November 28, 1994, brought something new to VOA airwaves: the first daily call-in talk show on international radio.
"It was a new frontier in international radio and I was just thrilled to be participating in it," said Barbara Klein, an original co-host of Talk to America. She says the challenge and the promise of the show has always been to open up for discussion a wide array of topics. "Of course, the Voice of America has always been known for its news coverage, [so] that was obvious: we would talk about major issues in the news," she said. "But then there are other aspects of life that affect us all: marriage, children, health issues."
Talk to America's Executive Producer Irina Burgener says health related shows are always popular. In fact, she says the second time Talk to America opened its mics to discuss AIDS, the response was phenomenal. "We were flooded [with calls]," she said. "And one of the callers said, 'You know, you're the first show that we can call and give you any name we want and ask a question that we would be too embarrassed to ask our regular doctor.' And then we knew we were getting across to the listener."
Talk to America is still going strong, live at 1700 UTC Monday through Friday, with a repeat at 0800, and the Best of Talk to America on weekends.
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