Wednesday, May 04, 2005

NPR Stiffs Bob Edwards

Hey, NPR, what gives? So, correspondent/reporter and weekend Morning Edition host Scott Simon has a new book just published, Pretty Birds, a novel about a young girl turned sniper in the seige of Sarajevo. As if it's not bad enough that NPR is hawking the book all over the network (including a hefty 10-minute piece on yesterday's Morning Edition), the network is limiting other shows on which Simon can appear.

NPR has issued an edict to the author saying he cannot appear on the show run by former colleague Bob Edwards, the popular and longtime Morning Edition host fired by the network last year. Edwards now runs his own show on the XM Satellite Network.

An NPR spokesperson cited a policy against talent appearing on "competitive" programs but so far, Edwards' show is the only one shut out. Simon is booked to appear everywhere else. Additionally, Edwards is understandably irritated since other former colleagues ("talent" in NPRs books) have been allowed to tape interviews for his show including an hour-long interview with former co-host Susan Stamberg scheduled to air yesterday.

NPR's spokesperson said the restrictive policy was adopted well after her appearance. Huh. Cause if she taped last week and it was aired yesterday and the Simon interview was cancelled for last week, it sure sounds like it was adopted pretty much last week. Come on, guys, it's not enough that you let go one of the most popular and intelligent hosts in morning news, prompting thousands of listener complaints, but you have to be vindictive about it, too? Come on. Why not let Edwards have his audience on XM and worry about it when it's a threat? It looks bad for NPR and it's certainly bad for their talent. And it's no secret that Morning Edition has suffered in quality since Edwards' departure in hosting and reporting. Many of their regular columnists, writers and reporters have left or cut back their NPR commitments leaving the network with the still excellent All Things Considered. So, go ahead and continue the slide. But leave Bob Edwards alone, will ya'?

Washington Post on the story.


At Wed May 04, 04:44:00 PM, Blogger Doug said...

Boy, that sounds petty. I have an XM radio, and I'm glad to have Bob Edwards' show. He does some great interviews and has quite a bit more time to do them than he had on Morning Edition.

I've noticed that when I'm driving to work, listening to NPR, and a promo plays that reminds me I'm listening to Morning Edition, it jogs my memory that Bob Edwards' show is on; so I flip on the XM and check out what Bob's up to. (Then, if it's boring, I mosey over to Air America Radio -- and if Jerry Springer's show is on, that's almost always, I'll just switch it to the Ethel channel's punk/hard rock offerings.) But, almost never will I turn it back to Morning Edition.

At Tue May 24, 12:04:00 AM, Blogger torporific said...

I miss Bob Edwards. The Morning Edition is just not the same. I wonder what the politics were behind the sacking of Edwards.


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