The Name Game

by Kate Moos, managing producer

Over the weekend Krista announced here on the blog, and subsequently on Facebook and Twitter, that we are changing the name of the show from Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett to Krista Tippett on Being. I am bopping to Shirley Ellis’s “Name Game” this morning not to suggest we take anything about this lightly, but because we take it so very seriously. This is an intense and sometimes very anxiety-producing change for all of us — for you as well, I see.

Your feedback has been generous, informed and thoughtful, and we can’t thank you enough for it. We are always astonished by the depth of your care for this program.

Two points I want to clarify, based on feedback we got over the weekend. One, we’ve incorporated Krista’s name into the title prominently because we wanted it very clear that Krista remains central to the show as host and editorial leader. But I want to assure you that, in most applications, the new name will be heard as Being. I also want to assure you that the name change is not a signal that the editorial vision of the program is changing. Indeed it has changed and evolved over time. We remain committed to being the conversation about “faith, meaning, ethics, and ideas.”

For those of you have indicated you hear something “New Agey” in the title, I would say two things. First, I don’t like to pigeonhole people as “New Age” because it’s a widely perjorative term and can be used sloppily to put people down who just don’t think like me. Second, we have always had a deep value for tradition, history, learning, and text. That is what you hear in the program, editorially, that makes it substantive and meaningful, and distinct. Those values are not changing.

The process that led to this change began almost two years ago, and I strongly recommend you read — if you haven’t — Krista’s thoughtful message about why it came to seem so necessary. I would also want you to know that we have carefully weighed risks to the best of our ability and knowledge, and we take stewardship of this project seriously, and to heart.

Where some of the most difficult or stressful learning for me has come from is in how we manage our relationships, how we communicate. We’ve experienced basic conflicts in philosophy. Conventional wisdom recommends that we should hang onto the news like a state secret and make a big splash when we announce. But newer thinking suggests slowly and more generally letting friends and core listeners into the process so they feel some ownership, and so that they can see the level of care and diligence up close, and then share the news gradually.

I am not going to claim that we have gotten the balance right. But we are listening, and we are learning, as usual, from you, our listeners and readers. This is both an exciting and an anxious time, and we are glad we are moving ahead with you. Now, repeat after me: “Being Being Bo-Being, banana nanna bo…”

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