The master of “A Prairie Home Companion” talks about his successor.
Q: What’s your assessment of how Thile has done in his fill-in host duties so far?
A: Chris loves radio, loves the audience, and does not suffer from shyness. The dreadful self-consciousness that has plagued so many radio show hosts Chris escaped completely.
Q: Why did you think he was a good fit for the job?
A: Public radio needs more juice, less solemnity. Chris is possessed of enthusiasm. It shows. He loves what he does. He’s no horse-faced baritone; he’s got a lot of fire and energy. This is a major asset in radio, as it is in basketball or writing or running the high hurdles.
Q: How do you think the show will evolve with Chris as host?
A: I’m looking forward to finding out.
Q: What will your involvement be as executive producer?
A: I will be a gray eminence who e-mails Chris now and then and says, “Good job.”