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A fond farewell

WORLD Radio - A fond farewell

WORLD Radio says goodbye to one of its own


Megan Basham, Kim Henderson, Sophia Lee, Bonnie Pritchett Photo by Kim Henderson

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, April 30, last day of the month, and you’re listening to The World and Everything in It. Glad to have you along with us today. I’m Myrna Brown.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

Well, if you’ve been a long time listener, and I mean, long time, as in, from the very beginning, maybe you remember the first-ever appearance of Megan Basham here. Because her first-ever appearance coincided with the program’s first-ever appearance.

Megan was on Program Number One: August 6th, 2011. 10 years ago this summer. She reviewed Captain America.

BASHAM: It's something we've seen with Batman, with Spider Man, it's become a lot of part of what is the new marker of a superhero is self questioning, not sure about their patriotism. And that's been very different with this movie. Though it's interesting because it seems like the director is trying to distance himself from what's obviously in Captain America.

DIRECTOR: I think the character of Steve Rogers just has an innocence about him that is the most American thing about him. You know, it's not a propaganda tool, and we're not waving the flag or anything. It's about this guy who just wants to do the right thing.

BASHAM: And you know, he may be saying that because at this point, international box office is so important, but I would say that anybody who sees it is not for a minute got a question whether or not this is a flag-waving patriotic movie, regardless of that comment.

EICHER: Megan, thanks. Appreciate your work.

BASHAM: You too. Thanks so much, Nick. [MUSIC]

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Now, Megan’s been across all of our platforms, this podcast, our digital product, starting out with WORLD Magazine, our print product. Megan’s been a constant source of excellence, which we obviously recognized here, but it’s come to the attention of others who also recognize her excellence.

EICHER: Yeah, that’s the regrettable thing about it. Our competitors listen and recognize that excellence, too! Which leads me to the news I’ve been dreading all week but have to share with you.

Megan received a great offer from The Daily Wire,the conservative media company founded by Ben Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing. Have a lot of respect for those men. And I’m just as proud of Megan as I am sad to tell you that she’s accepted their offer, and she’s going to take on what will be for her an exciting new challenge at The Daily Wire. And, well, that just means today’s her last day here at WORLD.

BROWN: Which is awesome for them, but definitely a loss for us.

And we are not going to let her go without a proper farewell. And so we will take some time here to do that and to wish her well.

Our radio colleagues now telling how much Megan’s meant to them.

First, Emily Whitten, our book reviewer:

Megan, thank you for all that you have done for the WORLD family! For years now, I’ve used the phrase “But Megan said…” as a trump card in family entertainment choices. More than that, your reviews provided great worldview training for my kids and their friends. They don’t remember a time you weren’t speaking into their lives, modeling how to take every thought captive to God’s Word. So, Megan, thank you...for all those late night movie screenings. Thank you for being a forgiving coworker and inspiring me to stand for Truth. I pray that God will continue to use you for His kingdom.

EICHER: Senior reporter Kim Henderson:

HENDERSON: In 2017 I got to go on a reporting trip to Washington, DC, where I met up with several other WORLD writers. This was my first time to actually meet members of the WORLD team that I had read and listened to for years, including Megan, so I was pretty awestruck. The very first afternoon we got our press badges at the Capitol, and I was having a hard time keeping step with the group because I was wearing heels. And Megan noticed. She pulled a pair of flip flops out of her purse and handed them over. Just like that. And she’s continued to be considerate and kind to her friend with faulty footwear ever since. I’m really sad to see you go, Megan, but I want to thank you for years of instructive articles, reviews, interviews, and tweets. Like the tribe of Issachar, you’ve helped me understand the times, even when I didn’t want to. Above all, you’ve encouraged us to test everything, and hold fast to what is good. Thank you. You will be greatly missed.

BROWN: And here’s senior reporter Katie Gaultney:

GAULTNEY: Megan, I hate goodbyes. I know that’s corny, but it’s true! Change is hard. We have only actually been in the same room three times that I can think of, but whether in person, over the phone, or online, I always felt a connection to you as a fellow mom of young kids. I’ve had moments sitting outside a softball practice or ballet rehearsal writing a script or emailing a source, wondering if you were doing something similar. You’ve been a champion of others and a keen observer of our culture, and I know you’ll continue to be those in your next chapter. Speaking of chapters… just don’t let your new role distract you from that book I want you to write!

