CPB to Provide Funding for “Weekend America”

CPB to Provide Funding for “Weekend America”
– Helping Public Radio Serve an Evolving Weekend Audience

For Immediate Release: October 13, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today announced a $1.6 million grant for Minnesota Public Radio to support "Weekend America."

"Weekend America" is a two-hour program whose coverage of current events, music, arts, science and other topics is designed to cater to Americans’ weekend pace.  Broadcast nationally for a year, "Weekend America" reaches a weekly audience of 580,500 on more than 140 stations nationwide.

"CPB is proud to support ‘Weekend America’ — one of public radio’s most innovative national programs," said CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison.  "By allowing stations to carry two hours of the show or to use it as a formatted block of programming, ‘Weekend America’ enables stations to meet the evolving needs of local listeners and strengthen their connection to community."

"Minnesota Public Radio is grateful for CPB’s continued support of ‘Weekend America’," said Jim Russell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of New Program Development for Minnesota Public Radio.  "The program has surpassed its goals and projections, and the talented program staff led by Barbara Bogaev and Bill Radke has successfully blended a style and sound that is at once ‘public radio’ and ‘weekend.’  We’re still creating and refining, and we thank CPB for its faith that we could and will continue to add value by strengthening public radio’s weekend appeal."

Bill Kling, President and CEO of Minnesota Public Radio, said "’Weekend America’ is smart, engaging and allows America to reflect on itself, its culture and its variety of weekend life through the connection that it provides for listeners.  We are pleased with its success and look forward to continued audience growth of this live national program.”

Target Corporation is the founding sponsor of “Weekend America.”

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.  It helps support the operations of more than 1,000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related on-line services.

Minnesota Public Radio® operates a 37-station radio network serving virtually all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states and produces programming for radio, Internet and face-to-face audiences.  Programs produced by Minnesota Public Radio and its national production and distribution arm, American Public MediaT, reach 14.7 million listeners nationwide each week.  American Public Media is the country’s second-biggest producer of national public radio programs, with a portfolio including A Prairie Home Companion®, Weekend America®, Saint Paul Sunday®, Marketplace®, Marketplace Money®, The Splendid Table®, Being™ and special reports produced by its national documentary unit, American RadioWorks® .

Contact Information:
Michael Levy
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
press@cpb.org or (202) 879-9758

Jennifer Syltie Johnson
Minnesota Public Radio
jjohnson@mpr.org or (651) 290-1071