UPDATE (11:21 a.m. Thursday) — Garrison Keillor is no longer coming to Ithaca. The show planned Saturday has been canceled, the State Theatre of Ithaca announced Thursday.

On Wednesday, Keillor was fired from Minnesota Public Radio after allegations of “improper behavior.” Keillor, creator and former host of “A Prairie Home Companion” had been scheduled to come to Ithaca for a show Saturday at the State Theatre.

The State Theatre said refunds for the show are available at point of purchase.

Another show of Keillor’s in New York was also canceled Wednesday. Keillor had been scheduled to appear in Pittsfield at the Colonial Theatre.


ITHACA, N.Y. — Garrison Keillor, creator and host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” has been fired from Minnesota Public Radio amid allegations of “improper behavior.” The news comes just days before Keillor is scheduled to come to Ithaca for an event at the State Theatre.

A show with Keillor and Robin and Linda Williams is planned for 8 p.m. Saturday. The event is uniting the three friends from the earliest days of “A Prairie Home Companion” for “an evening of harmony and humor.” The description also says Keillor will speak about the “beauty of being 75.”

Early Wednesday, news broke that Minnesota Public Radio had terminated contracts with Keillor and his private media companies after learning of allegations “of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him,” MPR said in a statement.

As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the State Theatre said the event with Keillor was still on.

Keillor began working at Minnesota Public Radio in 1969. From 1974 to 2016, Keillor created and hosted the popular variety show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” which had 3.5 million listeners on 700 public radio stations across the country.

The statement from MPR said the allegations relate to Keillor’s conduct while he was responsible for producing “A Prairie Home Companion.” As a result of the allegations, MPR is ending business relationships with Keillor’s media companies effective immediately. MPR and American Public Media will end distribution and broadcast of “The Writer’s Almanac” and rebroadcasts of “The Best of A Prairie Home Companion” hosted by Keillor.

“Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances,” Jon McTaggart, president of MPR said in a statement. “While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, 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.”

Keillor told the Associated Press that he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.