Sirius XM Public Radio
|Broadcast area||United States, Canada|
|Branding||Sirius XM Public Radio|
|First air date||September 1, 2004|
|Class||Non-profit Satellite Radio Station|
|Affiliations||Public Radio International
American Public Media
George Washington University
|Owner||Sirius XM Radio|
|Website||XM Public Radio|
Sirius XM Public Radio (abbreviated SXMPR) is a 24/7 Sirius XM Radio channel dedicated to public radio programming. Broadcasting in stereo, Sirius XM Public Radio is one of two talk channels on the Sirius XM platform which broadcasts 2-channel audio—the other being Opie Radio. Programming is provided through partnerships with American Public Media, Public Radio International, Boston's WBUR, New York's WNYC, George Washington University, and National Geographic, who own a chunk of time on the channel. XMPR also carries The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Despite being a channel for public radio programs, the channel does not carry any programming from the nation's leading provider, National Public Radio. The NPR network currently has an exclusivity contract with Sirius XM Radio, and airs some of their programming on Sirius Channel 122; although there were, previously, two NPR channels on Sirius.
Sirius XM Public Radio is also home of former National Public Radio star, Bob Edwards, who had previously hosted NPR's Morning Edition and co-hosted All Things Considered. Edwards now hosts his own daily hour-long interview series, The Bob Edwards Show, every morning on Sirius XM. The show is a conversation based program. In it, Edwards interviews people from all walks of life, much like his NPR show. Only now does he have the freedom of time to work with instead of a few minutes a day. The show airs weekday mornings at 8 a.m. Eastern Time (ET), and is replayed at 9 a.m(ET), 10 a.m(ET), and 8 p.m (ET). on XMPR. The show is also edited into a weekend compilation, entitled Bob Edwards Weekend, which is distributed by Public Radio International to terrestrial radio.
In October 2006, Public Radio International's channel on Sirius XM Radio was dropped from the channel lineup. Shortly afterwards, SXMPR responded by adding several new PRI programs to its lineup, including The World, To the Point, To the Best of Our Knowledge, Le Show, and The Changing World. There is no word on whether money exchanged hands to make this deal occur, or if it was simply Sirius' dissatisfaction in the channel and Sirius XM's attempt to capitalize on the listener base.
Starting March 2007, SXMPR added several more programs from American Public Media, including popular programs A Prairie Home Companion and Marketplace, as well as The Story with Dick Gordon, Weekend America, Sound Opinions, and Performance Today Weekend. Following the Sirius / XM merger, Sirius XM Public Radio was added to Sirius on 2008-09-30 as part of its "Best of XM" package and broadcasts on channel 205 (previously 196). XM airs the channel on 121 (it was on 133). The name was then changed from "XM Public Radio" to "Sirius XM Public Radio"
In April 2007, XM Radio Canada dropped their carriage of SXMPR. The only explanation given was that the channel's availability in Canada violated a licensing agreement between SXMPR and one or more of its affiliates. The contract between XMPR and the affiliate(s) was eventually renegotiated, and Sirius XM Public Radio was returned to the XM Canada platform on August 1, 2007.