Karl Schmidt has spent his entire professional career in radio. He began as a radio actor in New York, later
becoming the Director of Radio for the University of Wisconsin and the Director of the National Center for Audio
Experimentation. Currently an Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Extension, he has continued to read
for Chapter a Day.
For ten years starting in 1971, Schmidt was the Director of the nationally and internationally acclaimed EARPLAY
radio drama series. The project provided much of the American-produced radio drama heard on National Public Radio.
Authors such as Edward Albee and David Mamet contributed scripts to EARPLAY. During its existence, EARPLAY won two Ohio
State Awards, two Armstrong Awards, a Peabody Award and the Prix Italia, the highest international award for radio drama.
After the end of EARPLAY, Schmidt continued to produce radio drama. In 1982 he completed
A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ, a 15-part science fiction radio series based on the acclaimed
novel by Walter Miller. CANTICLE was partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Schmidt also produced a
five part radio drama called HAPPINESS by Anne Leaton, jointly funded by the NEA, National Public Radio, and the BBC.
Schmidt has been a member of the Board of Directors of National Education Radio and National Public Radio, a member of
the Radio Advisory Council of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Associate Chairman of the Board of the
National Association of Educational Broadcasters.
In Wisconsin, Karl Schmidt is best-known for his readings on Chapter a Day.
In the 1990's, publishers have finally discovered what Chapter a Day listeners have known for decades -- everyone
loves to be read to. Chapter a Day brings the best books to radio, read by professional radio performers who have
learned to establish a bond between the writer and the listener. The are read in half-hour installments, finishing a
book in ten or more readings. The books have ranged from best-sellers such as Jacqueline Mitchard's
"Deep End of the Ocean," Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" and Anne Tyler's "Ladder of Years," to literary gems
like Howard Owens' "Littlejohn" to non-fiction masterpieces like Stephen Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage" and
Joseph Ellis' "American Sphinx." Listeners have enjoyed hundreds of books on Chapter a Day, catching up on the latest
books while rediscovering the essential pleasure - the joy of being read to.