American Public Media Acquires National Distribution of American Routes, Public Radio’s Weekly Exploration of American Music

Contact: Brad Robideau
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American Public Media Acquires National Distribution of American Routes, Public Radio’s Weekly Exploration of American Music

(St. Paul, Minn.) March 2, 2007—American Public Media, the nation’s second-largest producer and distributor of public radio programs, today announced it will become the national distributor of American Routes, the popular weekly program on American musical styles and genres hosted by internationally recognized folklorist, author and storyteller Nick Spitzer. American Public Media will begin distribution and co-production of American Routes on July 1, 2007.

American Routes will join a portfolio of signature music programs that together make American Public Media the nation’s single largest producer and distributor of public radio music programs across multiple genres. Spitzer’s compelling weekly program will inject new richness and depth to the American Public Media portfolio, while his creative relationship with American Public Media will bring his knowledge and sensibility into the organization.

"It’s great to see American Public Media’s commitment to music and cultural programming on public radio," said Spitzer. "This comes at a very good time for American Routes and for our New Orleans situation. I muse that the still growing national audience for Routes emerges from a strong relationship between the Minnesota source and the Louisiana mouth of the Mississippi River!"

"Nick is one of America’s most celebrated storytellers who each week takes listeners on a memorable journey to meet the people, places and sounds of American music," said Sarah Lutman, senior vice president of content, American Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio.® "American Public Media’s classical music programming delivers the great performances of past and present from around the world. The new partnership with American Routes extends American Public Media’s music offerings from Johann Sebastian Bach to Louis Armstrong and from Frederick Chopin to Johnny Cash to further delight public radio audiences everywhere."

Now in its ninth year on the air, American Routes is a weekly two-hour public radio program produced in New Orleans by Spitzer, with award-winning executive producer Mary Beth Kirchner.

American Routes presents a broad range of American music—blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical. The program also presents documentary features and artist interviews. Through the songs and stories on American Routes, Spitzer describes both the community origins of music, musicians and cultures—the "roots" of music—and the many directions they take over time—the "routes."

American Routes is currently carried on 200 public radio stations and on XM Satellite Radio, and it reaches nearly 400,000 listeners each week. (Source: Arbitron, Inc., Nationwide data, P12+, Spring06/Fall05 average)

American Routes is made possible by the generous support from the National Endowment for Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. American Routes is on the Web at