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Chris Thile Takes Over 'A Prairie Home Companion'

Chris Thile

  This October begins a new chapter for one of the most popular public radio programs, as musician Chris Thile takes over for Garrison Keillor as the new host of A Prairie Home Companion, bringing a fresh approach to an audience favorite.

WKSU airs original A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Sundays, hear an archival program featuring now retired host Garrison Keillor from 10 a.m. to noon. 

The only live music and variety show aired nationwide today, A Prairie Home Companion is a Saturday night staple for radio audiences everywhere. The show features a unique blend of musical performances and comedy. For 42 years, the program has built a large and loyal audience, with nearly 3.2 million fans from around the world tuning in to enjoy the show each week.

The show will continue to be broadcast live on Saturday nights from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, as well from venues across the country, including The Town Hall in New York, and will showcase unparalleled guests and new digital content. Each of the new live shows will feature a mix of well-known and up-and-coming musicians, humor with sketch comedy and spoken word, plus an original 'Song of the Week' composed by Thile.

Audience favorites, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors and band leader Richard Dworsky are still part of the mix. Dworsky's piano with be joined by guitarist Chris EldridgeBrittany Haas on fiddle, Sarah Jarosz singing and playing banjo and octave mandolin, bassist Paul Kowert, and Ted Poor on drums to form an exciting new house band - The First-Call Radio Players. 

Chris Thile was hand-selected by Garrison Keillor--"the best idea I've had since Powdermilk Biscuits"--to take over as host of the famed and long-running live radio variety show. Chris--a multiple Grammy Award-winner, MacArthur Fellow and a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek--is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist.

A Prairie Home Companion is produced and presented by American Public Media. Audio and Video clips, along with scripts, photos and more information about A Prairie Home Companion can be found at www.prairiehome.org