APM asks stations to help promote revamped ‘Prairie Home’

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American Public Media is calling on stations to help promote the revamped A Prairie Home Companion, featuring Chris Thile as host starting in October.

“We’re asking you to actively promote the program — on the radio throughout the week and on your digital and social media platforms,” Jon McTaggart, c.e.o. of American Public Media Group, wrote in a note to stations Wednesday. “This new programming holds great potential for new audience growth, and we need your help to make it happen.”

Instead of going the route of Car Talk and providing repackaged segments from old episodes, APM is “making a bold investment to reinvent” APHC and attract new and “diverse” audiences, McTaggart wrote.

“This is our opportunity to recreate APHC for Gen-X-and-Y, millennials and future generations,” he wrote. “The Tonight Show imagined a new future and new fans with Jimmy Fallon as its host, and we can do the same with APHC. We, in public radio, are creators and innovators, journalists and entertainers, storytellers and conveners; we are leaders, and our audiences expect us to lead.”

Thile will host 13 episodes of the show in fiscal year 2017, according to APM. Stations can fill out the rest of the year by repeating the Thile episodes and using repeat broadcasts of episodes hosted by Keillor.

APHC draws 3.5 million weekly listeners, according to McTaggart.

Correction: An earlier version of this post mischaracterized current episodes of Car Talk as repeats. The shows consist of repackaged segments from old episodes.

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