‘Prairie Home Companion’ gets new name

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Nate Ryan

Chris Thile performs during his debut episode as host of "A Prairie Home Companion" in October 2016 at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.

Public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion has a new name: Live From Here.

Minnesota Public Radio had terminated its contracts with former PHC host Garrison Keillor last month after allegations of “inappropriate behavior” surfaced. In doing so, MPR gave up legal rights to the Prairie Home name and archived content created by Keilor, the network said in a statement.

Host Chris Thile shared the show’s new name during its opening segment Saturday night. “My hope is that this name captures the energy and enthusiasm that is really at the core of this show,” Thile said in a statement. “‘Live from Here’ is about people making beautiful things and sharing them with our audience in real time. The fact that the show is live — where anything is possible — is part of what makes it so special.”

MPR sibling American Public Media became the show’s sole owner in fall 2016, according to MPR.

20 thoughts on “‘Prairie Home Companion’ gets new name

  1. Terrible replacement name. A camel, for sure. As you may recall, a camel is a horse designed by a committee. “It’s Showtime Folks!” would have been my choice. My choice says it all: energy that comes with the fact that the show is done in real time before a real live audience. Shucks. I sure wish I had been a member of that “camel committee.”

  2. It’s still going to be PHC in the minds of the demographic that listens. What’s really needed is a content change. There’s less and less reason to listen. Every guest produces more lugubrious music than the last, like it’s their one and only chance to “be serious.” They still haven’t found their niche. And it’s like almost everyone leaves their brain at the door when they go on air. None of the anticipation for the antic mind that Keillor had. (But then I’m only 2 months younger that Keillor and perhaps I’ve aged out of the intended audience. I’m just too lazy to change the station, but the idea keeps recurring.)

  3. I feel violated and sickened at heart by what Minnesota Public Radio has done to Garrison Keillor. Such a draconian reaction to a misdirected back pat seems entirely unwarranted.

    Sandra is right – it is always going to be PHC in the minds of those who have been listening over the years.

    Home Defense Hardware and all that!

    “Live From Here” is a frivolous and misleading name when you tune in and discover the station is airing a re-run! The deception doesn’t sit right.

    Remember the “Singer Who Used to be Prince”? We now have “The Show That Used to be A Prairie Home Companion”.

    • You are right Aht, PHC will stay forever and everywhere…
      As an international-Turkish dude who came here at the age of 25 and I run into the PHC on a Saturday afternoon while listening to the radio in NY. My american friends always make fun of me for my being big fun of Keillor and the program. But I don’t care. I respect his intelligence and his heart!

  4. So sorry for the “old folks” who cannot give up PHC name. They must be old timers like Kellior. Give it up! His droning voice, off pitch singing, and trying to harmonize with guest will not be missed. I am 70 and love the drive, enthusiasm and sometimes quirky stuff….put on some really, unbelievable gifted musicians, poets, comedians, etc. Keeps me young! Keep up the good work Chris!

  5. By the way your public channel has mistreated Garrison Keillor bye conveniently and summarily kicked Garrison’s can down the road. This quick fix to save face for your program makes me sick. Garrison Keillor is the show, and you so cheaply make the attempt to morphe another pretender to the throne is a joke. To reprimand Keeler would have been more appropriate, not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You don’t realize what you’ve done by firing Keeler

  6. Although I listened to Prairie Home Companion for well over twenty years, I am pleased with the changes this past year. I felt that Keillor had become quite mean spirited, tiresome, and often vulgar in his “jokes.” I stopped listening five years ago, occasionally leaving my radio on in hopes of reconnecting. I never really gave Chris Thile a chance until last night ( 1/27/18 Austin )when I actually listened for the full two hours. I sincerely hope he doesn’t have to continue in the old Keilor style.. The guests, music, and minimal monologues were great. I will try again next Saturday and hope not to be disappointed. I want to be entertained and uplifted. Not dragged down and offended. I hope this message reaches the Chris Thile team.
    Question: Does anyone agree with me? I was truly sad to lose my love for Prairie Home Companion. For many years Garrison seemed to speak for me. We were exactly the same age, I was an English teacher, and I had lived in Minnesota. It was a sad loss.

  7. Time and art move on. I was a PHC listener for over 30 years. Transitions can be awkward. Whereas the reasoning for the name change can be debated, when I first heard Chris Thile I felt he should make it his show (which it certainly was) and that a name/format change would be appropriate. Different energy with a different direction. Certainly MPR does not want to lose its audience. MPR subscribes to the Hollywood notion of doing a sequel which is to make the same program. I appreciate both the old and the new programs. They do not need to be mutually exclusive. Go, Chris, go.

  8. Since Chris Thile took over, it’s been a totally different show anyway. Our local station dropped it, and after llsitening online a couple of times, I did, too.
    This is hardly a big deal.

  9. Change is the only thing we can count on, isn’t that right? Thank goodness the torch had already been passed when the harassment charge was made. I disagree with how many reruns Thile’s version of the show has already racked up, but I have been pleasantly surprised with this guy’s talent(s) and worldview and, just as important, his choice of guests. GK surely hoped the show would go on and the only way to do that is to bring the next generations on board! (I will, however, never get over the loss of the Writer’s Almanac…)

  10. Listener for at least 20 years. Garrison made the show. I quit the show when the powder milk biscuit song was discontinued..

  11. I tried and tried to like Prairie Home Companion for years, and realized I just wasn’t a fan of Keillor. Thile has given the show new life and I absolutely love the music he has brought as well. Tip of the hat to Keillor for handing the baton to the talent of a new generation.

  12. Your new show should NOT be called Prairie Home Companion anymore because it is no longer The Prairie Home Companion. Your new show, “Live From Here” fits it pretty well. I tried over and over again to make it my new Saturday night show but I just could not.. Sorry, it just doesn’t do it for me. Then when threw Mr. Keillor under the bus without even a second glance. I just decided I was finished. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? It was just plain wrong. I was unhappy with the new show and now you licked the stamp. I’m done.

  13. It has not been PHC since Garrison left as host of the show. I haven’t listened to a complete broadcast since Chris Thile became host. With the name change I do not listen at all.
    I do not understand while broadcasters think they can take a program built around a particular personality and attempt to continue it around a different personality… if the different personality is wanted, create a program that fits that personality… let the existing program go out on the top.

  14. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to come out of a coma after several years and not recognize people, culture, or surroundings. That is what it feels like when listening to the P.H.C. replacement. I pride myself on connecting with all sorts of music styles. This show is just plain weird! I don’t get it, I’ve tried every week, but it just seems to get stranger and creepier every week. Sorry, but I sure do miss the old format where the music made sense.

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