And Mira Burt-Wintonick, my lead producer/show partner, and Cristal Duhaime made all of them, and me, sound better than anyone ever could. As the show continued from the early seasons they began to write stories and shape the show, mixing, editing, dreaming up schemes that made it better and better, and I can't wait to hear what they do next.
And here's a glimpse behind the curtain: We edited out a lot of my laughter. Which is to say, I thought this stuff was funny. I hope you did, too. I guess I also just want to let you know I'm not that big a sad sack (though I am still a medium-sized sad sack).
Also, all of us at WireTap want to stay in touch. We're going to keep our Facebook page going so you guys have a place to hang out and talk about shows, to talk about life. We're going to pop in, too, to let you know about new projects— and there are some exciting ones in store. And just to say hi.
In the mean time, we have something for you. A while ago, we did a radio story that seemed to have stuck with people. We decided to invite listeners down to the CBC and make it into a video. It's all about growing up and how that process never ends.
It's been an honour,
P.S. Since our broadcast schedule is slightly out of sync south of the border, American listeners, you'll still be able to hear shows until June 2016 via PRI. It'll be a sendoff season featuring the best episodes from the past 11 years as well as episodes never before heard in the States.