This American Life to self-distribute program

PRX to deliver the show to radio

May 28, 2014

WBEZ/file

Chicago Public Media’s This American Life will start independently distributing the radio show to more than 500 public radio stations, the company, along with show host Ira Glass, announced today.

This American Life, which started in Chicago in 1995, and which went national in 1996, has been distributed by Public Radio International since 1997. The radio show will now be delivered to radio stations by Public Radio Exchange.

“We’re excited and proud to be partners now with PRX,” Glass said in a statement. “They’ve been a huge innovative force in public radio, inventing technologies and projects to get people on the air who’d have a much harder time without them. They’re mission-driven, they’re super-capable and apparently they’re pretty good with computers.”  

PRX launched in 2003 as an independent nonprofit public media company focused on using technology to bring stories to a wider digital audience. The digital distribution platform operates one of the largest content marketplaces for audio, including The Moth Radio Hour, State of the Re: Union, Snap Judgment, American Routes and WTF with Marc Maron.

“We are huge fans of This American Life and are thrilled to support their move to self-distribution on our platform,” Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX, 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.”

This American Life will take over aspects of self distribution from PRI, including selling underwriting as well as marketing the show to radio stations.

This American Life is produced by Chicago Public Media and hosted by Ira Glass. It has a weekly audience of 2.2 million people on the radio and more than a million downloads per week as one of the most popular podcasts in the country. 

is the Director of Digital Content at WBEZ. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook