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Mr Keillor, I've been a

December 15, 2004 |

Mr Keillor,
I've been a mostly dedicated listener (and reader) of yours for years now — before and after reading James Joyce — because I'm always a fan of keeping a dying art form from death. My question, however, concerns the distribution of PHC, which has changed over the last six months, from Public Radio International to American Public Media. I'm curious because I've been hearing rumors about public radio companies and recent leadership shake-ups due to the expansion of FCC permissions regarding consolidation of media companies. Does the change in PHC's distributor have anything to do with these events? Was the change your decision, or was it due to changes in PRI policies? Is there something about PRI I should know?

Jeff Eldrige
Mansfield, WA.

Jeff, the workings of Management are a big mystery to me, so this will be a short answer. National Public Radio is the national consortium of public radio stations that produces "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition" and a great deal more. Back in 1978, when NPR declined to carry PHC nationally (we'd begun on Minnesota Public Radio in 1974), MPR formed a distribution company called American Public Radio to distribute PHC live by satellite uplink. APR added other programs to its list, and changed its name to PRI, and this last year, MPR split away from PRI to create APM. APM is tied to MPR and PRI wasn't. The change was not my decision, and so far it doesn't seem to affect PHC much one way or the other. Neither PRI nor APM require me to sit in a conference room and listen to people drone on about branding or interconnection fulfillment or devolution of decision-making. I hate meetings and as long as I don't have to attend any, it's all the same to me. They can call it ATM or PMS or ADD and it's okay by me.

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