The new season of A Prairie Home Companion begins Saturday, Sept. 15 @ 6 pm on WGCU thanks to the generous support of the Shell Point Retirement Community and 47 Southwest Florida listeners.
A Prairie Home Companion has been a staple on Public Radio in Southwest Florida for 29 years; however, the show’s annual price tag of $22,000 became cost-prohibitive and the station decided to stop airing the program. “That’s when we started hearing from our listeners,” said WGCU General Manager Rick Johnson.
In the weeks since making the budgetary decision to stop airing Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, many listeners have voiced their complaints via phone calls and social media. In response to its listeners, WGCU launched a campaign to raise the $22,000 fee the station is assessed. WGCU reached out to its listeners and its community sponsors. In the past month, 47 listeners made a contribution to save A Prairie Home Companion. According to Johnson, it was the Shell Point Retirement Community and their commitment to public broadcasting and the well-being of Southwest Florida, combined with individual contributions that made it possible to save A Prairie Home Companion.
Shell Point Retirement Community Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications Lynn Schneider said, “Shell Point has been a sponsor of public radio for more than 20 years and bringing back A Prairie Home Companion just made sense. Not only do many of the residents of Shell Point listen to the program, but it also reaches people who might consider living in our community someday. We are proud to partner with WGCU to be able to provide this type of quality programming for Southwest Florida.”