Keillor, MPR say they're in mediation

Garrison Keillor's final 'Prairie Home Companion'
Garrison Keillor during his final show as host of "A Prairie Home Companion" on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles Friday, July 1, 2016.
Nate Ryan | MPR 2016

A spokesperson for Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Monday that the company and Garrison Keillor were in negotiations over MPR's separation from the longtime host of "A Prairie Home Companion."

In a Facebook Post on Friday, Keillor had said he was in the second day of mediation, which he described as "lawyers arguing, a mediator moving from office to office to talk with the four parties involved, and it all goes so slowly that you lose track of time."

"MPR and Mr. Keillor are talking about issues related to transition of their business relationship," Keillor's lawyer, Eric Nilsson, wrote in an email to MPR News on Saturday. On Monday, MPR's Angie Andresen used almost exactly the same language to describe the meetings.

In recent weeks, Keillor has referred to the imbroglio in several Facebook postings, at one point referring to his departure as a "a beheading at the hands of my employer of 40 years." He has said that he is at work on a short novel titled "Inappropriate Behavior," hinting that it is inspired by the circumstances that led to MPR's decision to break ties with him.

MPR announced in November that it was severing its contracts with Keillor's companies and investigating reports that he had behaved inappropriately while producing the programs "A Prairie Home Companion" and "The Writer's Almanac."

The allegations came to the company's attention last fall and were referred to a special committee of its board for investigation, said Jon McTaggart, CEO of MPR's parent company, American Public Media Group.

McTaggart, MPR founder Bill Kling, board members and Keillor have declined interview requests from MPR News.

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