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For immediate release
January 11, 2006


Emmy-Winning Broadcast and Print Journalist Begins January 16; Continues as Contributor to ABC News

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Michel Martin, currently an ABC News correspondent and former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal correspondent, is joining NPR to host a new afternoon public affairs and cultural program focusing on stories of importance to African Americans, slated to launch in late 2006.

Martin will begin at NPR on January 16 and serve as contributor to and substitute host for NPR programs while developing the new project, to be produced by NPR in partnership with the African American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC).

She will continue as contributor to ABC News programs, including Nightline, where she has been a full-time correspondent since 1996, and the network's digital channel ABC News Now.

Martin's new two-hour program will serve as a daily companion show to NPR's News & Notes with Ed Gordon, also co-produced by NPR and the AAPRC. Martin's program will focus on U.S. and international news, events, ideas and people in the public eye as well as those overlooked by mainstream media. Additionally, the show will explore family and lifestyle issues and all aspects of the arts.

"We are delighted that Michel will be bringing her unique point of view to NPR and a brand-new program," said Jay Kernis, Senior Vice President for Programming, NPR. "Michel has won honors and fans as a journalist who interprets news and issues in a way that provides context and perspective. With this new show, serving as a complement to the distinctive program News & Notes, its host Ed Gordon and host/correspondent Farai Chideya, NPR expands its commitment to providing a place in radio for diverse voices."

"I've always loved working with start-up programming and am thrilled to have that opportunity using the global resources and diverse talents of NPR News," Martin noted. "My goal is to lift up new voices and build on the standard of excellence people know and expect from NPR."

"Michel's reputation precedes her - as a serious journalist with a deep curiosity about people of all kinds and a willingness to openly engage on issues that others might find sensitive," added Loretta Rucker, Executive Consultant, AAPRC. "For the Consortium, this is a significant moment. It demonstrates the commitment of the AAPRC and NPR to build more programs that serve and attract African American listeners to public radio, and is a mutually-beneficial partnership built on trust. NPR walks the talk."

Martin joined ABC News in 1992 and has been recognized for her contributions to a wide range of its programs and specials, including the network's award-winning coverage of Sept. 11, a documentary on the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy and a critically-acclaimed AIDS special anchored by Barbara Walters. She has covered numerous stories for Nightline and contributed reports for its ongoing series America in Black and White.

At ABC News, Martin has also reported for its news magazine Day One, winning an Emmy for her reporting on the international campaign to ban the use of landmines, and was a regular panelist on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. She was host of the 13-part series Life 360, an innovative program partnership between Oregon Public Broadcasting and Nightline incorporating documentary film, performance and personal narrative which aired on public television stations across the country. Martin has received three additional Emmy nominations, including one with NPR's Robert Krulwich, also an ABC contributor, for an ABC News program examining children's racial attitudes.

Martin previously covered state and local politics for the Washington Post and national politics and policy at the Wall Street Journal, where she was White House correspondent. She has also been a regular panelist on the PBS series Washington Week and a contributor to NOW with Bill Moyers.

Martin's honors also include the Candace Award for Communications from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Joan Barone Award for Excellence in Washington-based National Affairs/Public Policy Broadcasting from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association and a 2002 Silver Gavel Award, given by the American Bar Association.

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Martin graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1980 and has done graduate work at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She is married to Washington attorney William (Billy) Martin and their blended family includes two older daughters and twin toddlers.

The African American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC) is comprised of public radio stations serving predominantly African-American audiences. Its mission is to represent this group in national communication interests and ensure the provision of information for underserved communities.

Since its launch in 1970, NPR has evolved into a leading media company, primary news provider and dominant force in American life. In partnership with 815 public radio stations, it attracts almost 26 million listeners to the nearly 150 hours of programming it produces and distributes weekly. NPR maintains news bureaus and correspondents in 37 cities worldwide and, in 2002, opened the NPR West production facility in Los Angeles. A privately-supported, non-profit membership organization, NPR is alsoactive in new media platforms through, its successful NPR Podcasts, two 24/7 NPR channels on Sirius Satellite Radio and five 24/7 multicast music channels for HD Radio, a technology in which it has led industry research and development. NPR Worldwide serves nearly 150 countries with a full schedule of programming offered through terrestrial, satellite and digital radio; national cable, and American Forces Network.