|For immediate release
March 23, 2004
NPR'S Bob Edwards Leaving Morning Edition Host Chair to Take on New Assignments as NPR Senior Correspondent
Washington, DC - Bob Edwards, the award-winning, 30-year NPR veteran broadcaster and host of Morning Edition since its first broadcast, announced today that he is leaving as host of the program effective April 30, 2004, to take on a new assignment as senior correspondent for NPR News. His reports will be heard on many NPR programs across the broadcast week.
"Morning Edition, the most popular morning program in all of broadcasting, enjoys a well-earned reputation for integrity in journalism," said Edwards. "I am proud to have served with my Morning Edition colleagues, who perform a daily miracle at ridiculous hours when resources are not abundant. I am grateful for the many years of support from NPR member stations and look forward to continuing to visit them and meet our listeners. That audience is the best and the brightest in broadcasting, and it's a challenge to meet its expectations. Morning Edition will continue to be my first source for news. I wish all the best to its new host."
Edwards, 56, joined NPR in 1974 when the organization was in its third year. He was a newscaster and later co-host of All Things Considered before moving to Morning Edition as its original host in November 1979. Today Morning Edition is the 2nd most listened-to national radio program in the country.
A standout in news broadcasting, Edwards is the recipient of two Gabriel Awards; the 1984 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for "outstanding contributions to public radio"; an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence; and the prestigious 1999 George Foster Peabody Award for his hosting duties at Morning Edition.
During 25 years at the helm of Morning Edition, Edwards has done an estimated 20,000 interviews with statesmen, politicians, celebrities, musicians, and sports legends. Always ready, Edwards was called upon to conduct live interviews at a moment's notice about any breaking event around the world. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Edwards joined the army after graduation from the University of Louisville. After service in the U.S. Army, he earned an M.A. in Communication from American University in Washington, DC. He is the author of two books, Fridays with Red, which chronicles his radio friendship with sports broadcasting legend Red Barber (1993); and Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism, to be published in May 2004.
"Bob is a true pioneer in public radio, and his distinctive presentation style has been a hallmark of NPR," said Jay Kernis, NPR's senior vice president of programming. "During the past 25 years he has had one of the toughest shifts in American broadcast journalism. In his new position as senior correspondent, Bob will have more time to pursue stories that are of interest to him, place those stories on different NPR news programs, and get to wake up at a normal hour for the first time in a quarter of a century. We are fortunate that his unique voice and reporting style will now be heard on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition."
Beginning in May 2004, NPR's Steve Inskeep will co-host the program from Washington, DC, and NPR's Renee Montagne will share hosting duties from the NPR West studios in Culver City. They will serve as interim hosts pending NPR's selection of Edwards' successor.
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 22 million Americans each week via more than 750 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information. NPR's several hundred awards include a 2000 National Medal of Arts.