Morning Edition

Morning Edition
Morning Edition
Genre News: analysis, commentary, interviews, special features
Running time Approximately 105 minutes
Country United States
Home station National Public Radio
Hosts Steve Inskeep
Renée Montagne
Creators Bob Edwards
Air dates since November 5, 1979
Opening theme B.J. Leiderman (composer)[1]
Podcast Podcast / RSS feed

Morning Edition is an American radio news program produced and distributed by National Public Radio (NPR). 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.[2][3]



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.[4] Since May 3, 2004, the show has been co-hosted by Steve Inskeep and Renée Montagne. Inskeep reports from NPR headquarters in Washington, DC and Montagne reports from the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.

Arbitron ratings show that over thirteen million people listen to Morning Edition weekly. It's the second most-listened-to national radio show, after The Rush Limbaugh Show.[2][5]

In 1999, Morning Edition with Bob Edwards received the George Foster Peabody Award.


The program 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 (KUHF is one affiliate that does this).

The standard NPR newscast follows for five minutes. Many stations cut into the newscast at :04 or :06 past the hour to deliver local news, weather and traffic reports. For those that do not, a Morning Edition-specific 3.5-minute newscast begins at :06 after, covering stories not in the general newscasts. After that, the signature thirty-second "bleeble" 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 nineteen minutes past the hour, and a two-minute station break follows.

Returning from the break at :21 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 28:50 past the hour, going into a funding credit and thirty-second local break.

At half past the hour, 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.[6]

Another five-minute newscast follows at 30:30, with many stations covering the last two minutes with local news and features. The "C" segment follows at 35:30 (duration 4:00) and is sometimes covered by stations with local reports as well. This segment features news or cultural reports of three to four minutes long. Segment C ends with a thirty-second music bed, and is followed immediately by Segment D.

The "D" segment (duration 8:59) is typically composed of two to three stories focusing on health news, international events, or short updates on national stories. At forty-nine past the hour the segment ends, and another two-minute station break begins. This station break generally carries a promo for Talk of the Nation (first hour), or instructions on how to obtain tapes and transcripts of NPR programming (second hour), followed by music. Many stations eliminate the promotional announcements and use the time for local weather and traffic updates.

The "E" segment begins at 51:07 (duration 7:13) and differs between hours. In the first hour, the "E" segment focuses on business stories, while in the second hour, segment "E" is a cultural feature or softer news story, usually taking the entire segment length. The majority of NPR stations cover the "E" segment in the first hour with a broadcast of the Marketplace Morning Report, and some stations replace the second hour "E" segment as well. Segment "E" ends at 58:20 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.

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.




News Analysts


  • Eleanor Beardsely - Correspondent, Paris
  • Jason Beaubien - Foreign Correspondent, Cape Town
  • Howard Berkes - Correspondent, Rural Affairs, National Desk, Salt Lake City
  • Barbara Bradley-Hagerty - Correspondent, Religion, National Desk
  • Anthony Brooks - Correspondent, National Desk, Boston
  • John Burnett - Correspondent, National Desk, Austin
  • Adam Davidson - Correspondent, International Business and Economics
  • Gregory Feifer - Moscow Correspondent
  • Pam Fessler - Correspondent, Homeland Security, Washington Desk
  • 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
  • Tom Goldman - Correspondent, Sports, Portland
  • Don Gonyea - Correspondent, White House, Washington Desk
  • Richard Gonzales - Correspondent, San Francisco, National Desk
  • Wade Goodwyn - Correspondent, National Desk, Dallas
  • David Greene - Correspondent, White House, Washington Desk
  • Vertamae Grosvenor - Correspondent, Culture, Arts Information Unit
  • Jon Hamilton - Correspondent, Science Desk
  • Scott Horsley - Correspondent, White House[7]
  • Ted Robbins - Correspondent, National Desk, Tucson
  • Robert Krulwich - Correspondent, Science Desk, New York City


Executive/Supervising Producer

  • Ellen McDonnell - Executive Producer, "Morning Edition"
  • Bruce Auster - Senior Supervisory Editor, "Morning Edition"
  • Madhulika Sikka - Senior Supervisory Produer, "Morning Edition"


  • Samuel Holt - Senior Vice President for Programming 1977–1983[8]
  • Lawrence Lichty - Director of Audience Research and Evaluation 1978–1981[9]


  1. ^ "BJ Leiderman, NPR Biography". NPR. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  2. ^ a b Freedman, Samuel G. (2005). "'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." 
  3. ^ "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." 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ Emily Lenzner (31 March 2005). "NPR Ratings Reach New High". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Morning Edition's Daily 'Returns'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  7. ^ Scott Horsley : NPR
  8. ^ Spicher, Karen M.; King, Karen E.; Borja, Elizabeth C. (November 1994) (PDF). A Guide to the Papers of Samuel C. O. Holt. January 2001. National Public Broadcasting Archives University of Maryland Libraries. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  9. ^ Stavitsky, Alan G. (Spring 1995). "Guys in Suits with Charts: Audience Research in U.S. Public Radio" (PDF). Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media: 5. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 

External links

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