It should be noted that public radio stations should reflect their communities both in their programming and engagement with their audiences, especially because they rely so heavily on public support for survival. Sure, Mississippi may not be a liberal bastion, and we can all be, "Oh, har, har. Those dumb ass hicks." But I can say programming changes like this at any public radio station are not taken lightly, and they may have heard many complaints from listeners and donors that may have impacted their decision to dropFresh Air. Continuing to air the program may have hurt the bottom line, with drops in listener pledges, corporate support and foundation giving.
I love the program and think that Terri Gross is one of the best interviewers out there, but I can understand how more conservative communities may find her, her guests and her topics off-putting.
But the goal of public radio is to serve their local community and not, as many would believe, to spread some liberal media agenda. I actually don't think that NPR is that liberal, more center-right, actually, when it comes to their hard news reporting on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Yes, definitely, a liberal slant exists with hosts like Terri or Diane Rehm, but there are many NPR programs that offer intelligent news and informational content across the middle of the political spectrum.
Perhaps, Mississippi was not the right market for Fresh Air, but I am sure the public radio station did the right job in responding to the audiences that they serve.