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For immediate release
Dec. 21, 2004
Contact:
NPR, David Umansky : 202.513.2302
AAPRC, Loretta Rucker : 718.636.1516

NPR to Launch News & Notes; Ed Gordon Selected as Host

WASHINGTON, DC — Emmy Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon will host a new public affairs show beginning in early 2005 that will focus on news, trends and topical issues of interest and importance to the African-American community, NPR and the African American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC) announced today.

News & Notes with Ed Gordon, conceived by NPR, the African-American Public Radio Consortium of radio station managers and Ed Gordon is a continuation of NPR's commitment to highlighting social, political and cultural issues of concern to all Americans and to expanding the public radio audience. The show will have a bi-coastal format, with Gordon based in New York.

Jay Kernis, senior vice president for programming, made the announcement. "NPR is steadfast in its dedication to presenting diverse perspectives of relevance to African-Americans. News & Notes with Ed Gordon takes the mainstream story and gives it context and perspective listeners will not hear elsewhere," said Kernis.

Kernis continued, "We are thrilled that Ed Gordon will be joining the NPR team as host of this new show. He is a highly respected journalist who comes to NPR with a national reputation for smart interviews that make news, and he has a deep connection to the African-American community. Ed hosted an NPR elections special that was carried by 250 stations (Oct. 28), and it was clear that he not only belongs at NPR, but that he will strengthen our ability to present in-depth news."

Ed Gordon, a Detroit native, brings to NPR more than 20 years experience as an intelligent, honest, and compelling journalist covering a variety of topical news stories. He was recently named a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes Wednesday on CBS. Gordon has also reported for the Today Show and Dateline during his years at NBC. Gordon is best known for his headline making interviews with newsmakers, including Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton, President George H.W. Bush, Senator Trent Lott, Jamie Foxx, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Senator John Kerry, Oprah Winfrey, and O.J. Simpson.

Said Gordon, "I am enthusiastic about the chance to bring a new show to NPR. Throughout my career, I have interviewed the day's top newsmakers and with this program I'll get this extraordinary opportunity everyday. The format of the show allows us to talk about anything from politics to pop culture, and that prospect is exciting. But most importantly we'll be able to shine the light on topics and people of import to African-Americans. This kind of program is imperative because often these issues and voices are still, unfortunately, under-reported, under-represented or overlooked altogether by most media outlets."

Gordon has served as host of BET Tonight, anchor of BET News and creator of his signature one-on-one interview series, Conversation with Ed Gordon. He is the recipient of numerous journalism awards including an Emmy, the NAACP Image Award, and the Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Loretta Rucker, spokesperson for the African American Public Radio Consortium, says, "NPR continues to make strides in expanding programs to meet the interests of African-Americans, and this program with Ed Gordon is a welcome addition. Earlier this year the Consortium and NPR did some long-term strategizing about future projects, not the least of which includes increasing the block of African-American programs and increasing the number of African-American radio stations in public radio. Since the NPR/Consortium venture, we've met with African-Americans of significant broadcast talent who have an interest in public radio. We're on a roll, and it's only going to get better from here."

News & Notes with Ed Gordon will launch in late January 2005, and the one-hour program will broadcast Monday-Friday on 86 NPR member stations nationwide, including WNYC/New York, WBEZ/Chicago and WHYY/Philadelphia.

WNYC Vice President of Programming Dean Cappello commented, "We're excited to see Ed joining the public radio lineup. He brings the journalistic and human qualities to the radio that listeners value in our programming. And his access to new voices and perspectives will continue to broaden the idea of public radio in ways that are absolutely critical to the service we provide."


About NPR
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 nearly 760 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 eight years of archived audio and information.