Garrison Keillor, most famous as the creator and host of “A Prairie Home Companion” on Minnesota Public Radio, has been fired effectively immediately over “allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him,” according to a statement from the radio network.
Mr. Keillor, 75, said he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version M.P.R. heard,” according to The Associated Press.
Minnesota Public Radio said it would also cut off all business relationships with Mr. Keillor’s media companies, including ending distribution and broadcast of “The Writer’s Almanac” and rebroadcasts of “The Best of A Prairie Home Companion hosted by Garrison Keillor.”
It will also change the name of American Public Media’s weekly music and variety program hosted by Chris Thile, who took over “A Prairie Home Companion” in October 2016, after Mr. Keillor retired.
“Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of M.P.R., and all of us in the M.P.R. community are saddened by these circumstances,” Jon McTaggart, the president of Minnesota Public Radio, said in the statement.
“While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to M.P.R., and all of public radio,” Mr. McTaggart continued, “we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.”
Mr. Keillor created his Americana variety program more than four decades ago. He retired once before, in 1987, but quickly returned and stayed for nearly another 30 years.
He has parlayed its success into a personal juggernaut, peaking at 4.1 million weekly radio listeners a decade before he retired. The show grew to include lucrative live performances and national tours, and merchandise included recordings, books and clothes.
He also helped to shape the early profile of public radio.
“‘Prairie Home Companion’ came on the scene just as public radio was trying to figure out what its identity was,” Ira Glass, the host of “This American Life,” told The New York Times last year. “The fact that here was such a visibly weird, funny, idiosyncratic show opened up the space of other weird, idiosyncratic shows, like ‘Car Talk,’ and our show.”