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Trevor Stephenson tunes his portable harpsichord in preparation for a seasonal performance of carols for University of the Air.  The program will air at 4pm on Christmas.
A Letter to Listeners on My Retirement
By Jean Feraca, Host of Here on Earth

Jean Feraca
Jean Feraca, popular host of Here on Earth, will retire in March 2012.
After nearly three decades at Wisconsin Public Radio, I am planning to retire in March next year.
When I arrived here twenty-eight years ago, having grown up on the east coast, I knew nothing about Wisconsin or its people and very little about live radio.  My only journalism credential was the Girl Scout Badge I earned when I was ten years old.  I was a rookie, as green as green could be.  Fortunately, my listeners weren't just patient - they were also great teachers.

It was you, my listeners, who taught me that the only way to be on the radio is to be real.  I didn't have to know everything, you said.  I just had to ask honest questions.  When I laughed, it was you who told me, "Yes, that's it. We like it when you laugh."  When I told stories, it was you who taught me that story is what matters most on the radio.  And when I told too many stories, it was you who taught me to get out of the way.
Thank you listeners not only for listening, but for making me bigger.  It is you who have opened up my mind and grown my heart.  It is you who, in Whitman's words, have taught me how "to listen to all sides and filter them from myself."  It is you who have taught me to trust who we are and what we do together on the radio, to depend on your collective genius.  It is you who have brought me into the company of strangers I now have the great privilege to call my friends.

Read the full text of Jean's letter and share your appreciation of Jean and Here on Earth in the comments section.

Annual Santa Call-In this Friday on Larry Meiller 

Santa Hat
Signs of Santa magically appear at this time each year in Larry Meiller's studio at WPR.
Santa Claus returns to WPR airwaves this Friday for his annual interview and call-in show with Larry Meiller.  It isn't easy to schedule an interview with Santa, especially so close to Christmas, but according to Meiller, working with the famous philanthropist is a joy.  "I love working with Santa because he never seems to have a bad day. He and his elf have a lot on their plates, but they are still happy to take calls and talk with Wisconsin's children," noted Meiller.

Meiller has been hosting a daily talk show on WPR for more than 35 years.  Most days, the callers to his show are adults asking questions about environmental and consumer issues, gardening and helpful "how-to" topics, but this Friday, the show is focused on children. 

Kids can call and talk to Santa by dialing 1-800-642-1234 during the live broadcast, Friday, December 23 from 11am to 12:30pm on the Ideas Network.


Watch WPR on Wisconsin Public Television

WPR at Science Festival
Thanks to WPT, you can watch members of University Theater perform H.G. Wells' Time Machine, originally broadcast on WPR, and a special event with Steve Paulson, Ben Sidran and Dr. Richard Davidson. 

If you've ever wondered what Wisconsin Public Radio looks like, here's a rare opportunity to watch us work, thanks to our friends at Wisconsin Public Television (WPT).  This September, WPT video-taped two WPR productions at the first Wisconsin Science Festival on the UW-Madison campus.  The three-camera shoots were produced for WPT's digital channel two, the Wisconsin Channel.

Norman Gilliland and actors from the University Theater present H.G. Wells' The Time Machine with live music and sound effects.  Nearly 150 fans attended this special live broadcast performance of Old Time Radio Drama, in September.  Now you can watch it online, in the comfort of your own home.  

Also at the Science Festival, WPR's Steve Paulson, executive producer of To the Best of Our Knowledge, hosted an improvisational collaboration with author and jazz musician Ben Sidran, his son, Leo, and Richard Davidson, professor and neuroscientist from the UW-Madison.  The event, entitled The Present Moment:  Explorations from Music and Neuroscience, included a lecture, guided meditation and improvisational jazz performance.

More than 300 people attended this standing-room only event, which will be broadcast on the Wisconsin Channel, WPT-2 on Wednesday, January 4 at 4:25pm.  You can watch it online now. 

