Too Beautiful to Live

Last updated
Too Beautiful to Live
TBTL Boat.jpg
Hosted by Luke Burbank and Andrew Walsh
Genre Talk/Comedy/Pop Culture
UpdatesDaily (weekdays)
Length1 hour - 90 minutes (approximate)
Audio formatMP3
Original releaseOriginal Radio Run: January 7, 2008-September 11, 2009, – Podcast Inception September 14, 2009-Present
Provider American Public Media

Too Beautiful to Live (often abbreviated to TBTL) is a podcast originating from Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon, co-hosted by Luke Burbank, CBS News Sunday Morning correspondent, host of Live Wire Radio and frequent NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! panelist, and veteran radio producer and one-time radio host Andrew Walsh. The podcast originated as a radio show on KIRO-FM [1] which aired from January 7, 2008 to September 11, 2009. Upon its radio broadcast cancellation, it immediately transitioned to a podcast on September 14, 2009, and is still produced Monday through Friday.


Fans of the show are often referred to as "The Tens", stemming from an early radio episode where Luke would mention how they only have "tens" of listeners, rather than "hundreds" or "thousands". [2] [3]


The show begins with the song "Catch My Disease" by Ben Lee, underneath a number of audio quotes from movies, TV shows or viral videos. Burbank welcomes listeners and outlines the upcoming show, followed by introducing his co-host and guests for the show. His current co-host/producer is fellow former KIRO radio host and veteran radio producer Andrew Walsh. Infrequently, former TBTL radio show producer Jennifer Andrews and engineer Sean DeTore will appear. In addition to the commentary of Burbank and Walsh on life, pop culture, and current events, the show features listener e-mails and voicemail, and closes with a music selection by the hosts. On Friday shows, the closing song is chosen by a listener.

Radio show

TBTL aired on 97.3 KIRO FM (and 710 KIRO AM before the station moved to FM) from 7:00 to 10:00 pm weeknights and at the same time on Saturdays for the "Best Of", which included clips from the past week's shows. The format was similar to that of the podcast, with Luke Burbank joined by Jennifer Andrews and Sean DeTore. TBTL was a non-caller driven program; listener phone calls were accepted on an infrequent basis. Instead on Wednesdays the shows had a "Call Makers" feature where listeners who previously sent in a phone number and question(s) were called and the question(s) discussed live on-air.

News reports about the show characterized it as an attempt by KIRO, and its owner Bonneville International, to add a younger audience to KIRO's older listener base, [2] [3] [4] however, the Seattle Times noted that the show had only managed to draw 1.4 percent of 25- to 54-year-olds - the program's target sales demographic - who were listening to a radio at 7:00pm. [5] While the program was Seattle Weekly's choice as "Best Radio Talk Show" in July 2009, [6] [7] after a poor showing in the Arbitron ratings, KIRO cancelled the program in September. [7]

Conversion to podcast

While TBTL was an over-the-air ratings disappointment, it had attracted a national download following. [8] In its final month of broadcasting, it had attracted more than 225,000 podcast download hours. [8] The Stranger noted that "the younger listeners were, in fact, tuning in... they just weren't using the same equipment that KIRO's general audience uses." [8] Thus, when the radio program was cancelled, Burbank and KIRO announced that the program would continue as a daily podcast. [7] [8] [9] On March 2, 2015, TBTL transitioned to Infinite Guest, American Public Media's Podcast Network. [10] It continues to air under the APM Podcasts masthead. The show has produced over three thousand episodes. [11]

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  1. Virgin, Bill (January 10, 2008). "AM Radio fills niche markets". Seattle Post-Intelligencer . Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  2. 1 2 Hood, Michael (June 2008). "Can Luke Burbank Make A.M. Radio Cool Again?". Seattle Magazine. p. 38. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  3. 1 2 Sanders, Eli (9 December 2008). "Beautiful Thing — The Best New Radio Show in Seattle Is on... KIRO?". The Stranger . Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  4. Davila, Florangela (9 January 2008). "Luke Burbank is hip, vain, back in town and back on the air". Seattle Times . Retrieved on March 1, 2009.
  5. Lacitis, Erik (September 11, 2009). "KIRO radio's Luke Burbank show canceled over low ratings". The Seattle Times.
  6. Hobart, Erika (2009-07-29). "Best Radio Talk Show: Too Beautiful To Live". Seattle Weekly . Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
  7. 1 2 3 Lacitis, Erik (2009-09-11). "KIRO radio's Luke Burbank show canceled over low ratings". Seattle Times . Retrieved 2009-09-12.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Sanders, Eli (2009-09-17). "Too Beautiful to Litigate" . Retrieved 2013-04-15.
  9. "Show #395: Open Thread" . Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  10. Infinite Guest Staff. "Episode #1807: Dad Hair and Lucky Teeth". Infinite Guest. APM. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  11. "About the Network"