|Genre||News: analysis, commentary, interviews, special features|
|Running time||Approximately 105 minutes|
|Home station||National Public Radio|
|Air dates||since November 5, 1979|
|Opening theme||Morning Edition Theme by B. J. Leiderman|
|Podcast||Podcast / RSS feed|
Morning Edition is an American radio news program produced and distributed by NPR (formerly National Public Radio). It airs weekday mornings (Monday through Friday) and runs for two hours, and many stations repeat one or both hours. The show feeds live from 05:00 to 09:00 ET, with feeds and updates as required until noon. The show premiered on November 5, 1979; its weekend counterpart is Weekend Edition. Morning Edition and All Things Considered are the highest rated public radio shows.
A typical show includes news, both newscasts and in-depth reports; features on science, arts, business, sports, and politics; interviews with and profiles of people in the news; commentaries; and human interest features. Some regional public radio networks (such as Minnesota Public Radio) and local stations also produce locally focused content under their Morning Edition banner.
Bob Edwards, previously a co-host of All Things Considered, hosted Morning Edition beginning with its first episode, a job he initially took on a temporary basis when a shake-up in production and on-air staff occurred ten days before the show's premiere. Edwards was joined by Barbara Hoctor, then of Weekend All Things Considered. Hoctor departed after four months, leaving Edwards as solo host for the next quarter-century. His last day as host was April 30, 2004; this was not due to Edwards retiring, but rather a highly controversial decision from NPR to lay him off, which resulted in harsh criticism from many listeners. Since May 3, 2004, the show has been co-hosted by Steve Inskeep and Renée Montagne. Inskeep reports from NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Montagne reports from the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Arbitron ratings show that over twelve million people listen to Morning Edition weekly. It's the second most-listened-to national radio show, after The Rush Limbaugh Show, though some sources, among them Talkers Magazine, sometimes place the show third in audience rankings behind Limbaugh and The Sean Hannity Show, depending on the time (as of 2015, Hannity has fallen behind Morning Edition in the Talkers estimate).
The following describes the program format effective November 17, 2014.
Morning Edition begins each hour with a sixty-second "billboard" highlighting stories to be covered in the hour. At least one birthday or anniversary of a major event is announced as well. Some stations replace this billboard with a localized version, with a similar format, but with emphasis on local stories and read by a local announcer.
The standard NPR newscast follows for five minutes. Many stations cut into the newscast at :04 past the hour to deliver additional news programming. A sixty second music bed follows allowing stations additional time to deliver news, weather, or funding credits. After that, the signature thirty-second "bleeble" (music bed) begins the program.
The first segment, "A", highlights the most important stories of the day. Usually the "A" segments differ between hours, although when the topic is extraordinary, the "A" segment will cover the same topic, but in a different format between the first and second hour. Between each segment, one- to three-minute breaks occur which are filled with promotions for other programs, sponsorship credits, and station-provided content such as local traffic and weather reports. Segment A ends at eighteen minutes past the hour, and a sixty second break follows. New to Morning Edition effective November 17, 2014 is a 89 second newscast at :19 and :42 past the hour. The mid-hour newscasts emphasize live news, including question and answer with correspondents, as opposed to headlines. Following each mid-hour newscast is a 90 second break to allow stations to provide local news and information.
Returning from the break at 22:30 past the hour, the second segment, or "B" segment, generally contains features, commentaries, or long form interviews. Interviews can sometimes take up the entire segment. Segment "B" ends at 30:00 past the hour, at which point a promotion for All Things Considered and a humorous news item is delivered. These segments are called "returns", because many stations that air local news or announcements return to the national feed at half past the hour. The return lasts thirty seconds, and ends with the tagline "It's Morning Edition, from NPR News," or some variation thereon.
At 31:00 past the hour a two-minute music bed is played which most stations cover with news updates or "modules" from other independent radio producers. The "C" segment follows at 33:35 (duration 7:24) and is sometimes covered by stations with local reports as well. This segment features news or cultural reports, generally running the segment length. Segment C ends with a mid-hour newscast and station break.
At 45:35 past the hour, the "D" segment (duration 4:00) is typically composed of two to three stories focusing on health news, international events, or short updates on national stories. At 49:35 past the hour the segment ends, and another two-minute station break begins.
The "E" segment begins at 51:30 (duration 7:29) and differs between hours. Originally in the first hour, the "E" segment was dedicated to stories and features from the world of business, while in the second hour, segment "E" included a cultural feature, remembrance, or softer news story, usually taking the entire segment length. Beginning in November 2014, Morning Edition moved the second hour "E" features to the first hour "E" segment, dropping the dedicated business segment to allow NPR stations to insert broadcasts of the Marketplace Morning Report, which is separately produced and distributed by NPR rival American Public Media (prior to this change, many stations would already cover one or both "E" segments with Marketplace Morning Report). However, some stations continue to air Marketplace Morning Report in place of the "E" segment for the first hour. Segment "E" ends at 59:00 after the hour, and leads into a music bed that takes the listener into the next hour, or the end of the program, depending on the hour and the station's program schedule.
Stations receive over their computers the daily rundown of stories before each program which allows them to plan their coverage and decide what stories they wish to replace with local content. The rundown is updated as necessary until the feed ends at noon Eastern time.