Sneak Peeks at Upcoming Shows . . .
wpr ideas network iconIdeas Network

Talk About Issues That Matter to You


Friday December 23 at 3pm: Here On Earth    

The pressure of shopping for the "perfect" Christmas tree, finding the "right" presents and serving up a feast can drive a person to distraction during the holiday season. Today join Jean and her guests as they explore the joys of celebrating Christmas in Africa.  A complete schedule of holiday programs in on our website.

Monday December 26 at 4pm: At Issue with Ben Merens
Join Ben and his guest, Steven Johnson, author of "The Innovator's Handbook: Essentials for Inventing What Is Next"
as they discuss the inventor's moxie.
wpr news and classical iconNews & Classical Music
Upcoming Shows   




Sunday, December 25 at 9am-3pm: Christmas Programs 

Tune in throughout the day for seasonal music with Chanticleer, the St. Olaf Choir, a special performance of "A Christmas Carol" with Johnathan Winters and more.  A complete schedule of holiday programs in on our website. 


Sunday January 1 from 5-8pm: Simply Folk
Call the kids and invite the neighbors, it's time for Simply Folk's annual sing-along show!  Classics and favorites are chosen to inspire you - and all of our listeners - to sing along.


WPR Events Around Wisconsin
Meet Wisconsin Public Radio program hosts, producers and staff in and around Wisconsin at these upcoming events.  For more updates on local events, performances and activities in your area, follow our regional links.

Eau Claire Area
Big River Radio Wave Holiday Special

The music and variety show will broadcast on Friday, December 23 at 5:00 pm.  The show highlights music by The RiverBenders, a six-piece band, and includes storytelling, comedy, skits and readings. The cast includes Al Ross, host of Spectrum West.  


Find information about Eau Claire area events at: www.wpr.org/EauClaire.

La Crosse Area
Big River Radio Wave Holiday Special

The music and variety show will broadcast on Friday, December 23 at 5:00 pm and repeated on Sunday, December 25 at 6:00 pm.  The show highlights music by The RiverBenders, a six-piece band, and includes storytelling, comedy, skits and readings.  


Find information about La Crosse area events at: www.wpr.org/LaCrosse.

Madison Area

Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass
The creator of the public radio show This American Life will talk about his program and how it's put together on Saturday, February 18 at 8:00 pm at the Overture Center.  More information here.

Find information about Madison area events at: www.wpr.org/Madison.

Green Bay Area

National Railroad Museum Festival of Trees     

Visit the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay to see Wisconsin Public Radio's decorated festival tree, now through January 8.

Find information about Green Bay area events at: www.wpr.org/GreenBay.

Milwaukee Area

Find information about Milwaukee area events at:

Superior Area

Christmas Spectacular
It's an evening of Christmas themed programming on Thursday, December 22.  The show starts at 6pm with A Blue Canvas Christmas featuring the Blue Canvas Orchestra from Big Top Chautauqua.  At 7pm is the Lux Radio Theater presentation of Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.  At 8pm, Lori Skelton hosts the Sounds of the Season concert.  At 9pm it ends with a reading of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol, performed by Northern Regional Manager John Munson.

Find information about Superior area events at: 

Wausau Area

Find information about Wausau area events at:

Rachel Martin to host NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday    


National Security Correspondent Rachel Martin will become the temporary host of Weekend Edition Sunday while regular host Audie Cornish is assigned to the weekday show All Things Considered in 2012.  Her weekend hosting duties will begin in January. 


Cornish is on temporary assignment to All Things Considered while host Michele Norris is away.  Norris announced in October that she was stepping aside in 2012 because her husband has joined President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.  Norris intends to return to the show after the election.


Iraq War Veterans

in Their Own Voices 


The American flag has been put away. President Obama says all combat forces will be out by December 31.

Now, through the end of the year, WPR's To the Best of Our Knowlege is bringing you the voices of people who have served in Iraq over the past eight years.

Amazon Affiliates Program 


We encourage you to support your locally-owned businesses (including our underwriters).  We also know that more and more of us are shopping for certain items online.


WPR is proud to announce our new affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.   If you shop at Amazon.com, simply start your product search with the "shop box" on the homepage of WPR.org.


You can start your product search from this link too.   


You get the regular Amazon.com prices and Wisconsin Public Radio receives a small referral fee that helps support the programs you love.



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