WNYC's Brian Lehrer celebrates 25 years on air with special series "25 Years in 25 Days: Then and Now with Brian Lehrer"

Press Contacts:

Jennifer Houlihan Roussel, Senior Director, Publicity; New York Public Radio
jhoulihan@nypublicradio.org / (646) 829-4497

Mallika Dattatreya, Publicist, New York Public Radio
mdattatreya@nypublicradio.org / (646) 829- 4331


 WNYC Celebrates BRIAN LEHRER’S 25th Anniversary on the Air with

 Launching Today, Special Radio Series Reflects On the Defining Global and Local News Stories of the Last 25 Years and How They Still Resonate Today

Listen Weekdays 10am - Noon ET on
WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and at www.wnyc.org/bl25

Series Concludes with Special Live Event at New York Society for Ethical Culture
on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 7pm

 “The finest local news in New York” – Stephen Colbert
“A national treasure” – Jake Tapper, CNN
“Usually a pretty fair and smart guy” – Bill O’Reilly 

(New York, NY – September 29, 2014) – From George Carlin and Maya Angelou to Hillary Clinton and John McCain to all the New York City mayors since 1989, Peabody-Award winning host Brian Lehrer has spent the last 25 years interviewing movers and shakers, experts and newsmakers, while keeping an eye on the issues that matter most to New Yorkers. 

In honor of Lehrer’s quarter of a century on the air, The Brian Lehrer Show -- WNYC’s acclaimed daily call-in news and public affairs program -- today launches “25 YEARS IN 25 DAYS: Then and Now with Brian Lehrer.” A nod to the show’s signature election package “30 Issues in 30 Days,” this five-week series takes a look back at the defining global and local news stories from each year that Lehrer has been on the air.   From the break-up of the Soviet Union and the publication of the very first web page to the gentrification of Brooklyn and pivotal moments in America's culture wars – such as Ellen DeGeneres outing herself on national television – Lehrer will talk to the people who have had a hand in making history and those who have helped us to understand our rapidly changing world. 

The series kicks off with an interview with former State Department staffer and author Francis Fukuyama on the fall of communism and cultural critic and Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen on the enduring legacy of The Simpsons. Additional guests this week include former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (Tues, Sept 30) on the decline in the murder rate and media theorist Doug Rushkoff (Wed, Oct 1) on the dawn of the age of the internet.

“25 YEARS IN 25 DAYS” can be heard weekdays from 10am-noon ET on WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and at http://www.wnyc.org/bl25.

Other scheduled guests include: 

  • Donna Brazile, Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and former campaign manager for Vice President Al Gore
  • Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist
  • Betty Degeneres, mother of comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres
  • Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under President Clinton
  • Adam Davidson, co-founder and co-host of Planet Money
  • Gina Kolata, New York Times health reporter
  • Dr. Michael Gottlieb, AIDS researcher

 The celebration culminates with a live event on Thursday, October 30, at 7pm at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. Hosted by Brian Lehrer himself, the evening will include a news and history quiz with a special guest quiz-master, a panel discussion on the theme of 'progress' in New York and America over the past 25 years.  Tickets are $20 each and are available at: bit.ly/BL25celebration.

 “The world feels like a very different place than it did 25 years ago,” said Brian Lehrer, “and it feels exactly the same. I am incredibly lucky to be doing this show in New York, the most diverse place on earth, and on WNYC, where our mission welcomes everyone in to tell our stories, explore our differences and recognize our common humanity as world events affect our lives every day.” 

In addition to the Peabody Award, which the show won for “Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides,” Lehrer is also the recipient of seven Associated Press New York Broadcasters “Best Interview” Awards and of two Garden State Journalist Association Awards for “Best Talk Show.”

New York Public Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC, WQXR, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio, as well as www.wnyc.org, www.wqxr.org, www.thegreenespace.org, and www.njpublicradio.org. As America's most listened-to AM/FM news and talk public radio stations, reaching 1.1 million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City's cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WQXR is New York City's sole 24-hour classical music station, presenting new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and Carnegie Hall, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city's rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC and WQXR produce content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station's street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. New Jersey Public Radio extends WNYC’s reach and service more deeply into New Jersey. For more information about New York Public Radio, visit www.nypublicradio.org.