Jim Fleming was born in Madison, Wis., and grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. He was smitten by radio during his college career, while an English major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joining Wisconsin Public Radio in 1968 as a student volunteer. A conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, he left to take on his assignment at the Yale Psychiatric Institute from 1970 to 1973.
Fleming went on to forge a career in public broadcasting, returning to Madison to become associate producer, working for Karl Schmidt on Wisconsin Public Radio's Peabody and Prix Italia Award-winning national radio drama project, "Earplay" (1974-75). He was one of the original co-hosts/interviewers on "Morning Report" (1975) and went on to work as cultural producer/interviewer on the arts magazine, "Art and Soul" (1977-84). In 1974, he produced "The Snow Goose," and two years later, his production of "Guernica" won the Ohio State Bicentennial Award.
For several years, Fleming hosted classical music programs, combining his interests in the classics with his interest in discussing the arts. His arts interviews were a regular feature of the classical music programs "Prelude" and "Sunday Mornings with Jim Fleming." For more than a decade, he has been a reader for "Chapter a Day," a program that brings the best literature to radio.
Fleming also has held a number of management positions: Wisconsin Public Radio's music director; Music and Arts Service program director; and associate director/program manager, overseeing Wisconsin Public Radio's programming through much of the 1980s.