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For immediate release
December 10, 2001
Contact: NPR
Jassamyn Sarmiento,
202-513-2307
jsarmiento@npr.org



Linda Wertheimer Takes on New Assignment

WASHINGTON - After thirteen years as a host of NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered®, Linda Wertheimer is taking on a new assignment as NPR's first Senior National Correspondent. This assignment takes effect January 2, 2002.

Wertheimer will travel the country and the globe for NPR News, bringing her unique insights and experience to reporting major stories, events, trends and encounters in the world of politics, politicians, issues and institutions.

In her new position, she will build upon her trademark interviewing skills, clear-eyed analysis and thoughtful reporting to provide stories on voters, candidates and public figures as well as artists, writers and ordinary Americans with a story to tell.

Wertheimer's reports will be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition® with Bob Edwards and other NPR News programs across the broadcast week.

Wertheimer will provide analysis and perspective pieces for NPR's coverage of major stories and major events. She will continue to play a principal role in NPR's coverage of elections, including national election night specials and presidential nominating conventions. Wertheimer has anchored NPR coverage of thirteen national election nights and ten presidential nominating conventions.

"Linda's work on All Things Considered has been a major reason for its growth and success," said Bruce Drake, vice president for news and information. "Linda is a great reporter and an accomplished host. Now she will be able to devote her energy to in-depth reporting, not only for All Things Considered but for all NPR News shows."

Drake said an intensive search will commence for a successor to Wertheimer.

"Linda Wertheimer will have an extraordinary mandate to explore the news - to bring her unique perspective and trenchant insights to all of NPR's news programming," said Kevin Klose, NPR president and CEO.

"It's been an extraordinary privilege for me to have a daily conversation for 13 years with the wonderful people who listen to All Things Considered," Wertheimer said. "All Things Considered listeners are the most loyal, dedicated, interesting and interested listeners in the world, and it has been an honor to serve them."

"I have had two of the very best jobs in journalism, as NPR's national political correspondent and as a host of All Things Considered. It is my hope with this new position to end up having held three of the very best jobs in journalism," Wertheimer said.

Wertheimer has been associated with All Things Considered since the first day the show went on the air, May 3, 1971. She served as the program's first director and later made the transition to reporting and hosting.

During her 13 years as a host of All Things Considered, Wertheimer has helped build the show's audience to record levels. All Things Considered has grown from six million listeners in 1989 to nearly ten million listeners as of the spring of 2001, making it one of the top five shows in all U.S. radio.

Wertheimer has been named one of the top 50 journalists in Washington by Washingtonian Magazine and one of the 200 most influential women in America by Vanity Fair.

Wertheimer is one of the original staff members of NPR, having joined the organization in 1971 shortly after it came into existence. She covered national politics and Congress for NPR as national political correspondent from 1974 to 1989 when she was named a host of All Things Considered.

During her career at NPR, she has received numerous journalism awards including an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University special award for her groundbreaking live broadcasts from the Senate of the Panama Canal Treaty debates in 1978. Wertheimer shared in a second duPont-Columbia University award for NPR's coverage of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, the period that followed the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress.

Among other journalism awards received by Wertheimer are awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the American Legion and American Women in Radio and Television.

Wertheimer is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds honorary degrees from Colby College, Wheaton College and Illinois Wesleyan University. She began her career in radio working for the British Broadcasting Corporation in London and for WCBS Radio in New York.

Wertheimer is the author of Listening to America: Twenty-five years in the Life of a Nation as Heard on National Public Radio, which celebrates the history of NPR.