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Thursday 10 Jul 2014

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Americana brings voices from across America to Radio 4

Americana, a new weekly programme presented from the world's most powerful country by Matt Frei, launches on BBC Radio 4 this spring.

Matt will be joined in the Washington DC studio by an eclectic panel of guests. Emerging cultural stars, provocative writers and some current prominent thinkers aim to give the Radio 4 audience an insider's guide to the people and stories shaping the USA.

Americana will also team up with radio stations around the country, bringing reports and features from places off the beaten track.

The United States' first black president has made "change" his mantra. The meltdown of Wall Street has dislocated the country's status. President Obama is trying to change the way the country carries out its diplomacy.

Americana will look at what these changes mean for America itself, and the rest of the world.

Mark Damazer, Controller, Radio 4, says on his blog: "Since Alistair Cooke's death and the demise of his Letter From America, I have been thinking about a new programme that would ruminate about America – one that would give fresh insights – from the city streets of Chicago and LA, to the small towns of Tennessee and Montana.

"Americana will bring Radio 4 listeners a sense of the country's vibrant and often complicated character."

Matt Frei says: "I'm very excited by the prospect of Americana. There is nothing like it on national radio. I feel sure the discussions with leading thinkers from the worlds of culture, ethics, politics, business and religion will entertain Radio 4's ever inquisitive audience."

Notes to Editors

  • Americana will be broadcast at 7.15pm every Sunday from late spring (date to be confirmed).
  • Matt Frei is anchor of BBC World News America, a nightly newscast broadcast from the BBC's Washington DC bureau, airing on BBC America and BBC World News.
  • Editor of Americana is Maria Balinska. Maria has many programmes to her credit, including the creation of the acclaimed Radio 4 series Crossing Continents.
  • The production team of Americana will be working with public radio stations and producers across the USA and with AIR (the Association of Independents in Radio) to tap into American radio talent.
  • Mark Damazer's blog can be found at: bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio4.

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