I Miss Milt Rosenberg on the Radio

I am an avid listener to talk radio, both live and via podcasts. And, despite the city’s effluence of politicians I distrust, I love Chicago — or at least those portions of it where people aren’t routinely murdered. There is no radio program I have enjoyed more than Milt Rosenberg’s “Extension 720” on Chicago’s WGN. Mr. Rosenberg, a professor emeritus in psychology at the University of Chicago, hosted the show for a remarkable 39 years but, to the sadness of many, was shown the door last month. And to make matters worse, along with Mr. Rosenberg’s disappearance from the Chicago airwaves comes the vanishing of his archived podcasts from WGN’s website. What a loss. 

Examining the list of recent episodes of “Extension 720” I have saved on my computer, I find a range of topics from current politics, violent crime in Chicago, World War II, professional football, and Chicago architecture. Among recent guests have been Mark Steyn, Victor Davis Hanson, and Conrad Black. One can scarcely think of a prominent newsmaker who did not at some time over the years appear on the program. I felt smarter every time I listened.

The show was unfailingly entertaining and informative, and Mr. Rosenberg was unfailingly erudite and pleasant with guests and callers alike. I hope this fine gentleman soon finds a new home for his talents – and his audience.

  1. Jack Warren

    I couldn’t agree more! During my politically formative high school years, Milt had a big influence on my thinking.

  2. Israel P.

    The disappearance of the archived material makes it seem very weird.

  3. Frederick Key

    Been a tough year for some of the good guys. Don Wade in Chicago had a tumor, resulting in his (and Roma’s) retirement. Michael Graham in Boston did not get his contract renewed. And Larry Miller only just got back to doing his excellent podcasts following a head injury last spring.

  4. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    I was on the show thrice and had a great time chatting with Mitt on every occasion. I am very sorry to learn that it has all come to an end. The removal of the archive is terrible.

  5. Illiniguy
    CitizenOfTheRepublic: http://ricochet.com/member-feed/Grab-Up-This-Man!-Milt-Rosenberg-s-Show-on-WGN-is-to-End

    I suggested that Ricochet “grab him up” the day after the end of his show was announced, and communicated the same directly to Rob.   Milt would more than fit in to Ricochet; he could take it to a higher level of relevance & influence.  · 9 hours ago

    Edited 9 hours ago

    I did so as well last week. An archive of some of his podcasts is here.

  6. Pseudodionysius
    Paul A. Rahe: I was on the show thrice and had a great time chatting with Mitt on every occasion. I am very sorry to learn that it has all come to an end. The removal of the archive is terrible. · 51 minutes ago

    I remember the Obama Borg drones jamming the switchboard when Milt was interviewing Stanley Kurtz in August 2008. Of course, I’m sure its mere coincidence that Rahm Emanuel is now mayor and this unfortunate misfiling has befallen his audio archive.

  7. Jack Dunphy
    C
    Pseudodionysius

    Paul A. Rahe: I was on the show thrice and had a great time chatting with Mitt on every occasion. I am very sorry to learn that it has all come to an end. The removal of the archive is terrible. · 51 minutes ago

    I remember the Obama Borg drones jamming the switchboard when Milt was interviewing Stanley Kurtz in August 2008. Of course, I’m sure its mere coincidence that Rahm Emanuel is now mayor and this unfortunate misfiling has befallen his audio archive. · 26 minutes ago

    I remember that episode as well. Now that bunch is running the country.

  8. CitizenOfTheRepublic

    http://ricochet.com/member-feed/Grab-Up-This-Man!-Milt-Rosenberg-s-Show-on-WGN-is-to-End

    I suggested that Ricochet “grab him up” the day after the end of his show was announced, and communicated the same directly to Rob.   Milt would more than fit in to Ricochet; he could take it to a higher level of relevance & influence. 
  9. Jack Dunphy
    C

    Kudos to the members who posted on this travesty before I did.  And it’s indeed a wonderful suggestion to ask Milt Rosenberg to join Team Ricochet.  Rob, Peter, James, are you listening?

  10. Pseudodionysius
    Jack Dunphy: Kudos to the members who posted on this travesty before I did.  And it’s indeed a wonderful suggestion to ask Milt Rosenberg to join Team Ricochet.  Rob, Peter, James, are you listening? · 4 minutes ago

    I’d like to suggest a Drudge style police siren next to this request with Jack Dunphy’s avatar.

