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For immediate release
October 17, 2000
Siriol Evans, NPR
202-414-2300
sevans@npr.org

Margaret Low Smith Named Vice President for NPR2, NPR's New Satellite Radio Unit

Washington, DC - Margaret Low Smith has been named Vice President for NPR2, National Public Radio®'s (NPR®) recently-created satellite radio division, Executive Vice President Ken Stern announced today. Smith has been Director of the satellite radio division since November, 1999.

"Creating this new Vice President position for NPR2 reflects our commitment to bringing public radio to this new platform," said Stern. "Margaret has demonstrated tremendous leadership, and impressive knowledge and dedication, in developing NPR2 and the next generation of public radio programs. She has brought together a talented NPR2 team, which is creating two, 24-hour broadcast streams, including an innovative morning newsmagazine."

Smith brings nearly 20 years of public radio journalism experience to her new role. Before joining NPR2, she spent ten years as an award-winning producer for All Things Considered®. Smith came to NPR as a production assistant for Morning Edition® in 1982. From 1985 to 1989, she was a producer and news writer for KRON-TV in San Francisco.

NPR2 is programming two, 24-hour channels for Sirius Satellite Radio. Sirius is scheduled to begin broadcasting 50 commercial-free music channels and up to 50 news, sports and entertainment channels directly to cars starting in January 2001.

The NPR2 channels, NPR Now and NPR Talk, will provide motorists with a mix of NPR favorites, brand-new programs, and programs produced by NPR stations. NPR Now will offer public radio favorites such as Car Talk®. NPR Talk will link drivers to the best conversations in America with programs including Talk of the Nation®. Both channels will promote NPR's local member stations. NPR2 will also produce fresh NPR classical and jazz features for Sirius music channels.

In August, NPR announced that former ABC and BBC television anchor Melinda Wittstock will host NPR2's brand-new morning newsmagazine. The newsmagazine is the first program to be created by NPR2. Motorists can hear the newsmagazine on both NPR Now and NPR Talk. Online users will be able to log-on to www.npr.org and listen as well.

Sirius will directly broadcast up to 100 channels of digital-quality programming to motorists throughout the continental U.S. for a monthly subscription fee. Sirius has alliances to install three-band (AM/FM/SAT) radios in new Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Jaguar and Volvo vehicles. In addition, Sirius has alliances with numerous electronics manufacturers and electronics retailers. They will furnish radios to consumers who want to receive Sirius broadcasts in existing vehicles.

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and award-winning news, information, and cultural programming, NPR reaches a growing audience of nearly 15 million Americans each week via its member radio stations.