One of the few staples in my life has been watching Brian Lamb on C-Span every Sunday night at 8 p.m. First, it was for his hour-long author interview program called Booknotes. Each week it featured a different author and book; and Brian Lamb read them all. Then that program, in 2004, morphed into Q & A. It was still an hour-long program, but not necessarily with an author. “Every Sunday night, we introduce you to interesting people who are making things happen in politics, the media, education, and science & technology in hour-long conversations about their lives and their work.” That’s how C-Span describes Q & A.
Today, March 19, marks the 33rd anniversary of C-Span, and a surprise announcement. Brian Lamb, the CEO and founder of the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-Span), is stepping down. His efforts to bring more transparency to government by providing public access to the political process by offering live feeds from the House and Senate floors and congressional hearings, has transformed the landscape of political news coverage.
He also transformed lives. When I started down the biography path I knew no writers nor I had taken any writing classes. What Brian Lamb did through Booknotes, was bring authors to my living room. He not only asked them questions about their subject, but also their writing process. And what those authors shared gave me new ideas, and, often validated what I was doing. It was the best education one could get, and it was accessible and free.
Although Brian Lamb is stepping down from the C-Span helm, he plans to continue hosting Q & A. My Sunday night tradition will continue.