  11. Israel P.
    CitizenOfTheRepublic: http://ricochet.com/member-feed/Grab-Up-This-Man!-Milt-Rosenberg-s-Show-on-WGN-is-to-End

    I suggested that Ricochet “grab him up” the day after the end of his show was announced, and communicated the same directly to Rob.   Milt would more than fit in to Ricochet; he could take it to a higher level of relevance & influence.  · 2 hours ago

    Edited 2 hours ago

    Some of his regular guests would be great here as well. Give Charles Lipson a podcast. Just his voice is worth the price.

  12. Daniel Jeyn

    I too, will miss Milt.  I have several of his shows I archived myself when I had to “record” them with the annoying process of using Audacity to record the live stream with Real Player, and saving them later as .mp3s.  WGN had half-arsed their podcasting system up until the past couple of years.

    Milt was one of my favorite intellectual touchstones.  He is really up there with The New Criterion and The City Journal as regular media sources that raised discourse and the flow of conservative ideas above the shouty bits.

    We could definitely use more Milt.  And if he’s not up to it —he has been losing his voice due to throat problems—we need more polemicists who can raise the bar the way he did.

  13. BigHeadWalt

    As Mr. Rosenberg was getting up in years (not noticed as much if one would download and listen to his podcast at 2x) we all knew the end was near. However, the unceremonious end to his program is what was most disappointing — the final weeks were never available via RSS nor iTunes. The subsequent removal of the archives from the website seems to be vindictive. 

    I found Ricochet indirectly via Milt (actually, Steyn was a guest and the podcast was linked on Steyn’s website in addition to Ricochet’s original podcast(?)).

    Milt would be an invaluable addition to the Ricochet.com community!

  14. Ralphie

    I also found him when streaming was first available on the internet. 

    The missing archives reminds me of the way the Lutherans canned the KFUO Issuesetc. show a few years ago.  They also erased the archives, which seemed shortsighted as there is a lot of good material and it cost the station a lot to acquire it.  Kind of like the old soviet airbrushing.

    If not Milt, it would be nice to see someone develop a show like he had. I liked it better than c span’s book tv.

  15. Jack Dunphy
    C
    Israel P.

    CitizenOfTheRepublic: http://ricochet.com/member-feed/Grab-Up-This-Man!-Milt-Rosenberg-s-Show-on-WGN-is-to-End

    I suggested that Ricochet “grab him up” the day after the end of his show was announced, and communicated the same directly to Rob.   Milt would more than fit in to Ricochet; he could take it to a higher level of relevance & influence.  · 2 hours ago

    Edited 2 hours ago

    Some of his regular guests would be great here as well. Give Charles Lipson a podcast. Just his voice is worth the price. · 12 hours ago

    Edited 12 hours ago

    Amen on Charles Lipson.  And how about John “Bulldog” Drummond?

  16. PCT Atlas

    I have learned and have been entertained by his program for many years.  I do hope he reappears in some format somewhere.  His program was a great rarity in this age of endless soundbites and contentless 24/7 content.

    To any of the ricocheti who have not heard his program; you could do a lot worse than try to find one of his archived programs on a subject you fancy.  I particularly liked his programs with Mortimer Adler.

  17. William Turner

    Thanks to Jack Dunphy for recognizing Extension 720. I am a recent fan of the show and deeply miss it.

    However, are you sure that the Extension 720 archives are permanently gone? Milt seemed to imply during the last show that they may become available again soon. 

  18. Play The Man

    Milt Rosenberg is planning to start a nightly podcast – “Coming March 2013″ – according to the website, http://www.miltrosenberg.com   It is possible to sign up for e-mail updates at the website.    

  19. ParisParamus

    I have never heard Mr. Rosenberg, and will check out his podcast and web site.  Without even looking at his site, he shares a first and last name with my late uncle (and a last name with me), and my guess is that he must be of a comparable era (none younger is name “Milton.”

    Podcasts really are the new talk radio in many respects.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he winds up “falling up,” and becomes more well-known than he is now.

  20. Paul Stinchfield
    Pseudodionysius

    Paul A. Rahe: I was on the show thrice and had a great time chatting with Mitt on every occasion. I am very sorry to learn that it has all come to an end. The removal of the archive is terrible. · 51 minutes ago

    I remember the Obama Borg drones jamming the switchboard when Milt was interviewing Stanley Kurtz in August 2008. Of course, I’m sure its mere coincidence that Rahm Emanuel is now mayor and this unfortunate misfiling has befallen his audio archive. · January 12, 2013 at 7:59pm

    That’s what Obama supporters call “extending the hand of friendship and bipartisanship.”