Weekly multi-genre music program.
Recorded live every Saturday, A Prairie Home Companion features comedy sketches, music, and Garrison Keillor's signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon."
Bill Littlefield, nationally known author and veteran sports commentator, hosts NPR's Only A Game, produced by NPR Member station WBUR in Boston.
Since 1993 Littlefield has provided audiences with a weekly tour through the world of sports. The show covers a wide range of sports topics, from the basics like wins and loses to issues such as racism, sexism, and sports opportunities for the disabled. Only A Game is as likely to feature a tale about a day at the race track with the residents of a retirement home as it is a story about the World Series or the World Cup.
Littlefield has been a commentator for WBUR and NPR since 1984. He is the writer-in-residence at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, where he has been a professor in the Humanities Division since 1976. He taught writing courses at the Harvard University Summer School and in Harvard's Kennedy School of Government Summer Program for Masters Candidates from 1981 until 1987.
The author of two novels, Littlefield wrote Prospect (for which he also wrote a screenplay) and The Circus in the Woods. He published two collections of his radio and magazine work, Keepers and Only A Game. He collaborated with photographer Henry Horenstein on Baseball Days and wrote Champions, a collection of profiles of remarkable athletes for young readers. He was the guest editor of Houghton Mifflin's The Best American Sports Writing, 1998, and his column reviewing sports-related books appears every other month in The Boston Globe.
Only A Game and Littlefield's commentaries have won numerous Associated Press Awards, and he has been celebrated by the associates of the Boston Public Library as one of Boston's "Literary Lights." He is a graduate of Yale University and the Harvard University School of Education.
A native of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Peter Sagal attended Harvard University and subsequently squandered that education while working as a literary manager for a regional theater, a movie publicist, a stage director, an actor, an extra in a Michael Jackson video, a travel writer, an essayist, a ghost writer for a former adult film impresario and a staff writer for a motorcycle magazine.
He is the author of numerous plays that have been performed in large and small theaters around the country and abroad, including Long Wharf Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, Seattle Repertory, and Florida Stage. He has also written a number of screenplays, including Savage, a cheesy vehicle for obscure French kickboxer Olivier Gruner, and Cuba Mine, an original screenplay that became, without his knowledge, the basis for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.
Among Sagal's honors in the theater are a DramaLogue award for directing, grants from the Jerome and McKnight Foundations and a residency grant at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. He has been commissioned to write new plays by the Seattle Repertory Theater and the Wind Dancer Theater and has been invited to work on his plays at Sundance, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and the New Harmony Project.
In 1997, Peter joined the panel of a new news quiz show on NPR, co-produced by WBEZ-Chicago, that made its debut on-air in January of 1998. In May of that year, he moved to Chicago to become the host of the show. Since then, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! has become one of the most popular shows on public radio, heard by nearly three million listeners on 520 public radio stations nationwide, and heard by a million people every month via podcast.
With Wait Wait, Peter has traveled around the country, playing to sold-out theaters from Seattle to Miami to Boston to Los Angeles, and many points in between, such as, for example, Akron. He's asked Salman Rushdie about PEZ dispensers, Tom Hanks about Hollywood bad boys, then-Senator Barack Obama about the eccentricities of Wade Boggs, and inquired as to Madeleine Albright's weightlifting accomplishments. The show made history in 2007 when, in May, Stephen Breyer became the first sitting Supreme Court Justice to appear on a quiz show, and then, in July, in front of ten thousand fans at Chicago's Millennium Park, Peter conducted the first (and so far, only) personal interview with United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald since his conviction of White House Aide Scooter Libby.
In 2008, Wait Wait celebrated its 10th anniversary on the air, and was the recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. A year later, in the fall of 2009, Wait Wait made its New York debut with a show at Carnegie Hall, which sold out in the first 90 minutes after tickets went on sale.
In October 2007, Harper Collins published Peter's first book, The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How to Do Them, a series of essays about bad behavior, which was released in paperback in 2008. He is also a regular columnist for Runner's World, and has completed the Chicago, New York and Boston Marathons. He was named by New Jersey Jewish News as one of the top ten Jewish entertainers from New Jersey.
Award winning journalist Neal Conan hosts Talk of the Nation, the national news-talk call-in show from NPR News. Conan brings decades of news and radio experience to the program, which reaches 3.4 million listeners per week on more than 330 NPR member stations. The program features the popular Political Junkie segment on Wednesdays, with the irrepressible Ken Rudin.
