Midday was a daily two-hour news program broadcasting a variety of public affairs programming covering politics, education, business, world affairs, and sports. The show was a mix of call-in discussions hosted by MPR's Gary Eichten; speeches and debates from national newsmakers; and documentaries.
Midday began as an extension of a daily half hour noon newscast called “Midday Report”. In September 1971 it expanded to 90 minutes, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, and ran Monday through Friday. It was described as: “A program of news and information, a calendar of the day’s cultural events and the environmental report.” It featured longer interviews including some done by Studs Terkel and William F. Buckley.
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."
In January 2012 Gary Eichten retired and the last Midday program was aired.
March 10, 2010 — Hour 2 of Midday features Voices of Minnesota and two stories about women in World War II. A Minnesota woman among female World War II pilots finally honored. Elizabeth Strohfus is among about 1000 women who will receive a Congressional Gold Medal today for their service during World War II. As Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, these women tested and transported planes in the U.S. so that male pilots could go overseas for combat. They were the first women to fly military planes, and their work was extremely dangerous. Then: Hiding in the Open. Sabina Zimering is a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust and now lives in Minnesota. She and her sister made it through the war by pretending to be Catholics, while at the same time working in a hotel full of German soldiers. A play based on her story is currently on stage at the History Theatre in St. Paul.
December 5, 2008 — Midday presents a "Voices of Minnesota" interview with Dave Tilman and Deborah Swackhamer. The two University of Minnesota professors discuss climate change and other environmental issues.
September 30, 2008 — his episode of MPR's Voices of Minnesota features conversations with Art Aufderheide and Clarke Chambers, two detectives of sorts. Aufderheide is world famous for his study of mummies and the diseases that killed them. Chambers is a historian and the founder of a one-of-a-kind archive of social welfare history in this country.
July 30, 2008 — Midday remembers Harrison Bud Tordoff, who died last week, with a special rebroadcast from MPR's "Voices of Minnesota" series. Tordoff was known as the man who saved the peregrine falcons in Minnesota. Before becoming an acclaimed ornithologist, Harrison Tordoff was a decorated fighter pilot during World War II. Also part of this series is an interview with Minnesota nature photographer Jim Brandenburg.
June 11, 2008 — In this special music edition from Minnesota Public Radio's Voices of Minnesota series, the spotlight shines on Minnesota gospel singer Tom Tipton and Celtic music performer Laura MacKenzie, both musicians who have become famous beyond Minnesota's borders.
April 9, 2008 — Five religious women speak about their views on social justice. Four of them are sisters, and also Catholic nuns. The Rev. Peg Chemberlin is president-elect of the National Council of Churches. Guests: Kate, Rita, Brigid & Jane McDonald: Sisters and Catholic nuns, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Paul. Rev. Peg Chemberlin: President-elect, National Council of Churches. Executive director, Minnesota Council of Churches.
December 7, 2007 — Two lives changed by Pearl Harbor. Ken Deans was in the Army on the Island of Oahu on Dec. 7th, l941. His base was hit during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Carl Nomura was 19 at the time and living in Los Angeles. Not long after the attack, he and 120,000 other Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps.
October 3, 2007 — The DFL heads of the state House and Senate join Midday to discuss the ongoing controversy over funding to rebuild the collapsed 35W bridge, as well as the state's transportation funding in general.
August 16, 2007 — Midday speaks with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak who has had to realign his budget priorities to consider road maintenance and repair in the aftermath of the I-35W bridge collapse Now he's hoping a special session at the Legislature will help solve some of the city's financial burdens.
August 15, 2007 — Midday previews legislative hearings on new I-35W bridge reconstruction plans in a joint House-Senate transportation committee meeting, now that state transportation officials have unveiled a preliminary design.