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MPR, Garrison Keillor reach $275,000 deal on 'A Prairie Home Companion' archives

It'll restore free public access to the archives.

Garrison Keillor and Minnesota Public Radio have reached a deal to restore free public access to archived episodes of "A Prairie Home Companion" and "The Writer's Almanac."

Both programs, the rights to which were owned by Keillor, were pulled from MPR scheduling when Keillor was fired in November amid allegations of inappropriate behavior.

But they have now struck a deal that will restore public access to past performances of both shows on their respective websites: prairiehome.org and writersalmanac.org.

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– Garrison Keillor fired from MPR.

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MPR is paying Keillor $275,000 for the rights to the archives, "and to resolve all other matters," it said in a statement on Friday.

Keillor wanted public access to the content restored, but also told MPR News the agreement means he won't sue MPR for damages over his dismissal. 

This, he says, will enable him to "move on to more interesting things, namely writing stories and creating a podcast."

“These archives feature the work of thousands of talented artists, poets and musicians,” said Jon McTaggart, president and CEO of Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media Group. “We are pleased that these performances will once again be available to fans of these programs.”

"A Prairie Home Companion" has since been renamed "Live From Here" and presented by host Chris Thile, who took over from Keillor in fall 2016.

Keillor still owns the rights to the "Prairie Home" and "The Writer's Almanac" names, and earlier this month suggested he's ready to start both of them back up again.

On his Facebook page, he said he's interested in restarting "The Writer's Almanac" as a podcast, and is mulling taking "A Prairie Home" on tour.

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