Wobegon but not forgotten
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine
July 20, 2015
Garrison Keillor, who has hosted NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion” since 1974, will retire next summer.
He said his final show will be in July 2016. In September of next year, the show’s new host, musician Chris Thile, will take over.
He will shift the program to focus on music, though Keillor said in announcing his retirement that “Prairie” will still be a solidly Midwest show.
The program has long mixed music with bits featuring a rotating cast of characters played by Keillor and others.
He also reads a weekly update of “News from Lake Wobegon,” the fictional Midwest town he’s been writing about for years.
Keillor, who is 73, has been hinting at retirement for a while. He suffered a stroke in 2009.
“Prairie” is one of NPR’s most popular programs, with a weekly audience of 4 million, according to the news service. It’s available on 700 stations.
Thile has guest-hosted the program a number of times. He’s best known for his skill at playing mandolin.
Keillor has not decided where he will record his final show, though he does plan to travel across the country to broadcast the final few next July.
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