This American Life | Chicago Tribune | PRX
Chicago Public Media will distribute “This American Life” on its own, using Public Radio Exchange to deliver the show to more than 500 stations, Robert Channick reported Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune. Host Ira Glass wrote Wednesday about the change.
What’s this mean to you? Nothing! This American Life will remain on the same radio stations at the same times. Our podcast and website will be unaffected in any way. The only thing that’s different is the way we get the audio to your local public radio station. Public Radio International used to do that job for us. Now an outfit called Public Radio Exchange – PRX – will be delivering the audio files and billing stations. All the other things a distributor does – selling underwriting, encouraging stations to put our show on at better times – we’ve hired people to do for us. Radio – and the technology of moving audio over the Internet – has changed so much that at this point, there’s little a distributor can do for us that we can’t do on our own.
Glass and crew could have joined Howard Stern and crew on SiriusXM, however. Glass wrote that station called when news broke that “This American Life” would end its partnership with Public Radio International, the satellite radio concern tried to lure the show away from public radio all together.
They asked how much money it would take to get me to quit public radio completely, to abandon terrestrial radio the way Howard Stern did, and play exclusively on Sirius-XM. So flattering! But of course, no chance of that happening. For better or worse, I seem to be a public radio lifer.
“We are huge fans of This American Life and are thrilled to support their move to self- distribution on our platform,” PRX CEO Jake Shapiro said in a statement. “We’ve had the privilege of working closely with Ira and team to develop This American Life’s successful mobile apps, and are honored to expand our partnership to the flagship broadcast.”