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Why Ira Glass is taking 'This American Life' independent

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His wildly popular radio show will be independently distributed

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The biggest voice in public radio has gone rogue. After 17 years, This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass, has severed ties to its distributor, Public Radio International. Instead, the show will strike out on its own, going independent of distributors entirely. The infamously dedicated Glass is now personally responsible for enticing corporate sponsors, as well as handling marketing and distribution, according to a new report in The New York Times. A surprising move? Maybe. But the strategy is the radio equivalent of a business model other high-wattage stars — Louis CK and Radiohead among them — have already tried: ditching distributors to bring a product directly to consumers, no middlemen required.