06 July 2007


In A Prairie Home Companion's weekly newsletter, Garrison Keillor prints a letter from a listener. This week's regards distribution credit. Geeky as I am, I have still been guilty of public radio conflation and I'm glad to know that Mr. Keillor doesn't hold it against me.

Dear Mr. Keillor:
Does it ever irritate you when people refer to APHC as an "NPR" show? Because, as far as I know, it was NPR that turned down the show back in 1978 and it's American Public Media that distributes it now.

It's astonishing to see how consistently this error is made. I've seen it in AP stories, on public radio station Web sites and even on the Web sites of musical artists who are careful to point out that they have appeared on your show. Or am I wrong?

Edmund M.
Energy, IL

PHC was never distributed by NPR, and you're right about NPR declining to distribute it lo these many years ago, but no, it doesn't bother me. NPR is the organization in Washington and "NPR" is the common term for public radio, sort of like kleenex means tissue and xerox means photocopy, even if you're using Scott Tissue and an HP copier. I suppose the NPR references bother the folks at APM and they probably have someone whose job it is to call up the AP and complain, but I don't care. I am just very very grateful that NPR didn't pick up the show for distribution back then because if they had, I'm pretty sure the show would've died a painful death by committee. They can have all the credit the AP wants to give them, so long as I don't have to report to some vice-president in Washington.


Anonymous said...


He does stuff in combination with NPR because to most people it is the same thing and if working with NPR helps his show, so be it. I can't say many good things about NPR's upper management and consultants, but it does have good folks lower down the food chain.

Liza said...

LBJ took the IRT down to 4th Street USA,
When he got there what did he see?
The youth of America on LSD!

Sorry, that's just my favorite response to any acronym attack.

Anonymous said...

And isn't APR now PRI? Nothing like changing your acronym to help people remember it. --SIMON