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Prairie Lights readings return to the air

BY NICOLE KARLIS | JULY 14, 2009 7:15 AM

Loyal listeners of the beloved program “Live from Prairie Lights” can stop weeping.

KRUI has collaborated with Prairie Lights Books to continue the popular program for Iowa City bookworms to enjoy.

More than a year ago, Iowa Public Radio evaluated the program’s popularity and decided to cancel the show after 18 years on WSUI.

Nathan Gould, an Iowa City resident and general manager at KRUI, said he was grief-stricken by the cancellation, but he ended up brain-storming an effective idea.

“I had the idea that wouldn’t it be fantastic to continue the general idea of broadcasting these readings, based on how literary Iowa City is,” he added.

He said many locals wondered what radio station could carry on the program.

“When I saw that, I thought well, that’s KRUI,” he said.



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After meetings and discussions with Prairie Lights, the series “From the Prairie Lights Archives” evolved. The program first aired in June and continues to be heard every Sunday from 2-3 p.m.

Unlike the original show, “From the Prairie Lights Archives” is pre-recorded.

“If someone misses the live reading, they can listen to it on the air later that week,” Gould said.

But that is just one turnover. Now there are back and forth discussions between the author and audience.

“I think it makes it more interesting listening,” Gould said.

The outcome has been successful. Since the first show aired June 7, KRUI has received positive feedback from its own employees to shoppers at Prairie Lights.

Jan Weissmiller, a co-owner of Prairie Lights, couldn’t be happier.

“We’re extremely pleased,” she said. “I’ve had very positive feedback.”

Weissmiller is still discussing more possibilities with Gould about the future of “From the Prairie Lights Archives.”

“We intend to set up live readings,” Gould said. “We wanted to get our feet wet and not rush into something.”

Iowa Public Radio officials said they are pleased a station was able to pick up the program.

“We congratulated the KRUI student station for reaching out and picking up that program to share with the local listener base,” said Mary Grace Herrington, the CEO of Iowa Public Radio.


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