FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Date:  November 14, 2001

                                                                                                            Contact:  Lezli Austen

WUIS to broadcast Russian President Putin November 15

SPRINGFIELD – WUIS (91.9/Springfield) and WIPA (89.3/Pittsfield) will broadcast an exclusive live call-in program with Russian President Vladimir Putin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 15. For the first time, a Russian leader will converse directly with the American people by taking phone calls from NPR member stations’ listeners across the United States. 

During the first hour, President Putin will be interviewed by NPR’s Robert Siegel, followed by listener calls. In the second hour, after the president leaves, NPR’s Neal Conan will continue the conversation with listeners and prominent studio guests, to discuss and analyze the interview and the results of the Putin-Bush summit meetings this week. President Putin is meeting with President Bush Tuesday through Thursday at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. 

"The special broadcast underlines the increasingly important roles that public radio plays journalistically and as an indispensable vehicle for bringing Americans into the conversation about the issues of the day," said Bruce Drake, vice president for news and information, adding, "especially in these times, listeners depend on their public radio stations for this kind of coverage."

According to Drake, this is the only U.S. interview Putin will be doing while he is in the country.

Questions can be submitted for President Putin to answer, during the live broadcast, through the WUIS-WIPA website at www.wuis.org.