Garrison Keillor Retiring: Looking for Replacement
How will the folks in Lake Wobegon ever survive without him? Legendary radio host Garrison Keillor, 68, has told the AARP Bulletin that he plans to retire in 2013, but not before a replacement is found to serve as host of 'A Prairie Home Companion.'
"I am planning to retire in the spring of 2013, but first I have to find my replacement. I'm pushing forward and also I'm in denial. It's an interesting time of life," said Keillor in the exclusive interview. "I sure don't want to make a fool of myself and be singing romantic duets with 25-year-old women when I'm 75. But on the other hand, it's so much fun. And in radio, the lighting is right."
Keillor created his show in 1974 in Minnesota. It is now broadcast on 590 public radio stations across the country and is heard by over 4 million people each week.
Of course, he won't be idle in his retirement. He's said nothing about giving up his poetic interests. He currently reads a poem each morning on the air for 'The Writer's Almanac' and edited a poetry anthology called 'Good Poems: American Places,' which will be published April 10.
And he also told AARP that he's working on a screenplay about a son of Lake Wobegon coming home for a funeral and finding out that, despite his long years of exile in distant cities, he still belongs to these people. If that project gets a green light, it could keep Keillor busy well into his 70s.
Details of how he's going to find his replacement and what exactly he's looking for have not been released, but something tells you he's not going to go for a hot, young Generation Y host in order to appeal to that lucrative demographic
A large part of the appeal of 'A Prairie Home Companion' is its folksy charm. Do you have any suggestions for his replacement? A wise country singer? Perhaps a host from NPR who can sing? Maybe an actor known for playing country rolls like Robert Duval? Or is Keillor completely irreplaceable, and should the show wrap once Keilor leaves? What do you think?
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.