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Fresh Air is a radio talk show hosted by Terry Gross, broadcast on National Public Radio stations across the United Statesmarker. , the show was syndicated to 450 stations and claimed 4.5 million listeners. The show is fed live weekdays at 12:00 PM ET. In addition, some stations carry Fresh Air Weekend, a re-programming highlights of the past week's interviews.


The show began in 1975 at NPR affiliate WHYY-FM in Philadelphiamarker with Judy Blank as host; in September of that year Terry Gross took over as presenter and producer; over thirty years later she remains its chief presenter. The main segment of the show is an extended interview, often of persons in the arts and entertainment field, although other newsmakers, cultural figures, and journalists are frequently featured. Shorter segments follow the main segment and carry reviews of various cultural and entertainment diversions on a rotating basis. The subjects of the shorter segments include movies, books, stage plays, television programs, as well as recordings of popular music, jazz, and classical music. The program also features commentary from a range of regular contributors.


Most of the program's interviews are recorded on tape and later edited down. As in the case of many such radio programs, guests are often not in the studio during recording often speaking by ISDN telephone lines from a sister station. While nearly all other radio programming now uses digital recording, Fresh Air is still recorded, edited, and played on analog reel-to-reel tape. However, the program's website announced in 2006 that the aging tapes were now deteriorating and that they would soon begin transferring the thousands of interviews "to a digital format and indexing them." When pressing news requires, it has gone live, such as during the Soviet coup attempt of 1991.

In 1993, NPR, Fresh Air, and Gross were presented with the George Foster Peabody Award with praise for her "probing questions, revelatory interviews, and unusual insights."

In February 2002, when Gross interviewed Gene Simmons of Kiss, Simmons discussed his sexual experimentation with women of all age groups and propositioned Gross in demonstration; according to NPR's web site, Simmons withheld permission to supply transcripts or audio of the interview on their website.

Fresh Air interviews are generally first aired on the Monday through Thursday shows. The Friday shows are rebroadcasts of past interviews.

The show's theme, "Fresh Air", was composed for the program by Joel Forrester of The Microscopic Septet.

In 2004, Gross published a book of her favorite interviews from the show under the title All I Did Was Ask.


  • Terry Gross – host, co-executive producer
  • Danny Miller – co-executive producer
  • Roberta Shorrock – director
  • Dorothy Ferebee – station services coordinator
  • Amy Salit – producer
  • Phyllis Myers – producer
  • Ann Marie Baldonado – producer
  • Sam Briger – producer
  • Joan Toohey-Wesman – producer
  • Jonathan Menjivar – associate producer
  • John Myers - associate producer
  • John Sheehan - associate producer


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