Minnesota Public Radio fired Garrison Keillor, who created Prairie Home Companion and produces The Writer’s Almanac, after allegations of “inappropriate behavior” in the workplace. The news comes just hours after NBC News fired Matt Lauer for a sexual misconduct allegation.
In a statement on its website, Minnesota Public Radio said it heard of the allegations against Keillor last month, prompting Minnesota Public Radio to hire “an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation” as well as to create a committee “to provide oversight and ongoing counsel.”
“Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him,” the statement read. Minnesota Public Radio said it didn’t know of any other allegations currently, but listed a “confidential hotline” for complaints or information.
In response, Keillor told the Associated Press the allegation is a “more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” He added, “It’s some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I’m 75 and don’t have any interest in arguing about this. And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organization I’ve worked hard for since 1969.” iMediaEthics has written to Minnesota Public Radio to ask what, if any, explanation Keillor gave in response to the allegation.
Minnesota Public Radio listed several steps it is taking in response to the allegation.
“MPR will end its business relationships with Mr. Keillor’s media companies effective immediately. By terminating the contracts, MPR and American Public Media (APM) will:
* end distribution and broadcast of The Writer’s Almanac and rebroadcasts of The Best of A Prairie Home Companion hosted by Garrison Keillor;
* change the name of APM’s weekly music and variety program hosted by Chris Thile; and,
* separate from the Pretty Good Goods online catalog and the PrairieHome.org website.
“MPR and APM will work closely with public radio stations to help make the programming transitions as seamless as possible.”
This post is being updated.