Midday was a news program, broadcasting a variety of public affairs programming covering politics, education, business, world affairs, and sports. Shows were a mix of call-in discussions, interviews, speeches, debates, special presentations and documentaries.
Midday began as an extension of a daily half hour noon newscast called “Midday Report.” In September 1971 it expanded into various longer iterations, running weekdays, as well as encompassing some weekend programming. During this period, it was described as: “A program of news and information, a calendar of the day’s cultural events and the environmental report.” In January 1972 the name changed to Midday, and a month later it was described as: “A program of news, consumer and environmental information, discussion of public issues, and reports by the MPR and NPR news staffs." Additional local programming was featured, such as Spectrum, Minnesota Meeting, Sportfolio, MPR Special, Insight, and Weekend, among others. Regular contributors included Dan Olson reports and Nancy Fushan interviews. Midday also aired outside programming, such as Options, Horizons, Communique, National Press Club, and interview shows from the likes of Studs Terkel and William F. Buckley and Nancy Fushan.
Beginning in the mid-1970’s until 1992, Midday was hosted by Bob Potter, after which, Gary Eichten became the permanent host. During the Eichten era, Midday became a daily two-hour program staple, running from 11AM-1PM. Midday ended its run in January 2012 when long-time host Eichten retired.
April 21, 2011 — Internationally renowned scholar Marcus Borg speaks about reclaiming the language of Christianity at the Westminster Town Hall Forum. He has written a number of books that re-examine the life of Jesus and take a fresh look at the bible. Guest: Marcus Borg: Professor emeritus at Oregon State University. Best-selling author of a number of books including "The Heart of Christianity" and "Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith."
April 15, 2011 — Midday presents a special program showcasing some of the most exciting literary work coming out of the state. "Writing Minnesota" weaves together poetry and author interviews, and includes an innovative adaptation of a short story set in a mysterious compound north of Duluth. What does it mean to be a Minnesota writer? It means obsessing over the sound of the Mississippi River. It means writing about small towns. It means you're a refugee who refused to speak as a child. It means writing about butter. It means New York might find you provincial. It means you're not as stressed out as New York writers about your status. It means you write about Chicago. It means you grew up on a farm and saw your dad kill a cow with a pitchfork. It means your characters have secrets. It means watching a girl flirt with your husband in a St. Paul wine bar ? and wishing she'd flirt yet more. These are some of the many ways writers define their relationship to Minnesota. Host Annie Baxter invites you to hear these writers' reflections and their creative works on "Writing Minnesota."
March 8, 2011 — Interview with Steve Sviggum and Roger Moe.
February 18, 2011 — A Prairie Home Companion" host and creator Garrison Keillor speaks to an audience at Concordia University in St. Paul about the challenges he's had to face as a writer and how his upbringing has helped him deal with them. Guest: Garrison Keillor, Host and creator of "A Prairie Home Companion." Newspaper columnist and author of a number of books including "Lake Wobegon Days" and "Life Among the Lutherans."
December 27, 2010 — The year 2010 brought Republican electoral gains, in Minnesota and across the country, as well as another recount in a statewide election. Midday's political analysts look ahead to politics in 2011.
December 23, 2010 — Barack Obama signed a landmark healthcare overhaul into law back in March, but throughout the year the measure didn't appear to win the hearts and minds of Americans. Republicans seized on discomfort with the reforms to make significant gains in November's mid-term elections, and many of the Congressional winners have promised to push for repeal. A number of states are also fighting the law in courts. We discuss the reform, and the likelihood it will remain the law of the land. Guest: Dave Durenberger, former U.S. Senator.
December 23, 2010 — Barack Obama signed a landmark healthcare overhaul into law back in March, but throughout the year the measure didn't appear to win the hearts and minds of Americans. Republicans seized on discomfort with the reforms to make significant gains in November's mid-term elections, and many of the Congressional winners have promised to push for repeal. A number of states are also fighting the law in courts. We discuss the reform, and the likelihood it will remain the law of the land.
December 3, 2010 — A special broadcast of Kevin Kling's play, "Scarecrow on Fire." Based on the classic tale "The Wizard of Oz," the play picks up where that story left off. The production was commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio as part of the Fitzgerald Theater's 100th anniversary. The ensemble cast features Dan Chouinard as the Tin Man, Stephen Yoakam as the Lion, the Wizard, and others, Simone Perrin as Dorothy, and Kevin Kling as the Scarecrow.
November 26, 2010 — Writer Patricia Hampl presents an MPR-commissioned production of words and music, about the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Dan Chouinard is music director.
October 21, 2010 — Best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith joined Garrison Keillor on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater to talk about literature -- and the life of a writer. McCall Smith's new book is called, "The Charming Quirks of Others."