For immediate release
January 9, 1998

Daily Talk Show Host To Pursue Television Career Full Time

Washington, D.C. - Derek McGinty, host of The Derek McGinty Show, the award-winning daily call-in program from WAMU in Washington, D.C., and NPR, announced today that he will leave the program on January 30, 1998 to pursue a full-time career as a correspondent for CBS's "Public Eye With Bryant Gumbel." The Derek McGinty Show has been an important part of WAMU's weekday schedule since 1991 and has had its second hour distributed nationally by NPR and internationally by America One since 1996. The program is currently broadcast by 33 NPR stations. McGinty has welcomed to the program a lineup of varied, interesting and provocative guests such as musicians, actors, film directors, Nobel Peace Prize-winners, athletes, comedians, journalists, photographers, artists, politicians, authors, poets, and scientists.

McGinty has been a regular correspondent for "Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel" since the program's debut in October. In the past, McGinty has appeared as an occasional panelist on "The McLaughlin Group," as a correspondent for the PBS series "State of the Union," as a moderator of "Straight Talk with Derek McGinty" on Washington, DC's WETA-TV26, and as a correspondent for the CBS News program "Coast to Coast." He has also served as host of WETA's public affairs program "Here & Now," guest host of NPR's All Things Considered, and host of Discovery Channel's weekly online talk show, "Live! With Derek McGinty."

Beginning February 2, 1998, both the local and national hours of the talk show will be hosted by NPR's Frank Stasio Monday through Thursday and by WAMU News Director Kathy Merritt on Fridays while a search is conducted for a permanent host. Stasio has been a guest host for The Derek McGinty Show and NPR's Talk of the Nationr and also delivers newscasts for NPR. In addition, he participates in training programs for Eastern European journalists and creates radio journalism and drama programs for children in the Washington, D.C. area. Merritt hosts WAMU's weekly public affairs program, "Metro Connection," and has been a guest host for McGinty's program on numerous occasions. During this interim period, the program will have a new name, which has not been determined, and the same type of content and guests as it has had in the past. The program is produced by Elaine Bole and Erin Sheehy.

NPR Vice President for News and Information Jeffrey Dvorkin said, "We are sad to see Derek go. He's a great journalist and broadcaster and we wish him well in his new career."

WAMU General Manager Kim Hodgson noted that McGinty had established a high level of excellence on the program. "WAMU and our listeners have been exceedingly fortunate to have had nearly seven years of Derek McGinty's time. He is, and as far as we are concerned, always will be, the consummate radio talk show host. But not for a moment do we begrudge him this splendid opportunity. We wish him every possible success. At the same time, we will do our utmost to provide listeners with new talk programming that meets the very high standards that Derek has set."

WAMU serves 448,000 listeners each week in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia with news and public affairs programming, as well as bluegrass and other traditional music. The member-supported public radio station is licensed to American University.

National Public Radio, a membership organization of 595 public radio stations across the country, distributes the award-winning programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, NPR's Performance Today, Weekend Edition, and Car Talk.