“You can have all the blogs, all the Huffington Posts, and Twitter feeds, and any other way of distributing content, but if you don’t have the content, none of it’s worth anything,” says MPR president Bill Kling. “That comes from reporters, which I believe we have to step up.” The man who put Garrison Keillor on the air (“Keillor got the job, mostly because he was willing to show up at 6 a.m.,” according to this story) is retiring on July 1, but he isn’t walking away from public radio, reports Andy Mannix.
Kling plans to take his show on the road and use his influence to build up public radio stations across America. Other than MPR, he’s eyeing Chicago’s WBEZ, New York’s WYNC, and KPCC in southern California. Ultimately, Kling hopes to take on all the top public radio markets in the country.
He plans to employ his influence to raise $5 million a year for five years, which will be used by four public radio stations to hire more reporters. Another $5 million per year will be donated to the greater public radio system.
Most recently, he’s been on MPR advocating against a congressional bill that would cut federal funding to public radio. [He recently wrote in The Hill that “public media is Congress’s best friend.”] Some say Kling overstated the threat to bring in more donations. He was also criticized for using his taxpayer-funded radio station to push a political message.