EICHER: Tim Lamer’s worked with Megan for the longest time here at WORLD. He was her editor for the magazine, and is now executive editor in charge of WORLD Digital and oversees news coverage on the radio side:

LAMER: I remember when Megan first started at WORLD. We knew right away we had the best movie reviewer in the business. She’s proven that over and over again. Another great thing about Megan is her confidence and courage. She stands up for biblical principles. I could go to her as a sounding board when I wanted to think through a difficult issue. We’re really gonna miss her.

BROWN: Now for our newsman, Kent Covington.

COVINGTON: Hi, Megan, Kent here. Well this is certainly bittersweet. I know the Lord has a lot of great things planned for you in your future. But I certainly hate to see you go. I'm going to miss hearing your voice on this program. Your skill as a movie reviewer, I think, is unmatched. And of course, the energy you've brought to our team, your character, your humility, your work ethic—all of it will be missed greatly. So please accept my thanks for all your efforts here, and many blessings to you and the Basham family.

EICHER: Next, reporter Bonnie Pritchett:

PRITCHETT: Hi, Megan, you have been a valuable source of discernment in our home when it comes to deciding what movies and other programming to watch … or not. I have a degree in Radio-Television-and-Film and thought, perhaps, I could fill in for you when you took time off. I was wrong. Your reviews mine the depths of story nuance. That only comes from years of experience undergirded by your knowledge and application of God’s word in each review. I pray you will continue being salt and light at The Daily Wire. I also look forward to hearing Ben Shapiro bash the Basham in an upcoming Zip Recruiter endorsement! May God bless you and your family.

BROWN: Here’s Sarah Schweinsberg!

SCHWEINSBERG: Megan, I have you to thank for many a wonderful movie night. I’ve looked forward to your witty and insightful reviews each Friday for the past several years. They have been the icing on the cake after a week of programs for me and so many of our listeners.

I also want to personally thank you for giving me a chance to start writing my own movie reviews a couple of years ago. I had no experience, but you gave me a shot anyway and provided excellent coaching along the way.

Overall, you’ve taught me to look for what is redeemable in our culture’s stories and that all truth is God’s truth, whether we know it or not.

EICHER: Managing Editor Leigh Jones:

JONES: Editing your reviews has been a highlight of my Thursday mornings for nearly three years. I appreciate your insight, your humor, and your love for all things beautiful and good. Thanks for always being willing to chat with me about the latest family friendly offerings suitable for the 7-year-old set. Who will I turn to now for advice on all-important things like the best Little Women film adaptation? Who will commiserate with me over the trials of being a dance mom? I’m really going to miss you, and I know our listeners will as well.

EICHER: Our executive producer Paul Butler would’ve recorded something, but he’s recovering today from Covid but it’s hit him pretty hard. He’s doing better, but he’s really working to regain his strength today. For Paul, I’ll just repeat some of what he said in our team meeting last week. Paul recalled that at our live events, to which I can attest as well, we had two people everybody swarmed. Mary Reichard was one. Megan was the other. Listeners responded to her reviews, because of the content, but also because of who she is. Even if a listener might disagree and sometimes a listener will disagree, listeners know Megan is trustworthy and really wrestles with issues from a mature Biblical worldview.

Paul said that, Megan, we will miss you for who you are and what you added to our team. Thank you for selflessly serving and encouraging us in our work.

You are one of the stars, but constantly pushing other people out front. We honor you for that and we wish you well.

BROWN: Get better, Paul! And now, Mary Reichard:

REICHARD: Megan, when we first started co-hosting together, we’d crack up and chit chat a bit more than some listeners liked. In fact, one wrote to complain that we sounded like “clucking hens.” We just owned that! And then we just took it off line!

I have wonderful memories with you. Transitions are just part of the deal in Iife. That doesn’t make it less painful. To me, you are the smart little sister I never had, with the artful phrase and literary references. And way more hip to the culture than I’ll ever be!

