Jesse Thorn: Bullseye will stay on public radio after leaving PRI

By Andrew Lapin

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn will continue to be heard over pubradio after the show has left distributor PRI in spring 2013, host and creator Jesse Thorn told Current.

Thorn and his production company, Maximum Fun, had received an offer from another public media distributor, and PRI chose not to counter it, he said. PRI then sent out an email Dec. 19 to every station that carries the program — more than two dozen, according to Thorn — announcing the split.

PRI’s email to stations does not mention the program’s new distribution offer.

“Despite best efforts from both parties, we were unable to come to terms with Jesse Thorn about continued distribution of the program,” PRI Senior Manager Tracy Phan wrote in the email, obtained by Current. “Therefore, PRI will cease distribution of Bullseye on March 31, 2013.”

The email prompted Thorn to make his public announcement that day, though he said he cannot announce the new distributor until the agreement has been finalized. Thorn also called each of his program’s carriers individually to assure them there would be no interruption in Bullseye‘s production or distribution, he said.

“I love many people at PRI. We’ve had a wonderful run with them,” Thorn told Current, adding that the distributor is “in complicated times.”

Thorn said his contract extension with PRI had officially expired at the end of the previous fiscal year, but both parties mistakenly thought they had signed a two-year extension rather than a one-year deal. “We were basically operating on a good-faith basis,” Thorn said.

Thorn said his main concern moving forward was making sure “America knows they can still dial up the old content depot and hear the dulcet tones of Jesse Thorn.”

Questions, comments, tips? lapin@current.org

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