This American Life changing distributors

March 21, 2014

WBEZ

(Stuart Mullenberg)
Ira Glass

Yesterday WBEZ's This American Life announced that Public Radio International will no longer be the distributor of the show after June 2014. That's led to some confusion with listeners about what this means for them and how they'll get access to the show in the future.

A distributor oversees the sales, marketing and transmission of the show to other radio stations. This American Life will be working with a new distributor, which will be announced soon. Listeners will conitnue to get the show through their local public radio station during and after this transition.

This morning This American Life Host and Executive Producer Ira Glass posted an update on the show's blog explaining the change, which we've posted below:

We’re leaving our distributor Public Radio International. What this means for listeners is ... nothing! We’ll continue to make our radio show and podcast. The same public radio stations will continue to broadcast it. They just won’t be getting it through PRI.

PRI has been a great partner. When we signed up with them in 1997, we were already on over a hundred public radio stations. It’d taken us a year to get that many. In three months, PRI doubled the number. A miracle. Over the years since, they built that number to 587 stations.

But looking at where PRI is now pushing its business and where we're growing – especially on the digital side of things, which we’ve always done without PRI – both we and our colleagues at PRI came to the same conclusion: to go our separate ways.

Most listeners I meet seem utterly unaware of who our distributor is, or they think – mistakenly – that we’re part of NPR. NPR is the company that puts out Morning Edition and All Things Considered and many fine programs. But there are several other companies that distribute public radio shows around the country. Local public radio stations get shows from all of them.

We’ll announce sometime soon what our new plan is to distribute the show to radio stations.

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