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Minnesota Public Radio Announces a New Music Service

The Morning Show's Dale Connelly to be Featured on an Exclusive Web- and Digital-Radio Service, "Radio Heartland"

November 18, 2008

(St. Paul, Minn.)—November 17, 2008—Minnesota Public Radio announced today changes and expansions to its music services. The significant changes are in response to audience feedback and the desire to serve longtime listeners while attracting new audiences.

Radio Heartland
Earlier this fall, Minnesota Public Radio announced the final broadcast of The Morning Show on December 11, and the pending retirement of co-host Jim Ed Poole. On December 12, Minnesota Public Radio will launch a new music service, Radio Heartland.

Radio Heartland is the brainchild of The Morning Show's other co-host Dale Connelly. The new radio service will be available on the Internet worldwide and on a digital radio channel in the Twin Cities. Radio Heartland will be filled with an eclectic mix of acoustic, Americana, and roots music—anything from the fret board to the washboard. It will also feature a weekday morning show with Connelly as host. Radio Heartland will be available in the Twin Cities on digital channel KNOW 91.1 HD2.

"We have been talking with our listeners and looking for new ways to serve our loyal audience for The Morning Show," said Jon McTaggart, chief operating officer, Minnesota Public Radio. "Now, we are pleased to offer longtime fans of The Morning Show more of what they love and introduce Dale Connelly to new friends through a full-time Internet stream and on HD Radio in the Twin Cities. Radio Heartland is a response to The Morning Show's loyal audience. The success of Radio Heartland will be a direct result of audience support. We'll be asking our audience to financially support this new service. Dale is a wonderfully creative spirit at MPR and a beloved Minnesota personality. Radio Heartland will give him a new space to fill with his music sensibilities. His morning show will also allow listeners to suggest ideas for added flair and humor to the show."

Radio Heartland will stream on www.radioheartland.org and be available on HD Radio in the Twin Cities on 91.1 KNOW HD 2. Dale Connelly will host a live weekday program 6-8 a.m. Its first hour will be repeated at 9 a.m. and the entire show will be repeated over the lunchtime, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The rest of the day will feature great music that listeners have come to expect from The Morning Show, plus some surprises.

"My goal for the new service is to continue the unusual musical mix and the friendly tone of The Morning Show for loyal listeners who have supported us over the years," said Dale Connelly. "With luck we can draw some new listeners too. I want this stream to be unpretentious and fun. We'll hear coffeehouse songwriters, jazz divas, Zydeco accordionists, Cajun fiddlers, Broadway stars, movie stars, ukulele virtuosos, big bands, string bands, cowboys and cornballs. In keeping with The Morning Show's unorthodox approach, I'm trying to keep the rules to a minimum. I hope our long-time friends will follow me into this fresh territory and help turn our new service into something that will last."

The Morning Show fans can find out the latest about Radio Heartland at www.radioheartland.org.

Mornings on 89.3 The Current starting December 12
On December 12, The Current will launch a new morning program with interim host Steve Seel. The music and format of the show will be similar to programming heard throughout the day on The Current. A national search for a permanent host is underway. The program will evolve to reflect the character of the new host and the show's audience.

Mornings on Classical Minnesota Public Radio starting December 12
In Greater Minnesota, The Morning Show is currently broadcast on Classical Minnesota Public Radio stations. Starting December 12, all Classical Minnesota Public Radio music stations will broadcast classical music with host John Birge in the mornings.

Save the Date! The Morning Show's Final Broadcast is 6-9 a.m. December 11 live from The Fitzgerald Theater
The last show will be broadcast live from The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul. It will have the feel of a high school graduate's open house, held at an entirely unreasonable hour in a lovely old theater with live music and coffee. Music performances by long-time friends of the show will be interspersed throughout the broadcast: Peter Mayer, Neal & Leandra, Dan Chouinard, Prudence Johnson, Greg Brown and the Steeles. Also expect to hear numerous Morning Show characters from over the years.

The event will extend to Central Presbyterian Church, just east of the Fitzgerald Theater on Cedar Ave., for The Morning Show pancake breakfast (breakfast will be available for purchase until 10 a.m.). The broadcast at The Fitzgerald Theater will be piped into the church, so those hopping between the two spaces will not miss a moment of the entertainment. There is limited seating in the church and breakfast is available while supplies last.

When: 6-9 a.m. Thursday, December 11. Doors open at 5:15 a.m.

Tickets: Admission to The Morning Show's farewell broadcast is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

Where: The Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul

Tune In to Minnesota Public Radio's music services:

The Current is a service heard on KCMP 89.3 FM in the Twin Cities, KMSE 88.7 FM in Rochester and online at thecurrent.org.

Classical Minnesota Public Radio is a service heard on KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities and on classical stations statewide and online at mpr.org.

The Morning Show is a program heard 5-9 a.m. weekdays on The Current in the Twin Cities and 6-9 a.m. on Classical Minnesota Public Radio stations in greater Minnesota. The final broadcast is Dec. 11.

Radio Heartland is a service that will be heard online at www.minnesotapublicradio.org and www.radioheartland.org, and on 91.1 KNOW HD2 in the Twin Cities starting December 12.


Press Contacts:
Christina Schmitt
Minnesota Public Radio
651-290-1449
cschmitt@mpr.org

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