A familiar voice, Conan joined NPR in 1977, and worked as a reporter based in New York, Washington and London. He served as NPR's Bureau Chief in both New York and London and anchored live coverage of many live events, including national political conventions, confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees and a presidential impeachment. For five years, he hosted Weekly Edition: The Best of NPR News. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Conan played a major role as an anchor of NPR's continuous live coverage, a role he reprised during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2004, he hosted the first radio-only presidential candidates' debate since 1948.
On the other side of the microphone, Conan has also served as editor, producer, and executive producer of NPR's flagship evening newsmagazine, All Things Considered and, at various times, acted as NPR's foreign editor, managing editor, and news director.
Conan's awards include a Major Armstrong award for his coverage of the Iran-Iraq War, a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award as part of NPR's coverage of the Gulf War, another duPont and a George Foster Peabody Award for his part in NPR's Coverage of Sept. 11 and yet another duPont for NPR's coverage of the war in Iraq. During his time at All Things Considered, the program won numerous awards, including the Washington Journalism Review's Best in the Business award.
During the 2000 baseball season, Conan took a leave of absence from NPR News to work as the play-by-play announcer for the Aberdeen Arsenal of the independent Atlantic League. He filed a series of commentaries about life on the fringe of professional sports for Morning Edition and later wrote a book about his experiences, Play By Play: Baseball, Radio and Life in the Last Chance League.
Conan tours nationally with Ensemble Galilei as the narrator and host of A Universe of Dreams, which features images from the Hubble Space Telescope, and First Person: Seeing America, which features selected images from the photography collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Conan was born in Beirut, Lebanon.
Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.
Gross, who has been host of Fresh Air since 1975, when it was broadcast only in greater Philadelphia, isn't afraid to ask tough questions. But Gross sets an atmosphere in which her guests volunteer the answers rather than surrendering them. What often puts those guests at ease is Gross' understanding of their work. "Anyone who agrees to be interviewed must decide where to draw the line between what is public and what is private," Gross says. "But the line can shift, depending on who is asking the questions. What puts someone on guard isn't necessarily the fear of being 'found out.' It sometimes is just the fear of being misunderstood."
Gross began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. There she hosted and produced several arts, women's and public affairs programs, including This Is Radio, a live, three-hour magazine program that aired daily. Two years later, she joined the staff of WHYY-FM in Philadelphia as producer and host of Fresh Air, then a local, daily interview and music program. In 1985, WHYY-FM launched a weekly half-hour edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which was distributed nationally by NPR. Since 1987, a daily, one-hour national edition of Fresh Air has been produced by WHYY-FM. The program is broadcast on 566 stations and became the first non-drive time show in public radio history to reach more than five million listeners each week in fall 2008, a presidential election season. In fall 2011, Fresh Air reached 4.4 million listeners a week.
Fresh Air with Terry Gross has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Peabody Award in 1994 for its "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight." America Women in Radio and Television presented Gross with a Gracie Award in 1999 in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, she received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award for her "outstanding contributions to public radio" and for advancing the "growth, quality and positive image of radio." In 2007, Gross received the Literarian Award. In 2011, she received the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community.
Gross is the author of All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists, published by Hyperion in 2004.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Gross received a bachelor's degree in English and M.Ed. in communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Gross was recognized with the Columbia Journalism Award from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2008 and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Princeton University in 2002. She received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993 and Doctor of Humane Letters in 2007, both from SUNY–Buffalo. She also received a Doctor of Letters from Haverford College in 1998 and Honorary Doctor of Letters from Drexel University in 1989.
Melissa Block is a 28-year veteran of NPR and has been hosting All Things Considered since 2003, after nearly a decade as an NPR correspondent.
Frequently reporting from communities in the center of the news, Block was in Chengdu, China, preparing for a weeklong broadcast when a massive earthquake struck the region in May 2008. Immediately following the quake, Block, along with co-host Robert Siegel and their production team, traveled throughout Sichuan province to report extensively on the destruction and relief efforts. Their riveting coverage aired across all of NPR's programs and was carried on major news organizations around the world. In addition, the reporting was recognized with the industry's top honors including a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, a National Headliner Award and the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.
Throughout her career, Block has covered major news events for NPR ranging from on-the-scene reporting from the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the days following Hurricane Katrina to a series from Texas gauging the impact of the Iraq War on the surrounding communities. Her reporting after the September 11, 2001 attacks was part of coverage that earned NPR a George Foster Peabody Award. Block's reporting from Kosovo in 1999 was cited among stories for which NPR News won an Overseas Press Club Award.