For immediate release
November 18, 2005
Andi Sporkin, NPR: | 202-513-2320


Weekend Edition Sunday Senior Host Joins Host of Talk of the Nation on TOTN for November 21-24

Washington, D.C. -- She’s known for her warmth and that signature throaty laugh on the "Puzzle" segment. He, on the other hand, is a notorious news junkie with a weakness for baseball and comic books.

So say Liane Hansen and Neal Conan – NPR colleagues for 25 years and married for 23 of them – about each other. Now, after a quarter-century, they get to work together on-air for the first time since their marriage the week of November 21 when Hansen joins Conan on Talk of the Nation, the midday news talk program he's hosted for the past four years.

"I expect Liane to surprise me – she always does," predicted Conan. "What I like best about her on-air skills is her uncanny ability to draw people out and make even the coldest newsmaker's story sound human. I wish I could do that."

Hansen looks forward to the energy and unpredictability of live daily radio. "Neal is so good juggling the guests and the callers and the e-mails and the clock. It's a real challenge to do that, and then turn around and do it again the next day."

Notes Sue Goodwin, Executive Producer of Talk of the Nation, "The opportunity to pair up Liane and Neal was a no-brainer. In many ways, their skills complement each other. And they bring a spark and chemistry that comes naturally to people who've been married so long. Of course they're both air hogs. I hope we have enough microphones to go around."

Conan and Hansen met at NPR – one of 66 couples to date who've landed on the legendary "NPR Met and Married List" maintained by NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg. For the past 18 years as host of Weekend Edition Sunday, Hansen works Wednesday through Sunday; Conan works Monday through Friday. "The secret to our long marriage," Conan said, "is that we never see each other. I can't imagine what will happen when we're on the same schedule."

Among the guests and topics on Talk of the Nation for the week of November 21-24 are: "Puzzle the Puzzlemaster" with Will Shortz, Crossword Editor of the New York Times; Kate Ascher, author of The Works: Anatomy of a City; Gourmet Magazine executive chef Sara Moulton and Michael Lomonaco, executive chef of New York’s 21 and Windows on the World; "This I Believe" producer Jay Allison, and, on Thanksgiving Day, a special feature, Homecoming Stories.

Talk of the Nation explores politics, education, religion, music, healthcare, culture and other issues dominating the news landscape. It offers listeners call-in and e-mail opportunities to connect directly with newsmakers and decision-makers from around the world. "Talk of the Nation" airs on NPR member stations around the country, and is available globally through NPR Worldwide. Visit for local stations and broadcast times.

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 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 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, offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.