Big Change to "Declare Your Independence" on LRN.FM

June 11th, 2021 - 4:54pmby FTL_Ianin

Big news: Today was the last day of the live production of "Declare Your Independence". Don't worry, Ernest Hancock won't be leaving LRN.FM and his show will be staying put on weekday mornings. However, what *is* changing is that he'll no longer be doing a live show.

There are a few reasons for this:

First, Ernie has over the last year been producing his show from the road as he is traveling the country in an RV. This is good in that it will allow him to talk to more guests in-person, but the down side is he is relying on mobile internet connections which vary from okay to terrible when it comes to live audio delivery.

Second, by recording his show as a podcast he'll have more flexibility on when he can record his interviews. Since Ernie never took callers on his live show, whether it is produced live or not really doesn't matter.

Third, it means he can go commercial-free and do a two-hour length show instead of a three-hour show with commercials, and have the same amount of talk content.

From LRN.FM's perspective, it helps us because we don't have to deal with dead air in the mornings when his connection is bad - every episode of "Declare Your Independence" will air now without any interruption whatsoever.

Another issue it solves was the LRN.FM studio was raided in March and FBI agents pulled wires from our racks and arrested me, the Program Director and head engineer. Without me to fix things, Ernie's show had total dead-air for weeks. With the new podcast-only show, dead air is much less likely to happen in a situation that would be disastrous for live shows.

Ernie's excited and the new format begins on Monday. The only thing that is changing for listeners on LRN.FM is that his show will now begin airing at 10am Eastern instead of 9am.

Over the years, this live-to-recorded migration has been a clear trend. Over a decade ago, when I launched LRN.FM I knew live talk programming was on the way out, and that proved true over the years as we lost live show after live show and replaced them with recorded programs.

Now with DYI moving to podcast delivery, it only leaves us with two live programs left on LRN.FM, "Free Talk Live", which is still live every night 7-10pm Eastern and "Questioning Authority" which is live 10p-12a on Saturdays. It's a natural trend as podcast production is so much less of a burden on the hosts and also on the limited LRN.FM staff, which is pretty much me and Aria DiMezzo as my Assistant Program Director. Technical problems are much fewer in number on recorded shows, and that means a better listening experience with less dead air.

You can see the new schedule at - if you'd like to help us support the LRN.FM free-to-air satellite channels over North America and Sub-Saharan Africa, please join our Patreon here.

Thank you for listening to LRN.FM,
Ian Freeman
Program Director, LRN.FM