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WXPN to honor Dye and World Cafe’s first 25 years of musical discovery with special events in March and the establishment of World Cafe Next Fund

ATTACHED PHOTO: World Cafe Host & Producer David Dye | Credit Joe del Tufo

PHILADELPHIA (NOVEMBER 14, 2016): At 4 PM ET today, David Dye announced to listeners of WXPN-FM his decision to step back from his full-time role as World Cafe Host and Producer after Friday, March 31, 2017. Dye will continue in a part-time capacity as a regular contributor to the nationally- distributed music program. Dye was joined by General Manager Roger LaMay, who talked about 25th anniversary celebration events as well as the future of the show.

WXPN, which produces World Cafe, will pay tribute to Dye with two celebratory 25th anniversary concerts, scheduled for March 3 and 4, 2017 at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. An invitation-only donor event in his honor will also take place at La Peg Brasserie at FringeArts in Philadelphia on March 1.

David Dye has been host of World Cafe since its launch on October 14, 1991. Distributed by NPR to more than 200 US radio stations and heard by nearly 600,000 listeners each week, World Cafe is known by artists, appreciative audiences, and the radio and music industries as an influential source for music discovery. The two-hour daily program features a signature mix of artist interviews with in-studio performances by both established and emerging artists, and a curated music selection that encompasses singer-songwriters, classic rock, indie rock, Americana, alt-country, blues, world music, R&B and soul. As the nation’s most listened-to public radio music program, its impact on the careers and audience awareness of thousands of artists is immeasurable.

World Cafe and Dye have received numerous awards, including two NFCB Golden Reel Awards, five "Best of Philly” awards from Philadelphia Magazine, NARAS Philadelphia Chapter’s "Hero Award," the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, and many radio industry trade citations.

Following an already extensive radio broadcasting career prior to World Cafe, Dye has been the voice and creative force of the show and its brand extensions. Among other significant events, he has shepherded the show through two studio locations, hosted visits by thousands of artists for exclusive interviews, performances, and recordings, overseen the issue of 40 Live at World Cafe CDs and two World Cafe books, visited 19 musical hotspots around the globe for the show’s “Sense of Place” series, and has seen two World Cafe Live restaurant-concert venues named for the show (located in Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE). Dye was recently identified by artist Bruce Springsteen in his new memoir as an influential early supporter of Springsteen’s music.

“On one hand, it is extremely hard to picture my life without hosting the World Cafe on a daily basis. It is the best job in radio, working with the most talented people,” said Dye. “For years I have had the opportunity to sit in the same room talking with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and thousands of others. Our 25th anniversary seems like the perfect juncture to get off the treadmill of daily radio and see what is next.”

LaMay said, “It’s impossible to measure the impact that David Dye has had on artists and audiences with World Cafe. The show’s tremendous success and high acclaim is due mainly to his efforts. We look forward to honoring him with some one-of-a-kind musical tributes and by making sure that his program has a long future of national musical discovery.”

“Across hundreds of public radio stations, David Dye has become a beloved national guide to great music and the creative artists who power our culture. He has built an important platform for music that will continue to benefit from his original and abiding vision,” said Anya Grundmann, NPR’s Vice President for Programming and Audience Development.

In addition to celebrating David Dye and the rich history of World Cafe with special events in March, WXPN will raise funds to build upon some of the elements that have made it successful, and to evolve and expand it to stay relevant and significant for years to come. The World Cafe Next Fund is intended to bring a wider array of voices and perspectives to World Cafe, and provide the means for it to impact a new generation of listeners.

A couple of recent initiatives are already helping to enable this effort: In October, radio and TV journalist, producer and host Talia Schlanger joined World Cafe as Contributing Host and Producer, bringing her enthusiasm, expertise and fresh perspective to the program. Also in October, a new Nashville hub for World Cafe was established in partnership with NPR Music, allowing for the deeper exploration of music emanating from that music hotbed and the surrounding Southern US region.

Dye also stated that he will continue to host the weekly WXPN Funky Friday program, and revealed plans to launch a new local weekend music show, with more details to come.

More announcements will be made about the March tribute events for David Dye and the 25th anniversary of World Cafe. For more information about World Cafe, visit, and The website for WXPN is

Published: 14 November 2016 - 16:00:00 EST

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About WXPN
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported, public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, Northeastern PA and Northwestern NJ at 91.9 FM, and the world via online streaming at​ The WXPN app brings all of WXPN to any mobile device. WXPN produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD, also available online.

Elise Brown
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