PRX is pulling the plug on the weekly arts and culture program Studio 360 as the show nears two decades on the air.
The final episode of Studio 360 will air in February, according to a press release. Host Kurt Andersen’s role with the program will end later this month. The show airs on more than 200 stations.
John Barth, PRX’s chief content officer, would not discuss details about why the program is ending.
“We made this decision after extensive consideration and evaluation, but are extremely proud of Studio 360’s two decades of remarkably creative work,” Barth said in a written statement to Current.
PRX spokesperson David Cotrone said only that Studio 360 is being canceled “for a variety of factors.”
The cancellation comes a year after Public Radio International, which co-produced Studio 360 with WNYC in New York City for the majority of its run, merged with PRX. The show’s archive will remain online permanently, according to the release.
Studio 360 launched in 2000 with the tagline “Where art and real life collide.” One PRI executive described the program’s purpose at the time as viewing the world through a lens of arts and culture.
Andersen, who had a background in novel writing and glossy magazine journalism, came to the program fresh to public radio. It won Peabody Awards in 2004 and 2012, first for an episode examining the influence of Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick on modern culture for its “American Icons” series, then for an episode profiling the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
“Our idea was to be smart as well as fun, to cover the brand new and the great old, the high and low and in between, with stories and conversations with artists and makers about the ideas behind work and the nuts and bolts of making it,” Andersen said in the release about the cancellation.
In 2017, WNYC ended its role as co-producer of Studio 360, citing a desire to “invest more and more heavily in our on-demand properties and partnerships.”
Slate stepped in to take over the co-producer role, and Studio 360 moved its operations from WNYC’s Manhattan studios to Slate’s Brooklyn offices. At the time, Slate Editor Julia Turner called the show “a perfect addition to Slate’s stable of podcasts” and professed an eagerness “to help Studio 360 find and amplify its digital-first voice.”
Barth and Cotrone also declined to comment on the future of Studio 360’s staff. The release praised the program’s contributors as representing “the best in imaginative storytelling about arts and creativity.”
“These next few months, we look forward to celebrating the work of the Studio 360 team,” Cotrone said in an email.