One of Public Radio’s longest-running programs, Fresh Air began as an afternoon show at WHYY/Philadelphia in 1973. Hosted originally by creator David Karpoff and later by Judy Blank, the show was still dedicated primarily to local affairs and guests when Terry Gross became host in 1975. Gross quickly earned a reputation for her casual yet insightful interviews and the show won the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s award for “Best Live Radio Program” in 1981. In 1985, NPR launched a 30-minute Fresh Air program, featuring edited versions of interviews produced for the WHYY audience. In 1987, Fresh Air became a national, daily one-hour show, with Gross’ conversations and a contributing team of reviewers offering insights about movies, television, books, language, and music of all sorts. During her time as host of Fresh Air, Gross has interviewed guests from all fields — including politics, science, religion, literature, and the arts — discussing subjects both current and timeless with what one writer called “a remarkable blend of empathy, warmth, genuine curiosity, and sharp intelligence.” Fresh Air’s combination of timely, engaging and in-depth interviews and features earned the show a Peabody Award in 1994.At present, Fresh Air is heard nationwide on more than 550 stations.Fresh Air was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2012.
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One of Public Radio’s longest-running programs, Fresh Air began as an afternoon show at WHYY/Philadelphia in 1973.