Differences in pickup times
Most stations in the Central and Eastern Time zones run Morning Edition live from 05:00 to 09:00 ET, repeating one or both hours through morning drive time. Some stations run only the two hours, others run up to seven hours. The repeats are automatically fed through the NPR satellite, and are updated as necessary by NPR anchors in the studio when breaking news events occur. In the past, Edwards would stay at his NPR office until the program feeds ended at noon in case there was anything that required an update. Today, with two hosts, one host generally stays in the studio while the other does field reporting or works on stories for future shows, and the transition is seamless, unless both hosts have to be away from the studio for some reason. In that instance, substitute NPR anchors John Ydstie and Linda Wertheimer host the re-feeds.
On the West Coast, Morning Edition can run for up to seven hours running from the first live feed with the subsequent re-feeds. For example, KPCC in Pasadena, California carries Morning Edition, from 02:00 to 09:00 PST. KPCC handles the re-feeds uniquely: instead of taking the re-feed from the satellite, they "roll their own" by taking the tape from the feed two hours prior, so that they can run the A and B segments of Morning Edition about three minutes earlier than rival KCRW in Santa Monica, which takes the re-feed direct from the satellite. In the event of a breaking news story, KPCC runs the same feed as KCRW.
Morning Edition (as well as its afternoon counterpart All Things Considered) is not carried on any of the public radio channels of Sirius XM Radio, the leading US consumer satellite radio provider; this is reportedly to reduce direct competition between Sirius XM and NPR's local member stations, almost all of whom heavily use these flagship news programs to generate pledge revenue from listeners. Tell Me More, a daytime interview show hosted by journalist Michel Martin, with a focus on African-American issues, is featured on NPR Now, channel 122; and The Takeaway, a competing news and interview program hosted by John Hockenberry and distributed by Public Radio International, is featured on SiriusXM Public Radio, channel 205.
- Bob Edwards (1979–2004)
- Steve Inskeep (2004–present)
- Renée Montagne (2004–present)
- David Greene (2012–present)
- Adam Davidson—Correspondent, International Business and Economics
- Leila Fadel - Foreign Correspondent, Cairo
- David Folkenflik—Correspondent, Media, Arts Information Unit
- Lourdes Garcia-Navarro—Foreign Correspondent, Mexico City
- Anne Garrels—Foreign Correspondent
- Rob Gifford—Foreign Correspondent, London
- Tom Gjelten—Correspondent
- Don Gonyea—Correspondent, White House, Washington Desk
- Vertamae Grosvenor—Correspondent, Culture, Arts Information Unit
- Jon Hamilton—Correspondent, Science Desk
- Robert Krulwich—Correspondent, Science Desk, New York City
- Mara Liasson - National Political Correspondent
- Cokie Roberts
- Ari Shapiro - Foreign Correspondent, London
- Eleanor Beardsley - Foreign Correspondent, Paris
- Nina Totenberg - Legal Correspondent
- Red Barber (1980–1992; won a Personal Peabody Award in 1990 for his Friday-morning conversations with Edwards)
- Baxter Black ("cowboy poet, philosopher and former large-animal veterinarian")
- Frank Deford (sports)
- Patt Morrison
- David Sedaris
- Tom Shales (film and television; also a critic for the Washington Post)
- Kenneth Turan (film; also a critic for the Los Angeles Times)
- Joe Bevilacqua (arts)
- "BJ Leiderman, NPR Biography". NPR. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
- Freedman, Samuel G. (2005-07-17). "'Listener Supported' and 'NPR': All Things Considered". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
National Public Radio alone reaches more than 20 million listeners, and its daily newsmagazine shows, All Things Considered and Morning Edition, attract a larger audience than any program except Rush Limbaugh's.
- "NPR Programs Attract Record-Breaking Audiences Public Radio Listenership at All-Time High". National Public Radio. 2002. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
Reflective of the intense news cycle following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., NPR's newsmagazines and talk programs increased audiences across the board. From Fall 2000 to Fall 2001, Morning Edition with Bob Edwards jumped from 10.7 to 13 million listeners; All Things Considered grew from 9.8 million to nearly 11.9 million; Talk of the Nation rocketed 40.8 percent to 3 million listeners; Fresh Air with Terry Gross grew 25.4 percent to nearly 4.2 million and The Diane Rehm Show grew 38.6 percent to nearly 1.4 million. Growth in the NPR news/talk audience outpaced similar gains realized by commercial news/talk radio.
- "NPR'S Bob Edwards Leaving Morning Edition Host Chair to Take on New Assignments as NPR Senior Correspondent" (Press release). National Public Radio. 23 March 2004. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- Dvorkin, Jeffrey A. (2004-04-28). "Bob Edwards Reassigned: Ageism or Just Change?". NPR. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
- "Bob Edwards out as 'Morning Edition' host - Business - US business - msnbc.com". MSNBC. 2004-03-23. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
- Johnson, Peter (2004-03-25). "Edwards ousted as 'Morning Edition' host". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
- Emily Lenzner (31 March 2005). "NPR Ratings Reach New High". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- "The Top Talk Radio Audiences". Talkers Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- 59th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2000.
- "Morning Edition's Daily 'Returns'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- "Proposed NPR clocks would add morning newscasts, longer underwriting credits," from Current.org, 7/3/2014
- Clemetson, Lynette (August 30, 2004). "All Things Considered, NPR's Growing Clout Alarms Member Stations". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
NPR has a contract to program two Sirius channels, NPR Talk and NPR Now. But Mr. Klose said there were no plans to add the top-rated news programs to its satellite lineup against station wishes. We will respond to the will of the system, he said.
- "Steve Inskeep". NPR.org. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Renee Montagne". NPR.org. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "David Greene". NPR.org. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- 50th Annual Peabody Awards, May 1991.