Local music has and will always be championed at 89.3 the Current, but one of its lead advocates of the past decade is about to sign off.
"The Local Show" host Andrea Swensson has announced her departure from Minnesota Public Radio's alternative music outlet after 10 years there. Also a music journalist and author, Swensson said she wants to do more writing and continue her foray into podcasting. The last installment of her Sunday night all-Minnesota music show will be April 4.
"Like everyone else, this last year has been overwhelming and clarifying for me," Swensson said after the Current announced the news Thursday afternoon. "Turns out, my time and energy are finite, and there are many other things I haven't been able to do."
Funny, it sure seems like Swensson has accomplished a lot in recent years in addition to her regular Current duties. She authored 2017's nonfiction Minnesota Book Award winner "Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound;" collaborated with Paisley Park on some books for the Celebration parties; worked with the Prince estate and the Current on extensive podcasts for the "Sign o' the Times" and "1999" reissues, and she became a mom in 2018.
She plans to focus on these types of projects and more on her own time, especially writing, she said: "That's still my first love." She already has a couple freelance assignments in the works. A former music editor at City Pages, she joined the Current in 2011 to write for its website and then took over "Local Show" host duties from David Campbell in 2016.
Representatives at the Current said a new "Local Show" host will be hired soon, with other on-air staffers likely filling in during the interim. They wished Swensson well in her new endeavors.
"Andrea is a friend and mentor to so many at the Current, and she will be truly missed by all of us at the station and our listeners," said David Safar, managing director.
Jade Tittle, midday DJ and now music director at the Current, tweeted, "The talent, heart and stalwart spirit of [Swensson] has been one of my favorite things about working at the Current, and I am so crushed that she won't be that beacon at the station any longer, BUT I know that her star is going to grow."
Swensson did not downplay publicized strife at MPR last year — including the resignation of reporter Marianne Combs, which led to the firing of Current DJ Eric Malmberg over sexual misconduct allegations — but she said that was not the only factor in her decision to leave. Asked if she had any special plans for her final "Local Show" on April 4, she said, "I might just cry through the whole show."
Citing her love for fostering Minnesota music, she added, "I'm not quitting what I do, I'm just changing where I do it."