A Cautious Man
March 23, 2004
 
Radio, Radio, Hear My Tale of Heartbreak
As if the news isn't bad enough, today brings this announcement from NPR:
Bob Edwards, the award-winning broadcaster whose voice has been associated with NPR's Morning Edition since the show's beginning in 1979, is leaving the morning news program effective April 30.


Edwards, a native of Louisville, Ky., who joined NPR in 1974 and became co-host of All Things Considered before moving to Morning Edition, will take on a new assignment as senior correspondent for NPR News.

"Morning Edition, the most popular morning program in all of broadcasting, enjoys a well-earned reputation for integrity in journalism," Edwards says. "I am proud to have served with my Morning Edition, colleagues, who perform a daily miracle at ridiculous hours when resources are not abundant. I am grateful for the many years of support from NPR member stations and look forward to continuing to visit them and meet our listeners. That audience is the best and the brightest in broadcasting, and it's a challenge to meet its expectations. Morning Edition, will continue to be my first source for news. I wish all the best to its new host."
Of course, you have to know that's not the real story. As further recounted by the Washington Post:
"I would have preferred to remain on Morning Edition," he said in a telephone interview.
NPR spokeswoman Laura Gross said NPR's programmers and news managers made the decision as "part of a natural evolution. New hosts bring new ideas," she said.


Edwards said, however, that today's news release from NPR was a bit "premature. We haven't settled up on what I'm going to do and what I'm going to be paid for it." Nor, he said, was he given specifics as to why he is being replaced. "They're going to find something else for me to do," he said. "That's pretty much what I heard. Seriously. . . . "One day you change flavors at Baskin Robbins. I think that's what this is. . . . I just stayed too long. . . ."
And as recounted by the AP via CNN:
He said he was given no specific reasons for his ouster. "It's the old 'move the program in a new direction.' There was no Janet Jackson incident," he said.
Spokeswoman Laura Gross said NPR's programming and news management made the change because they're trying to refresh all the network's broadcasts.
Now hold on a minute. This is a morning news program, heck, it's the morning news program. It's exactly what we want in the morning - a no-nonsense, straightforward discussion of the news, with a little more in-depth consideration than may have been possible the night before when the first impressions of the day's news were reported. What kind of "natural evolution", "new ideas", or for gosh sakes "new direction" are they going for at NPR? They clearly don't know, so we’re supposed to hope for the best, I guess?

It's my morning news program, I like it just the way it is, I don't want it to change, so - fix this right away. Thank you.

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