Wisconsin Historical Society Press publishes book about the century-rich history of the public broadcasting.

Peek behind the microphones of Wisconsin Public Radio in a new Wisconsin Historical Society Press book about the century-rich history of public broadcasting, Wisconsin on the Air: 100 years of Public Broadcasting in the State that Invented It.

Author and broadcast pioneer Jack Mitchell, who developed National Public Radio’s All Things Considered before becoming head of WPR, reveals an insider perspective on the conception and growth of public broadcasting. This media biography deftly reports the nation’s 100-year public broadcasting journey from its start in 1917 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and through its implementation of the “Wisconsin Idea” philosophy that still sets its course.

Mitchell charts the transmissions and transitions of the Wisconsin broadcasters who invented and transformed the media landscape. Along the way, he introduces readers to the personalities and philosophies, funding challenges and political battles, and original programming and pioneering technology that gave us the public broadcasting that has changed the lives of generations of listeners.

Jack Mitchell, PhD, led Wisconsin Public Radio from 1976 till 1997, initiating the transition from educational radio to WPR. Mitchell was the first employee of National Public Radio, where he was instrumental in developing the groundbreaking newsmagazine All Things Considered. He received the two highest honors in public radio, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Edward R. Murrow Award and the Edward Elson National Public Radio Distinguished Service Award. Mitchell joined the faculty of the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1998. He is the author of Listener Supported: The Culture and History of Public Radio.


Thursday, Aug. 18 — Wisconsin On the Air: A Conversation with Kathleen Dunn
Time: 7 pm
Location: Boswell Books, 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee.

Tuesday, Oct. 18 — Chippewa Valley Book Festival Talk
Times: Noon
Location: Community Room, Chippewa Valley Museum, 1204 East Half Moon Drive, Eau Claire.

Thursday, Oct. 20 — Wisconsin on the Air: A Conversation with Jim Fleming
Time: 7 pm
Location: Brown County Central Library, 515 Pine Street, Green Bay.

Friday, Oct. 21 – Wisconsin on the Air: A Wisconsin Book Festival Event
Time: 6 pm
Location: Madison Public Library, 201 W. Mifflin St., Madison. Check book festival website for event updates.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press has been publishing the best of Wisconsin history and culture, as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society, since 1855.