The 'Weekend Edition' Staff Who are the people who write the words and shape the sound you hear each weekend morning? Read about them.
NPR logo The 'Weekend Edition' Staff

The 'Weekend Edition' Staff

You've met the hosts of Weekend EditionScott Simon and (starting in 2017) Lulu Garcia-Navarro. Who else works on the show? Here are some brief bios:

Samantha Balaban is an assistant producer. After receiving her M.A. in Journalism and Latin American Studies from New York University, she got her start in public radio covering the James "Whitey" Bulger trial for WBUR as an intern. Since coming to NPR as a Morning Edition intern in 2014, she has reported on a perfume-loving tiger, traveled to Mexico to meet actor Diego Luna (and cover the elections), ridden with border patrol officers along the Rio Grande River, eaten very well in Houston, and used her waterproof fanny pack to help keep her mic dry during two hurricanes. Most days, you can find her under a pile of books and mail coordinating Weekend Edition's book coverage. On weekends she's either rock climbing, reading or in pottery class.

Sophia Boyd is a production assistant. Sophia got her start in public radio as an intern at NPR's Latino USA and soon after landed an internship with NPR's education desk. That beat has influenced her story ideas for the show. Sophia also coordinates Weekend Edition's movie coverage – and when she has time, she dabbles in producing music interviews. Sophia grew up in the Washington, D.C. ,area but she also likes to call Madrid her second home. She tweets @sososophia16.

Peter Breslow is a senior producer for NPR. He has reported and produced from around the country and the world — from Mount Everest to the South Pole. During his career he has covered conflicts in nearly a dozen countries, had his microphone splattered with rattlesnake venom and played hockey underwater. For six years he was the supervising senior producer of Weekend Edition Saturday, managing that program's news coverage. Over the years, Peter has been honored with numerous awards including Overseas Press Club, DuPont-Columbia and two Peabody awards. A native of River Edge, N.J., Peter worships Muddy Waters, is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and is an Eagle Scout.

Monika Evstatieva is Weekend Edition's line-producer. For the past decade she has produced multiple NPR programs, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She has traveled nationally, covering breaking news, politics and the environment, as well as internationally, reporting in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Russia and Western Europe. Some of her stories, included the migration crisis in Europe, the aftermath of the Bataclan shooting in Paris, and the 2018 presidential elections in Russia. Yet, Monika always finds time for her other passion – music. She has booked and produced hundreds of music chats with artists such as Adele, Ellie Goulding, Hozier, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney, Maren Morris, The Rolling Stones, Barbara Streisand and Taylor Swift. Her hometown is Sofia, Bulgaria, so she loves all things Bulgarian — feta cheese, roses, a nice mountain to ski on and a great beach vacation. She tweets @mevstatieva.

Denise Guerra is a producer and social media manager. She studied communication theory at UCLA, and can probably read your body language. She went on to work as a community liaison with the city of Los Angeles on transportation, housing and bridge projects where she honed the craft of listening to underserved communities. Her first radio job was at Marketplace. She then worked for KPCC in its news division and for the morning show Take Two. She also worked as an adjunct professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism where she graduated with an M.A. in journalism. During her time at NPR, she's worked on group bookings for Michel Martin's "Barbershop" series and a series on generational divides. She's done programming on the road from Detroit and Wisconsin. Her favorite productions include interviews with Mavis Staples, the Rapper Bambu, award-winning stories on #MeToo and an Iraqi dancer's life that was cut short. She's always looking to get a new point of view, and so has taken on skydiving and climbing the world's tallest peaks.

Barrie Hardymon is the senior editor at Weekend Edition, and the lead editor for books. You can hear her on the radio talking about everything from Middlemarch to middle grade novels, and she's also a frequent panelist on the NPR podcasts It's Been a Minute and Pop Culture Happy Hour. She went to Juilliard to study viola, ended up working as a cashier at the Strand, and finally got a degree from Johns Hopkins' Writing Seminars; which qualified her solely for work in public radio. She lives and reads in Washington DC.

Caitlyn Kim is an editor. Previously, she was an editor at WNYC and a reporter/producer at WAMC and KQED. She covered Connecticut state politics for WNPR, WFCR and WAMC. Prior to joining the show, she was a foreign service officer with the State Department and served in Estonia and Pakistan. A New Jersey native, she graduated from Wellesley College and has an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University-SAIS and an M.A. in international history from the London School of Economics. Caitlyn dreams of being on the Great British Bake Off, but in reality would be a better fit for Nailed It!

Viet Le is an editor at Weekend Edition. He's been at Weekend Edition since 2017. His NPR career started at All Things Considered in 2008, first as a booker and then a producer. Between those two programs, Viet spent a couple of years helping to get NPR One off the ground. But no matter what his NPR accomplishments, Viet will perhaps be best known in the newsroom as the person who convinced a Virginia farmer to put real lipstick on one of his pigs for a host interview. He's also an identical twin, left-handed, and has run 5 marathons.

Sarah Lucy Oliver is the executive producer. Each week she is responsible for sorting through producer, editor and desk pitches and making sure there's some joy in every show. Sarah joined Weekend Edition as an intern in 1989 and came back to be veteran journalist Daniel Schorr's assistant. She has been with Weekend Edition ever since. In her two decades at the show, Sarah has held a variety of roles and produced a broad range of stories, her personal favorites being pieces on the Sept. 11 attacks, Major League Baseball's Grapefruit League in Florida, the gravesite of Stonewall Jackson's arm, and interviews with all sorts of luminaries including President Carter, Patti Smith and Mr. Rogers.

Ian Stewart (pronounced "yahn") is an assistant producer. Since he came to NPR in 2014, he's followed presidential candidates around his home state (Iowa), reported on emergency food banks in D.C., covered 'silent canvassing' in Milwaukee and once managed to get dragon sound effects on the air. He has directed the live show and NPR special coverage including the 2018 midterms and the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. After studying architecture and politics at Middlebury College he interned at All Things Considered. On his weekends he's either doing yard work or doing research for his ranking of fried potatoes (current order: Curly, Waffle, French, Shoestring, Wedge).

Ned Wharton is a senior producer and has been with Weekend Edition since 1989. Ned produces many of the artist features heard on the program, including signature conversations with Baltimore Symphony Music Director Marin Alsop. He has produced news features from the field, including a trip to Egypt for a series on climate change, reports from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and reports on the economy and culture of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Before NPR, Ned worked as a classical announcer at WNYC in New York, where he created and hosted the music show Mixdown. Beyond radio, Ned has worked as a record producer. His credits include the New York band Songs from a Random House and Singers, Songs & Sessions, a collection of live performances recorded in NPR's Performance Studio. He tweets @NPRNedWharton.