Wisconsin Public Radio: Ends production of “Old Time Radio Drama”

(Madison, Wis.) Listeners to Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) will notice a change to the weekend schedule beginning Saturday, June 20. After careful consideration, WPR has decided to end production of “Old Time Radio Drama,” currently airing on Saturday and Sunday nights between 8 and 11 p.m. statewide on most stations in The Ideas Network. The long-running program featuring radio dramas from the 1930s to 1960s will be replaced by “PRX Remix,” which showcases some of the best stories, podcasts and documentaries from independent creators and the PRX podcast network Radiotopia.

“While schedule changes can be difficult, now is the right time to end this program,” said Mike Crane, WPR director. “Many of these plays and productions were produced more than 60 years ago and include racist and sexist material. Despite significant effort over the years, it has been nearly impossible to find historic programs without offensive and outdated content. And, ultimately, these programs don’t represent the values of WPR and The Ideas Network’s focus on public service through news and information.”

“I want to thank our host, Norman Gilliland, and a number of other staff and volunteers who made the show possible every week,” Crane added.  Listeners will continue to hear Gilliland on “The Midday,” “University of the Air” and “Chapter A Day.”

“Because audio drama is such a powerful art form,” noted Sheryl Gasser, director of The Ideas Network, “these historic recordings lasted for much, much longer than their producers could ever have imagined. I want to thank fans of the show and remind them that the art of radio drama is alive and well today featuring contemporary stories on podcasts and websites across the world. We’ll be sharing links to a few of them on wpr.org.”

“PRX Remix” can be heard on Saturday and Sunday nights at 8 p.m. on most WPR stations beginning June 20. Please listen and share your thoughts with us by emailing [email protected] or by calling WPR’s Audience Services at 1-800-747-7444.