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University Relations

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Dec. 12, 2005
Contact: Darrell Brogdon, Kansas Public Radio program director, (785) 864-2248.

Calder Pickett steps down after 32 years at Kansas Public Radio

LAWRENCE -- After 32 years of bringing history to life, Calder M. Pickett is stepping away from the microphone at Kansas Public Radio.

Pickett's show, "The American Past," will air for the final time 8-9 p.m. Dec. 25. His last three episodes (Dec. 11, 18 and 25) will encompass a retrospective of his time on the air, including his favorite stories and episodes.

The hole in the program schedule will be filled by the comedy cut-ups from Right Between the Ears. The troupe will be assembling hourlong shows combining new material with some of the best sketches in its 20-year archive. The first show for Right Between the Ears is 8-9 p.m. Jan. 1.

" Thirty-plus years on the air, a new show every week, is a remarkable achievement," KPR Program Director Darrell Brogdon said. "There aren't many shows like 'The American Past' left on American radio. Calder's done an amazing job."

" The American Past" combines narration, songs, movie dialogue and music into a lively and informative look at a different slice of American history every week. Pickett has produced more than 1,500 hourlong episodes of "The American Past" since its debut in 1973. The program was awarded the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award that year for "meritorious service to journalism."

Pickett taught journalism at the University of Kansas from 1951 until 1988. Not surprisingly, the history of journalism was one of his specialties. He has a long history of award-winning scholarly research and teaching and won the 1969 Mott-KTA award for best journalism research for his book "Ed Howe: Country Town Philosopher." At KU, he was the Clyde M. Reed Distinguished Professor of Journalism and among his honors are the Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award and the HOPE teaching award, which is voted on by students.

In addition to weekly broadcasts on KPR, Right Between the Ears can be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio and will be distributed to public radio stations nationwide via the Public Radio Exchange.

KPR, licensed to the University of Kansas, broadcasts on KANU 91.5 FM in Lawrence, KANH 89.7 FM in Emporia, KANV 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City and K210CR 89.9 FM in Atchison. KPR also can be heard on the Web at


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