Hosts Dale Connelly and Jim Ed Poole (Tom Keith) announced Wednesday that the program will go off the air Dec. 11 with a live celebration at the Fitzgerald Theater, open to the public.

Keith, who will continue to provide sound effects on "A Prairie Home Companion," said the show was never really the same after it moved four years ago to the Current (89.3 FM), which leans toward alternative rock and a younger demographic.

"I didn't care much for a lot of the music on the station," said Keith, who turns 62 in December. "We tried to mix in some flavor of the rest of the Current lineup, but I didn't know the names of a lot of the bands or singers."

Connelly, 53, said he was willing to continue the program solo or with a new partner, but management told him last week that the show was going away. "I think they wanted a fresh start," said Connelly, who will continue to work at MPR.

The Current will replace it with music more consistent with the rest of the station's programming. The show also aired on KSJN (99.5 FM), MPR's classical-music station, which substituted a classical program with host John Birge.

Keith said his semi-retirement will consist of spending time in his woodshop and playing golf. "Also, my wife has a few ideas," he said.