Garrison Keillor, who has hosted “A Prairie Home Companion” since July 6, 1974, said he will stop hosting the show next July, reports the Associated Press.
The story says “Keillor said he tapped musician Chris Thile of the bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek to succeed him full-time as host in September 2016, following guest-hosting spots. He said Thile — a mandolin whiz — will help return ‘Prairie Home’ to its roots as a music show.”
Keillor, who will be 73 next month, “said he plans to stay on as executive producer, but only ‘an admirer’ and ‘a gray eminence’ of the on-air show, which he said will keep its Midwestern focus,” the story notes.
Keillor said leaving the show “means retiring his weekly monologue, ‘News from Lake Wobegon,’ a homey recounting of the doings of Norwegian bachelor farmers and other Lake Wobegon residents, along with his sketches about hard-boiled detective Guy Noir and hapless modern-day cowboys Dusty and Lefty.”
Keillor, who suffered a minor stroke in 2009 and was hospitalized briefly, has said before that he was going to retire from the show, but has not done so. However, this time, the AP story says, “He insisted Monday that his decision was solid.”
Currently, the story says, “The show is heard by 4 million listeners nationwide on nearly 700 public radio stations each week.”
For more details, please click here, which will take you to the original AP article.