Mark Wheat says goodbye to The Current

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The Current's Mark Wheat
The Current's Mark Wheat (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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As a founding architect of The Current, I'm immensely proud of what we've achieved in the last 15 years. We have an amazing team of talented people who I'm sure are going to blow me away in the future.

But it'll have to be without me.

After trying to balance other personal and professional goals with my MPR career for the last few years, I've decided, given the times we're in, to take the plunge and follow my dreams.

The company has been extremely supportive during this period of transition, and we agreed on all the logistics and timing. Sorry about the abrupt departure from the airwaves; my last night was Friday, May 29, when I left to go on vacation.

I'm not good at goodbyes. Thanks to my regular listeners and to our wonderful members for all the support. It was marvelous to be able to leave just after an extremely successful Member Drive in unprecedented times.

Please know that you have given me a life in Minnesota that I couldn't possibly have dreamed of when moving here in 1992! Wherever my next dream takes me, this will always be my American home state. Stay safe and peaceful to … everyone!

A mix of The Current's hosts will be filling in for Mark Wheat after his departure.

A message from David Safar, Managing Director of The Current

Mark Wheat has been a constant on The Current's airwaves since it launched in 2005. We will miss his voice in the evenings and his passion for the music. He has been a champion of Minnesota music for decades, a musical companion to countless listeners, and a friend and mentor. Please join me in thanking Mark for 15 years at The Current as we wish him the best on the next chapter of his journey.

Thank you Mark!

Some memorable Mark Wheat moments

Mark Wheat at Rock the Cradle
Mark Wheat reads stories to kids at Rock the Cradle in 2005. These kids are all in college or well into their careers now. (John Nicholson | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat at the 2006 Minnesota State Fair
Establishing a tradition, Mark Wheat interacts with The Current's listeners at the MPR booth at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, Sept. 1, 2006. Every year during live broadcasts, Mark made sure to come out of the booth and to talk to listeners — and even to share a few French fries or other treats. (Luke Taylor | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat in Rochester
Mark Wheat hosting a live broadcast from the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, Minn., on May 29, 2007. Wheat always had a powerful connection with the listeners in Rochester, referring to them fondly as "the Rochester Posse." (John Nicholson | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat and Valentine's Day
Mark Wheat poses with a Valentine's Day bear in 2010. Every Valentine's Day, it has been a tradition on The Current for Mark Wheat to host "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time," using requests from listeners. (John Nicholson | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat onstage at First Avenue
Mark Wheat onstage at First Avenue during The Current's 8th anniversary party, Jan. 27, 2012. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat takes oath of citizenship
Mark Wheat becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen on Sept. 6, 2012. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat and Patti Smith
Mark Wheat with Patti Smith at The Current in 2013. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat and David Safar at summer fixture
Mark Wheat and The Current's David Safar just before the Manchester City v Olympiacos exhibition match at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. A lifelong fan of the beautiful game, Mark frequently shared his passion for soccer with listeners, even heading up a fantasy league for The Current staff and audience. (Luke Taylor | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat and Patti Smith
Dessa and Mark Wheat hanging out at the MPR booth at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. (Jess Horwitz | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat and Beck
Beck and Mark Wheat at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, Aug. 17, 2017. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Andrew Zimmern and Mark Wheat
Andrew Zimmern stops by to say hello to Mark Wheat at the MPR booth at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 31, 2017. Longtime friends, Wheat and Zimmern had previously worked together at a restaurant. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat broadcasts live from Iceland
Mark Wheat broadcasts live from the Gotubarinn nightclub in Akureyri, Iceland as part of the 2017 Iceland Airwaves music festival. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat onstage with Feist during Rock The Garden 2018
Mark Wheat joins Feist onstage at Rock The Garden 2018 to perform the spoken-word bridge in Feist's song, "Century," performing the role for Jarvis Cocker, whose voice appears on Feist's album, Pleasure. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat and Henry Cluney
Mark Wheat with Stiff Little Fingers' founder Henry Cluney at The Current in July 2019. Cluney has been a resident of Rochester, Minn., since 1997. (Jesse Wiza | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat with Juliana Hatfield, Jade and Jim
Juliana Hatfield (second from left) with The Current's Mark Wheat, Jade, and Jim McGuinn on Feb. 5, 2020. (Nate Ryan | MPR file photo)

Mark Wheat in the Kids Disco
Mark Wheat DJs the Kids' Disco at Rock the Cradle on March 9, 2020. Kids always looked forward to a game of "Statues" when Mark was at the turntables. (Helen Teague | MPR file photo)

Share your thoughts and memories of Mark Wheat

Mark Wheat has been a fixture on The Current since day one. As Mark moves on to the next chapter in his life, share some of your favorite Mark Wheat moments and memories in the comments section below.


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