Garrison Keillor says fired over alleged improper behavior

Minnesota Public Radio has confirmed it fired Garrison Keillor

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Public Radio has confirmed it fired Garrison Keillor after he was accused of inappropriate behavior.

MPR says the allegation came last month from a person who worked with Keillor. MPR gave no details, but said it has no other similar allegations involving other staff.

MPR says an investigation is ongoing.

Keillor first announced his firing in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday. He says he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” But he didn’t provide any details.

MPR says it will no longer rebroadcast any Keillor-hosted editions of “A Prairie Home Companion.” Keillor retired from the show last year. MPR also says it will change the name of the show, which is now hosted by Chris Thile.

In a follow-up statement, Keillor said he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” He didn’t give details of the allegation.

Keillor, 75, retired as host of his long-running public radio variety show in 2016. His hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile, is in his second season as “Prairie Home” host.

The statement came shortly after Keillor, an avowed Democrat, wrote a syndicated column that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Al Franken should resign over allegations of sexual harassment.

Keillor started his Saturday evening show featuring tales of his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon — “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average” — in 1974. The show featured musical acts, folksy humor, parody ads for fake products such as Powdermilk Biscuits and the centerpiece, Keillor delivering a seemingly off-the-cuff monologue, “The News From Lake Wobegon,” in his rich baritone voice.

Keillor bowed out with a final show at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2016 and turned the show over to Thile, a mandolinist and frequent “Prairie Home” guest musician. Keillor went on a 28-city bus tour this summer, vowing it would be his last tour, but he continues on the road with solo shows. Keillor also is finishing a Lake Wobegon screenplay and a memoir about growing up in Minnesota.