How Studio 360 Got Started
Hosting studio three sixty Kurt. Anderson Co founded. Spy magazine was a writer editor. Columnist design and architecture critic and playwright. He'd also just written a novel turn of the century which came out in nineteen ninety nine. The Britain plays. He worked for television. I mean he just was a renaissance person in the arts and in journalism and that was exactly the kind of person we were looking for. That's Melinda Ward the former chief content officer for Public Radio International and creative studio three sixty. And here's Julie Bursting again. I remember that lunch that I had with him when I was interviewing for the job. And he said you know. I've been working with a vocal coach to try to get me to not sound like I grew up in Omaha. That didn't work. Well I said to him. We're firing that person because you need to sound like you if you sound like just yet. Another announcer with a announcer voice. This show is GonNa fail so you gotta sound like yourself. Good Morning. I have realized over the years that I am always. I think much better at this. If I've worked out for Sunday off my super villain name. I speak Spanish. I'M CISCO I need. This is a child to crew. I had a forty five this record in. Oh this is the end and I'm curt Anderson. Thanks very much for listening so for me I was. I would always record Kurt in his sessions and I was in some of his first sessions. And you know he was brand new at doing it. He wasn't sure what P popping was. He didn't know how close to sit to the microphone. He didn't know what a pickup was. It was fun to help someone figure all that stuff out in the interviews. I felt like it took them awhile. Loosen up I'm just GONNA say that. Pairing Him with interesting people felt like the best way to use him so in those early days we just looked for really cool funny interesting people for him to sit down with and that got him excited to come into the office and into the studio and do that and I still remember the day that season Santana came in people do feel a turned off or or indifferent. two images of horror and and war and suffering that they see in that they feel indignant about I think it's comes not because they're blase but because they feel impotent or powerless and I think that's perfectly understandable reaction and I saw Kurt in our conference room and the look on his face of sort of terror was really powerful but I knew he would do a great job but I could see that. This was like the first person we've ever had in the studio that he was a bit in awe of it was just this powerful show about how artists have looked at war since homer and she was phenomenal and he did a great job. Do you feel okay about the new. Whatever you say okay. We show him how current into a lot of different situations that require lots of different levels of sort of being alert to possibilities. We just through so much stuff at him and you know it's a different kind of show in that. He didn't generate ideas but he would rarely say no. I remember doing this segment on sky. Come up with this talk show within the video game halo and we had. Kurt like go and be like an Avatar in the game. They're shooting I'm trying to defend us here. Your need to move faster Kurt. I'm sorry I mean it seems funny to think about it now but like at the time it was super crazy and cutting edge at this guy had figured out how. Sorta hack the game and had this whole virtual reality six months after Katrina. We planned a trip to go to New Orleans. Really figuring out how they were going to try to solve this problem of of how to. Kinda rebuild the city and what the design questions were around at all. The water is gone now of course but the wreckage. That remains is absolutely shocking. Presumably the people in this neighborhood are among those who a great many of them majority perhaps didn't have that's right. They didn't have a choice. I think that's one of the great travesties of Katrina went on a trip to New Orleans for a few days to kind of produce it and get all the different voices together. But you know he's always been really passionate about design and kind of see him step up and really tap into the the human element of what was going on there. It wasn't just like an architecture is it was about people's homes and lives. It was really interesting to see him in that element because so often he is just in a studio and actually one of a favorite memories of working with them in the studio was a program that we did In two thousand fourteen and it was our nineteen fourteen episode and we produce the whole thing as though we had been on the air in nineteen fourteen and today's program we present to you through the medium of radio some singular developments taking place in the arts today in literature drama music and the media. Moving pictures new technologies and new ideas are changing. What we the American people create and how we are entertained. He delivered it in the crazy. Old Timey Voice. That people use stood us for broadcast announcing and our technical director at that time. John Galore. Who brought in a megaphone? Like a troll off Warne and had Kurt record threw it into the mic to compress everything down. I mean I've seen Kurt Geek out on many wonderful occasions but I have never seen him geek out that joyfully. It may not be too old to speculate that later. Generations will look back upon nineteen fourteen as a remarkable year perhaps as a year in which the twentieth century cruelly began. This week on the PODCASTS. Were looking back at the early years of studio three sixty which is drawing to a close after two decades of covering arts and culture on the radio after the first year on the air the show was finding its groove and its audience but then in the fall of two thousand one. The unthinkable happened. There has been an explosion at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. The upper floors of northern tower at the World Trade Center has experienced an explosion studio three sixties original offices were at wnyc in the municipal building at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge just blocks away from the World Trade Center. I remember coming into work in. Minneapolis and hearing on the radio about the the hit on the towers and then coming into PRI and of course the WNYC studios were right under. The twin towers are right next to them and the that a lot of people took came up under the twin tower so we were horrified and terrified didn't terribly worried about a whole. Wnyc staff and studio three sixty staff you know found out later that Julia Burstein had been in the office and she had had she'd left. Wnyc had to walk all the way up the west side of Manhattan to think it was her brother's apartment or something to call day and coughing and choking and nobody knew what was going on.