Paul Kroger: “What happened to the PBS series you referred to in your visit to Louise months ago?”

It wasn’t Louise, it was Irene — an oil rig off the Santa Barbara coast — and the eight-part series, Beyond Wall Street, which I co-host with Jane Bryant Quinn, has finished running in many cities.

One of the glories of public television is that shows air at different times on different days in different cities, so you have to be very intelligent to know when anything’s on — which is how PBS sifts out the riffraff. No one has any idea when anything is on except Wall Street Week, Fridays at 8:30 p.m. In New York, we were on right after Wall Street Week. In Los Angeles, where everyone is asleep by ten, we were on Sundays at midnight. In Chicago, Saturdays at 7 a.m. (“I’ve got an idea, honey! Let’s set the alarm for 6:30 after a hard week’s work so we can bolt out of bed and have breakfast in front of the TV watching guys talk about p/e ratios!”) My favorite was Seattle, where I went to the local affiliate to tape an interview for my book tour. (OK, OK, if you insist, click here to solve all your last-minute holiday shopping problems.) The host explained that my interview would be half the show. Next week he’d be taping Jane Bryant Quinn for the other half — did I know her? “Know her,” I replied, “I’m crazy about her — and we co-host a PBS series that airs on your station.”

Now, I’m not saying I’d expect the average Seattleite to know our show was on. The average Seattleite has $18 million in Microsoft stock options and spends most of his or her time buying pro sports franchises. Or else building airplanes or brewing cappuccino. But this was the host of a local PBS show . . . indeed, their show about money.

“You have a PBS series?” he asked with warm interest. “What’s it called?”

A series of phone calls was required to ascertain that the show was indeed on his station, Sundays at 1 p.m., and had been airing for several weeks.

But I’m not complaining. I had the best of all possible worlds. I can legitimately say I co-hosted a PBS series without having to worry that anyone actually saw me.

There’s some talk of a new round of shows for the fall. But with luck, if it happens, no one will know about that either.

Tomorrow: What You Missed



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