(USA Today) - Veteran radio host and writer Garrison Keillor confirmed Wednesday that he was fired by his longtime broadcast home, Minnesota Public Radio, over accusations of improper behavior.
After confirming the news in an email to the Associated Press, Keillor issued a follow-up statement saying he was terminated over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” However, he did not elaborate.
MPR issued a statement on its website Wednesday announcing it would “end its business relationship with Keillor’s media companies effective immediately.” That includes ending distribution and broadcast of The Writer's Almanac, a daily syndicated program that Keillor continued to write and produce, in addition to rebroadcasts of The Best of A Prairie Home Companion.
They also noted that Prairie Home Companion itself, which is now hosted by Chris Thile, will get a new title.
In the statement, MPR President Jon McTaggart acknowledged, "Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances. While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service."
Keillor created and hosted Companion from its inception in 1974 until he retired from the radio variety program in a blowout at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2016.
His firing came one day after publications of a Washington Post column in which he argued against the idea that Minnesota Sen. Al Franken should resign his seat over allegations he groped radio host Leann Tweeden during a 2006 USO tour before he was elected to public office.
"Eleven years later, a talk show host in L.A., goes public, and there is talk of resignation," Keillor wrote. "This is pure absurdity, and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. No kidding."
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