Updated: Ira Glass just released this statement about the split. "We’re leaving our distributor Public Radio International. What this means for listeners is ... nothing! We’ll continue to make our radio show and podcast. The same public radio stations will continue to broadcast it. They just won’t be getting it through PRI. PRI has been a great partner. When we signed up with them in 1997, we were already on over a hundred public radio stations. It’d taken us a year to get that many. In three months, PRI doubled the number. A miracle. Over the years since, they built that number to 587 stations.
"But looking at where PRI is now pushing its business and where we're growing — especially on the digital side of things, which we’ve always done without PRI — both we and our colleagues at PRI came to the same conclusion: to go our separate ways. Most listeners I meet seem utterly unaware of who our distributor is, or they think — mistakenly — that we’re part of NPR. NPR is the company that puts out 'Morning Edition' and 'All Things Considered' and many fine programs. But there are several other companies that distribute public radio shows around the country. Local public radio stations get shows from all of them. We’ll announce sometime soon what our new plan is to distribute the show to radio stations." Can we get a collective "phew"?
Hearing Ira Glass say, "From WBEZ Chicago, it's 'This American Life' distributed by Public Radio International" is as much of a weekend tradition as sleeping in late or poring over the Sunday Times. Unfortunately, it's about to end.
Yesterday, Public Radio International (PRI) announced that it will stop distributing the beloved radio program. As of July 1, their 17-year relationship will come to an end.
“During our most recent negotiation, it became clear that our organizations’ expectations regarding our futures were different,” said PRI executive Julia Yager in a statement.
But, what that does really mean? The good news is that "This American Life" will still be produced, and ol' Ira won't be going anywhere (we hope). The show is expected to name a new distribution partner soon. (NPR, where you at?)