For immediate release
September 7, 2006
Emily Lenzner, NPR


Event Focuses on post-9/11 Security and Civil Rights; Stations to Air Program as Simulcast and Delayed-Broadcast

Washington, D.C.; September 7, 2006 – Public radio stations around the country will broadcast Ted Koppel’s live town meeting hosted by the Discovery Channel through an agreement between NPR and the Discovery Channel.

Koppel’s special, focusing on the state of national security and civil liberties in America, will air Sunday evening, September 10.

Public radio stations are airing the program in several ways. Some will broadcast it live on September 10 from 9:30-11PM (ET). Preceding the town meeting, NPR will set the stage with a 30-minute radio program from 9-9:30PM (ET) examining the evening’s topic, hosted by Talk of the Nation’s Neal Conan and featuring an interview with Koppel. Others are airing a one-hour version of the town meeting during the week of September 11.

The event will bring together current and former Administration officials, key policymakers, civil libertarians, and 9/11 families in a frank dialogue about the balance between national security and individual liberties, moderated by the award-winning journalist and held in Discovery Communications’ headquarters in Silver Spring, MD.

The audio broadcast marks the first such collaborative effort between the Discovery Channel and NPR. Koppel serves as Managing Editor at Discovery, where he is producing documentaries and town meetings for his series, Koppel on Discovery. He joined NPR in June 2006 as senior news analyst and contributes regular segment to the news magazines Morning Edition, Day to Day and All Things Considered.

“Ted Koppel is masterful as a moderator of town meetings on crucial national issues and the Discovery Channel is providing him with a superb platform for his talents,” said Jay Kernis, Senior Vice President for Programming, NPR. “We are delighted to be able to expand our partnership with Ted and create one with Discovery for this significant program.”

“Ted brings incredible journalistic integrity to the topic of security in our current state of affairs in his first documentary on Discovery Channel,” said Billy Campbell, President of Discovery Networks U.S. “We appreciate the participation of NPR Member stations, who are committed to serious dialogue about news and global issues by extending this relevant and timely conversation to their listeners.”

The Discovery Channel will frame the town meeting with Koppel on Discovery – The Price of Security, a documentary airing 8-9:30PM (ET/PT). Integral to the documentary and the town meeting are Interviews with former and current administration officials – including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge – military experts, 9/11 family members and civil libertarians.

Koppel on Discovery is produced by Discovery Channel Managing Editor Ted Koppel and Executive Producer Tom Bettag. They are joined by a team of some of the best researchers and producers in the industry. Together they are producing a slate of long-form programming exclusively for Discovery Channel that touches on some of the most important events, people and places changing lives today. From field reporting to script writing, every aspect of the series is shaped by Koppel’s 42 years of experience and unparalleled journalistic integrity.

For NPR, Susan Feeney is executive producer and Charlie Mayer is senior producer of the Neal Conan program and the town meeting. Michael Cullen is the engineer.