I’d like to retract my retraction.
On March 22 — two days after Public Radio International announced it was dropping distribution of “This American Life” — I reported exclusively that host and executive producer Ira Glass would be moving the show to Public Radio Exchange.
“Sources tell me it’s going from PRI to PRX,” I wrote here. “Although all parties involved are keeping mum . . . insiders said Friday an agreement is expected with Public Radio Exchange, another distributor of public radio programming, based in Cambridge, Mass. The current deal with PRI expires on July 1.”
Two days after that, I heard from Glass, who told me I had it all wrong.
“I was surprised to see your article saying ‘This American Life’ has landed a new distributor since we haven’t begun negotiations with PRX or anyone else to distribute the program,” Glass wrote. “I honestly have no idea who would’ve suggested that a deal with PRX is wrapped up. Very weird.”
Not wanting to disclose my sources or get into a dispute with Glass (whose work I’ve admired and respected for years), I accepted his denial and promptly retracted my report. “I regret and apologize for the error,” I wrote.
Well, well, well.
Imagine my surprise when Glass and his Chicago Public Media production partners announced Wednesday that “This American Life” would indeed be distributed by Public Radio Exchange, starting July 1.
“We’re excited and proud to be partners now with PRX,” Glass said in a statement. “They’ve been a huge innovative force in public radio, inventing technologies and projects to get people on the air who’d have a much harder time without them. They’re mission-driven, they’re super-capable and apparently they’re pretty good with computers.”
After the deal was announced, I asked Glass for a clarification.
“We hadn’t spoken with them or any of the other distributors at the time,” he told me. “It was still wide open.”
Guess I just got really, really lucky.