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Ask MPR Mailbag

December 27, 2006

Why do we only get to hear part of "As It Happens"?

Looking at the CBC website, it appears that "As It Happens" is a 90-minute show. Why do we only hear 60 minutes here?

Duluth, MN

Dear John,
You're right. "As It Happens", is heard in Canada as a 90-minute show. It's edited down to a single hour for distribution here in the United States.

There's a couple of reasons for this. The main one is that program directors in the U.S. prefer shows that run in one-hour blocks. A 30 or 90-minute show leaves a gap that can only be filled by a 30 minute show.

Very few 30 minute shows are currently being produced -- mostly because program directors don't use them. It's kind of a vicious cycle, but one of the realities of public radio.

The other reason -- so I'm told -- is that the last 30 minutes of the show apparently more Ottawa-centric than the rest of the broadcast, and presumably of less interest to American listeners.

We hope this information helps. Thanks again for writing, and for listening to MPR.

Michael Popham
Minnesota Public Radio Member Listener Services