The Craig Fahle Show

Craig Fahle's Final Sign Off

Friday, August 8, 2014

Obviously, I’ve had a few weeks to think about what I wanted to say to everyone as I prepare to sign off for the last time. I’ve been trying out themes, and working with words, just wanting to make sure I say the right things and don’t forget anyone that is important to me. I’m also aware that a laundry list of thank yous is no more exciting here, in fact probably much less so, than someone droning on during an awards show. The goal after all is to gain listeners, not drive them away. So I’ll try to be concise. Which, as you are no doubt aware, is a little difficult for me. But I’ll try.

There are some people here that I need to acknowledge today. First, my wife Debra and my son Alex. They have put up with the long hours, the evening events that kept me away from home. And when I was home, sharing me with the article I was reading on the laptop, or the book I was reading to prepare for an interview the next day. Not to mention the frequent catnaps that helped make up for the sleep a former morning drive host never seems to get. They have been supportive and understanding beyond any reasonable expectation.

Then there is the WDET family. I can’t thank enough the people that work with me every day. People like Amy Miller – the booking machine and snack provider. She could fill a show like nobody else. Laura Weber Davis – a gifted sound editor, fellow political junkie, and perhaps the most positive person outside of a Disney movie. Martina Guzman – filled with a sense of justice and a strong moral compass. Also Anna Sysling who has a calmness about her that makes things just work better. Matt Trevethan – easily the person I have spent the most time with in my career here at WDET. He is unflappable, reliable, smart, and simply a good friend. Sandra Svoboda – for showing us all what a real work ethic looks like. What an impact. Joan Isabella – who taught me that it was OK to have fun while doing this job and always knew the right thing to say to get me on track on those days when I wasn’t feeling it. Pat Batcheller for our good natured sparring about sports. Remember Pat -- the Tigers will be OK. Alex Trajano – for mixing all of the great live music we have had, and for teaching the AUDIENCE that it was okay to have fun while listening to public radio. And of course Jerome Vaughn – for your strong ethical stance, your commitment to journalism, and for being my oldest friend at WDET.

While working on this I kept coming back to the same thing and it was the simplest thing. It’s about community. THIS community. This odd little pack of people that have come together around this show from all areas and all stripes. You came together to learn from each other, to speak out about things you think are wrong, and praise the things you think are right. This community that cherishes each other, even if they don’t know each other. This community that understands the idea that listening is as important as talking, that compromise and solutions only come when we accept our differences so that we can truly appreciate our similarities. This community that has figured out that even if we can’t agree on something, we can still share a drink and a joke at the end of the day.

We built this community. I just laid out a few rules, and did my best to keep things moving and present ideas in an entertaining and informative way. Sometimes we did it, sometimes we didn’t. You felt comfortable enough to point out when I made mistakes, but you also took the time to say nice things when you thought I did well. I listened to it, and I always tried to respond. Mostly, I tried to take that constructive criticism and improve. I’m proud of how far the show has come since those early days. It has truly been a team effort. WDET has always been filled with wonderful people with an amazing capacity for curiosity, a strong ethical foundation, and a desire to do the right thing. We haven’t always had the most resources, the highest ratings or the biggest names, but this place has something more important, a sense of purpose. A genuine love for what we do, and a commitment to this community.

Know this, I am not leaving this community. I will still be listening, I will still be supporting it, both emotionally and financially; and I will still be engaged. I’m leaving because I sense an opportunity to serve in a new way. But my leaving creates an opportunity for new voices to join the discourse, for new ideas to filter in. The staff here at WDET has a vision and a mission, and the people to carry it out. Of that I have NO doubt. And I strongly urge you to give what comes next the same patience that you have shown me over the last seven years. If you do that, watch this little community grow, watch this little community start to change the dialogue about our city, our region, and our state. Together, you can do this. If I helped kick it off in a small way, well, that’s something that I’ll be forever proud of.

For the last time that I’ll get to say it, this is WDET, Detroit. Wayne State’s public radio station. Your public radio station. Thank you.