May the Lord bless you, and let’s keep in touch. I’m still going to need a sounding board for life! And remember, it’s my idea for a podcast that over at Daily Wire. You’ll be “Klavan and the Movie Maven.” I want credit for that!

BROWN: Megan, I was an admirer and consumer of your work, even before I became a “Worldling” as our editor in chief likes to call us. “Honey, what movie are we watching this weekend? Well Megan said….” That’s how my husband and I start many of our Saturday night entertainment conversations. You are a critical thinker. You ask questions that make us think and your words are grounded in Truth. And I like your style. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It has been a joy to co-host with you. I miss you already. See you at the next retreat.

EICHER: When Megan called me to talk to me about this—well, I’m still not quite over it. But I said to her something along these lines: Megan, you’re a valuable colleague, a true professional, highly versatile, great writer and thinker, talented broadcaster, and a committed believer able to communicate Christian worldview with grace and truth.

I’m excited for you, but, Megan, you’ll remember the title I asked you to retain, and it’s First Lady of WORLD Watch. Your husband Brian Basham is every bit the pro you are and he’s doing a great job building our video news for young students, so we’ll consider you the FLOW, the First Lady of WORLD Watch. So check out anytime you like, as the Eagles would say, but you can never leave!

MEGAN BASHAM: It’s probably not surprising given my line of work that I often picture significant moments in my life as movie scenes. This week, as I was reflecting on the past 15 years with World, my mind kept going back to this opening scene:

I’m in India on a reporting trip for another outlet. On a bumpy bus ride somewhere between Hyderabad and Kerala, my roommate, Jamie Dean, who I’ve only met a couple of days before, shares that her magazine is in need of film critics. She suggests I reach out. I think, why not? I’ve always liked World. And maybe, if I’m lucky, my connection with Jamie will result in a few freelance assignments. When I return home, I submit a review of the Brad Pitt political drama, Babel (I don’t recommend it, by the way). That review leads to another and another. And within a couple of months, I receive this note from Marvin Olasky:

“Megan, I like the reviews you're doing, so I'm curious…What do you want to do over the next several years? What's your calling? What do you want to do with your life?”

No big deal—easy questions, right?! Well, I didn’t exactly know the answers, but the Lord did. And His kindness to me since that bus ride has been great indeed. I went from being a solitary gig writer (before the gig economy was even a thing!) to being a part of a news family who taught me what a commitment to Biblically objective journalism looks like in practice.

Working on this podcast has blessed me with beloved sisters like Mary, Myrna, Leigh, Kim, Emily, Katie, and Bonnie. I’ve had so much fun laughing like kids at a slumber party with all of them. And also a host of brothers like Tim, Paul, Kent, Johnny, Carl, and Nick (sometimes I think of Nick more as the dad, but I think he’ll like brother better, so let’s go with that).

And like all families, as I’ve grown up, my role has changed. In recent years I’ve had the chance to be the advice-dispensing cool aunt—okay, maybe just advice-dispensing aunt—to talented young reporters and producers like Sarah, Anna, and Kristen.

And even in my leaving, God’s graciousness to me has continued in that He allowed my husband, Brian, to come into the fold before I left. So that even if my daily work will happen elsewhere now, I’ll still feel a part of the family and have every intention of crashing the next company retreat. And that feels appropriate because the relationships I’ve built here are eternal.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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CherylQuilts

What a touching and bittersweet podcast today. You've certainly made so many wonderful brothers and sisters at WORLD, and Walt and I were blessed to "meet" you on a Zoom call. Thank you for your wonderful work for the Lord, and you will indeed be greatly missed. But you will always be the First Lade of WORLD Watch. Blessings at the Daily Wire as you shine for Jesus there. Thank you, and we'll meet again -- here or there.

John Cogan

Everyone who is a World subscriber will miss you, Megan. Thank you.

Pastor Ward

Thank you Megan ... so many times over the years I’ve said “Well, Megan at World says....” when talking with others about recent movies. Your biblical wisdom about onscreen images has really helped me keep God’s “imago dei” in focus.