Ira Glass to speak in South Dakota

Ira Glass

Ira Glass

Ira Glass, the mesmerizing host of public radio’s “This American Life,” is coming to South Dakota for a special appearance next spring.

“Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass” is Saturday, April 5, at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls. The evening includes a 60-minute presentation and a 30-minute Q&A session. The event is sponsored by the Friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Donors to Friends of SDPB will have the first chance to participate, by responding to on-air offers during the SDPB Radio Membership Week, Oct. 12-19. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Nov. 9.

Glass, who has been called the best radio host in America by Time Magazine, is the creative mind behind “This American Life.” The program, produced by Chicago Public Media and distributed by Public Radio International, airs on more than 500 public radio stations across the country, reaching 1.8 listeners. Glass has earned a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and the program also has earned the Peabody, the duPont-Columbia and the Overseas Press Club awards.

Glass started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at NPR’s headquarters in DC. Over the next 17 years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job: tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter and substitute host. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put “This American Life” on the air in 1995.

“This American Life” has no set format. Each one-hour show revolves around a theme and digs into the lives of all kinds of Americans.

This is how “This American Life” describes itself:

“We view the show as an experiment. We try things. There was the show where we taped for 24 hours in an all-night restaurant. And the show where we put a band together from musicians’ classified ads. And the show where we followed a group of swing voters for months, recording their reactions to everything that happened in the campaign, right up through their final decision. And the show where we had a story for each of the Ten Commandments. Or the one where our producers all collected stories for a weekend at the same rest stop. We also occasionally do our own versions of stories that are in the news, including award winning economics coverage that spawned another entire program called Planet Money.”

Whatever the topic, the program is always fascinating and unexpected.

Listeners can tune in on SDPB Radio on Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 5p.m.

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