roundtable: swan song or phoenix?

Byline: | Category: Uncategorized | Posted at: Thursday, 28 July 2005

Some of us are meeting up to watch the last airing of Teddy Bart’s Roundtable from outside their “posh studios at the corner of Sixth and Church” tomorrow (Friday July, 29).  Yes, I know we’ll look like those stupid schleps on that New York morning show—only without the fat weather guy and the corny jokes.  (I wonder if there will be any live blogging?)

Whatever your political affiliation, please try to stop by some time between 7 and 9 am and show your support for all they’ve done, and your encouragement for a reincarnation of a new and improved Roundtable.

Speaking of which . . . Click the link below to see another letter from Bill Fletcher about plans for a possible sequel.  I urge you to sign up at the link Fletch provides.

UPDATE:  We stopped by to say goodbye to the Roundtable.  We spoke with Darcy, one of the behind-the-scenes folks who makes the Public Forum run.  If you were at Brickfest a few months ago, she was the one who made that event possible.  She has no idea what happens after today.  She only knows that she intends to stay with Teddy and Karlen for their next act.

I had thought we might crowd around the window and watch the show from the outside, but it didn’t feel right.  What those folks do on those national morning shows in NYC always seemed so cheesy and imbecilic to me.  "Cheesy" and "imbecilic" are not words I would use to describe Tedy Bart’s Roundtable.  So we just waved and walked on.

I’m listening to the last hour of the show now and I’m glad that Karlen just mentioned Darcy and some of the others who listeners don’t ever get to hear about.

One final note.  While we were in the Public Forum’s outer office, I caught a glimpse of the show on tv.  I’ve never seen the show before.  I wonder if those who see it have a different impression of the show from those of us who hear it.  Is the Roundtable like the Kennedy-Nixon debate that was said to be so different depending on whether you saw it or heard it?

To Friends and Supporters of The Round Table and The Public Forum:

Recently it was announced that Teddy Bart’s Round Table would cease production as part of The Public Forum. This decision was made by five members of the Board of Directors of The Public Forum, the non-for-profit entity that was set up a few years ago to build a statewide television network around the radio show.

This decision by The Public Forum board requires Teddy and Karlen to wind down the program … for now.

I, along with several other regular guests of The Round Table, are working to help during this transition and to help plan for the future. I am a Democratic political consultant but this is a bi-partisan effort. Jon Crisp, a businessman and Chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, and Chip Saltsman, a businessman and former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, have agreed to help as have many others who regularly appear on the program.

The five members of The Public Forum board who voted to terminate the program have resigned, effective August 15th. After that time, all of us who support The Round Table will be free to dig in and do our part to revive the show.

There are two specific things I would like to ask you to do depending on how you want to help:

1.                   Go to and sign up for The Forum File so you can be kept up to date. Also encourage others to sign up for the email update.

2.                   If you want to contribute time, talent or money for the future, send me an email so I can keep up with you. Email me at .

Although I am not speaking for Teddy and Karlen, I am convinced that The Round Table will be back on the air at some point as it has been for more than 20 years. Our community has benefited greatly from the civil, public-spirited discussion of issues of the day on The Round Table. It is easy to take such an important part of our community for granted. Perhaps the show will continue as a not-for-profit entity. Perhaps The Round Table will return to the commercial airwaves. In any case, it is time for each of us to stand up and be counted.

Forward this message to others in your circle and let’s encourage those in our community to rally around our friends. Our community and our state needs the civil public discourse offered by The Round Table now more than ever.

Margaret Mead, the noted American anthropologist and writer, said: A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Join us now.


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One Response to “roundtable: swan song or phoenix?”

  1. Truman Bean Says:

    I was there very early into the show.
    Sorry I missed you.
    Teddy, Karlen, Darcy, and Jeff were all so very nice and open to chatting on a day that had to be especially tough for them.
    The Roundtable will surely be back on the air in some form… I am beginning to count down the days.