Public Radio International, or PRI, is an American not-for-profit corporation founded in 1983 to develop non-commercial audio programming for public radio and other audio venues. It is the United States' largest distributor of non-commercial radio programming. PRI produces or co-produces some of the programs it distributes, but most of them are produced by other entities.

PRI distributes over 400 hours of programming each week. Topics include news, classical music, and contemporary culture. Approximately 740 radio stations and other audio venues broadcast PRI programs or stream them online. According to 2002 Arbitron ratings, 15.2 million listeners hear PRI programming each week.

Although many National Public Radio (NPR) stations broadcast shows distributed by PRI, NPR and PRI are distinct, competing radio producers and distributers. Many listeners associate popular shows such as A Prairie Home Companion, This American Life, and Marketplace with NPR, but these shows and many more are actually distributed by PRI.

When it was founded, PRI was known as American Public Radio. The corporation changed its name to Public Radio International in 1994 to reflect its growing interest and involvement in international audio publishing.

PRI programming receives funding from station fees, corporate underwriting, and individual and corporate grants. Less than 2% of PRI's operating budget comes from the US federal government.

Table of contents
1 Mission
2 Public radio, PRI and NPR
3 Radio programs distributed by PRI
4 External Links


The mission of Public Radio International is to engage listeners with distinctive radio programs that provide information, insights, and cultural experiences essential to understanding a diverse, interdependent world. (From the PRI website)

Public radio, PRI and NPR

Public radio is a generic term for radio stations or programming that is not funded by advertising -- specifically commercials. It's the opposite of commercial radio, the funding setup for most radio stations in the United Staets.

PRI and NPR are the two largest public radio networks in the United States, and they compete with each other for slots on public radio stations and the attention of listeners.

Any given public radio station may be an NPR member and an affiliate of PRI. Nationwide, about 25% of the typical public radio station's programming is produced by NPR. PRI produces about 20%, and the remaining 55% is produced by the local radio station itself.

PRI is a younger organization than NPR, which was founded 13 years earlier in 1970. Many PRI shows draw a younger overall audience than shows produced by NPR. Some listeners and critics believe that PRI programs feature a wider range of voices than NPR programs.

Radio programs distributed by PRI

  • Afropop Worldwide
    • Host: Georges Collinet
    • Produced by Sean Barlow for World Music Productions
  • American Routes
    • Host: Nick Spitzer
    • Produced by MBK Productions
  • As It Happens
  • Ask Dr. Science
    • Host: Dan Coffey
    • Produced by Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater
  • BBC World Service
  • Brain Brew
    • Hosts: Doug Hall and David Wecker
    • Produced by Mark Perzel and WGUC/Cincinnati
  • Capitol Hill Bureau from PRI
    • Host: Melinda Wittstock
    • Produced by PRI
  • The Changing World
  • Classical 24
  • Conversations from the World Cafe
  • Echoes
    • Host: John Diliberto
    • Produced by John Diliberto and Kimberly Haas
  • From the Top
    • Host: Christopher O'Riley
    • Produced by Tom Voegeli for Concert Productions, Inc, in association with WGBH/Boston and New England Conservatory of Music
  • Jazz After Hours
    • Host: Jim Wilke
    • Produced by Jim Wilke
  • Marketplace
  • Marketplace Morning Report
    • Hosts: Kai Ryssdal and Tess Vigeland
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio in association with the University of Southern California
  • Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know
  • Minnesota Orchestra
    • Host: Brian Newhouse
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • Mountain Stage
    • Host: Larry Groce
    • Produced by West Virginia Public Radio
  • Music from Chautauqua
    • Host: Ed Simone
    • Produced by WNED-FM/Buffalo
  • National Native News
    • Host: Bernadette Chato
    • Produced by Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
  • The Next Big Thing
    • Host: Dean Olsher
    • Produced by WNYC, New York Public Radio
  • Pipedreams
    • Host: Michael Barone
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
    • Host: Jim Cunningham
    • Produced by WQED-FM/Pittsburgh
  • A Prairie Home Companion
    • Host: Garrison Keillor
    • Produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by Minnesota Public Radio
  • The Record Shelf
    • Host: Jim Svejda
    • Produced by USC Radio
  • Riverwalk, Live From The Landing
    • Hosts: David Holt and Jim Cullum
    • Produced by Pacific Vista Productions and Jim Cullum for Texas Public Radio
  • The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
    • Host: Michael Barone
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • Saint Paul Sunday
    • Host: Bill McGlaughlin
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • The Savvy Traveler
    • Host: Diana Nyad
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio in association with the University of Southern California
  • Schickele Mix
    • Host: Peter Schickele
    • Produced by Tom Voegeli Productions
  • Sound & Spirit
    • Host: Ellen Kushner
    • Produced by WGBH Radio Boston and PRI
  • Sound Money
    • Hosts: Stephanie Curtis and Chris Farrell
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • Sounds Eclectic
  • Speaking of Faith
    • Host: Krista Tippett
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • The Splendid Table
    • Host: Lynne Rossetto Kasper
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • Spoleto Chamber Music Series
    • Host: Charles Wadsworth
    • Produced by the South Carolina Educational Radio Network
  • Studio 360
    • Host: Kurt Andersen
    • Produced by PRI and WNYC, New York Public Radio
  • This American Life
    • Host: Ira Glass
    • Produced by Chicago Public Radio and Ira Glass
  • To the Best of Our Knowledge
  • To the Point
    • Host: Warren Olney
    • Produced by KCRW/Santa Monica and PRI
  • The World
    • Host: Lisa Mullins
    • Co-produced by the BBC World Service, PRI, and WGBH Radio Boston
  • World Cafe
    • Host: David Dye
    • Produced by WXPN/Philadelphia
  • The Writer’s Almanac
    • Host: Garrison Keillor
    • Produced by Minnesota Public Radio
  • Zorba Paster On Your Health
    • Hosted by Zorba Paster, M.D., and Tom Clark
    • Produced by Wisconsin Public Radio

External Links