published Thursday, April 4th, 2013

'This American Life' host Ira Glass closes out Hunter Lecture Series


by Chloé Morrison
Ira Glass
Ira Glass
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: George T. Hunter Lecture Series, featuring Ira Glass

When: 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7

Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

Admission: Free

Phone: 423-267-4311

Venue website: www.benwood.org

HEAR IT

"This American Life" is locally broadcast Saturdays at 7 p.m. on WUTC-FM 88.1.

The fifth season of the George T. Hunter Lecture Series will bow out with the help of one of the airwaves' most-celebrated radio personalities, Ira Glass.

Glass, 54, is best known as the host and producer of "This American Life," a three-time Peabody Award-winning program featuring thought-provoking segments, often related as first-person narratives. According to its website, "This American Life" is carried by 500 stations and heard by an average audience of 1.8 million.

A podcast of the program has long been the most-popular podcast on iTunes. A televised edition aired on Showtime from 2007 to 2009 and won two Emmy Awards for outstanding nonfiction series and directing for nonfiction programming.

Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio's Washington D.C., headquarters at age 19. In addition to his work with "This American Life," he also has served as a stand-in host for "Talk of the Nation" and "Weekend All Things Considered."

Hamilton County teaching assistant Jenny Stracener has been listening to "This American Life" for several years and started a blog project to listen to the more than 450 episodes in the show's archives.

Sunday, Stracener says, she plans to arrive an hour before Glass's appearance at the Tivoli Theatre, where he will be this season's featured environmental lecturer.

"I'm not sure what's going to be going on or what he'll talk about, but I've been to some of the [Hunter] lectures before and really enjoyed them," she says. "After hearing a speaker like that, you realize things that your brain wouldn't have even gone to otherwise."

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

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