Keillor retirement comment stirs the pot

keillor.jpgA blog post by Hartford Courant columnist Colin McEnroe again raises the question of Garrison Keillor’s retirement plans.

Garrison Keillor on my show today saying he’s rethinking retirement from PHC in 2013.

“I’m starting to doubt that myself. I’ve been thinking about it, thinking: what else would I do? And I can’t come up with anything….If I didn’t do it I would wind up in a tiny walk-up apartment with a couple of cats.”

Of course, anyone who has been following this story closely will know the Old Scout has mused about the various possibilities of stepping down from Prairie Home in coming years, and even experimented with a guest host on the show.

However, while he has ruminated about retiring with various outlets, most notably the AARP, he has never actually set a date. In recent weeks people working on the show have told me the topic of retirement hasn’t really come up.

A call to the Prairie Home office this morning revealed Keillor is again on the road, doing a city-a-day tour on the east coast, and so he was unavailable for comment. So, the mystery continues…

  • Al Anderson

    Didn’t this happen once before and he even came back. He will probably be six feet under before we can consider him really retired. He is even selling his retirement retreat so why retire.

  • Bill Hilbrich

    Garrison has become a grumpy old man, who has lost his comic edge. He owes the NPR affiliates the opportunity to fill that time slot with new and relevant material.

    At the very least, PHC should be removed from the classical side of Minnesota Public Radio.

  • Katherine Werner

    Please, Garrison. Retire already.

  • L

    PHC has been an integral part of many lives for the best part of the last 30 years. If you do not like it, do not listen.

    There are many of us who plan our Saturdays around the broadcast and even host PHC dinner parties, attend local and not so local shows, and love the new option of the “Movie Theater” broadcasts. For me, I hope GK never retires, and if he does, that a new host picks up the torch and carries it on for the younger generation, many of who listen every Saturday.

    Love the website and love the letters /column “The View From Mrs. Sundberg’s Window.”

    The show remains relevant, is entertaining, and has an amazing array of guests.

    What more could you want for “free.” Hopefully, you donate, but there is no “police” to ensure that you do.

  • Luke

    Amen to post by L.

    Katherine, Al, and Bill turn the damn channel if you don’t like it. There are many, including this 34 year old, who have grown up listening to APHC and just love it and would be sad to see it go. The show is a MN treasure and should be treated that way!

  • Bill Hilbrich

    Yes L. I do donate and I have been a sustaining member for many years. I was also a professional fund raiser for public broadcasting for over 20 years, and feedback supports my suggestion that it is time to let go of the rural stereotypes and outdated ethnic accents.

    I would be happy if I could simply turn to another MPR station, but on Saturday nights, APHC is carried on Both the Classical network and the talk network !! Convince MPR management to pick just one and we can all be happy.

  • Thomas Fenske

    I fully expect Garrison to pull an Andy Rooney on us … he’ll step down when he’s in his nineties or more. He’s like Andy, and Bob Hope and George Burns … he’ll stick it out until he literally can’t do it anymore.

  • Katherine Werner

    I do turn the damn channel – every time it airs and is repeated! (MPR are you listening?) What I really want is for this time slot to be opened up for some fresh new, and funny, talent. A Minnesota treasure as in dinosaur.

  • Sylvia

    PHC and Garrison put Minnesota on the map. You don”t see Texans complaining about all things Texan like cowboy clothes, longhorn steers, and a Texas drawl…in fact they make a killing off of it.

    If you don’t like Garrison find something else to do when he is on the air.

  • Katherine Werner

    Actually, real Texans do complain about those stereotypes. Well, except the politicians. As I said, I do do something else when Garrison is on the air and I turn off MPR to do it. What I want is some fresh, new and funny talent in his place. Oh yes, I’d also like folks here to list their last names. Sylvia? Luke?

  • michael penfield

    I have mixed feelings about APHC. I hate the Lake Wobegon monologues- they’re the aural equivalent of Norman Rockwell. The guest musicians are generally good and the skits are almost always funny. And yes, there’s no reason, with all the great public radio programming out there, that APHC should be on two stations at once.

  • George H. Miller

    As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.

  • Henry Holmes Croft

    Patience and time do more than strength or passion.

  • Joel Bader

    Garrison has to make up his mind on retiring. Sure he’s been a valuable asset to public radio but as others have said, there are other talented artists who can enrich public broadcastiing–if only Garrison would step aside and give them a chance.

    No one is irreplacable–the day that public broadcasting begins to think otherwise will be the day that public broadcasting begins to die. Perhaps that is the case with Garrison Keillor’s situation. Garrison Keillor–for the sake of public broadcasting, step aside and force your beloved public broadcasting media to move on, to survive, to live, to thrive.

  • Chris

    Love Garrison Keillor and treasure is work, but nothing lasts forever. We are going to have to say goodbye to PHC someday. I donate money to NPR. I do change the channel when he comes on now, his act is old AND I DO NOT LIKE HIS SINGING AND HE SINGS A LOT. And another thing. What is so wrong with retiring? Does he have any hobbies and passions? Like singing and reading poetry, not to mention his wife and family. Let it go Garrison, you have more going for you than you seem to realize. You are more than your job (I doubt he ever reads comment blogs like this, but who knows).