Morning Edition

Last updated
Morning Edition
Morning edit logo15.png
Genre News: analysis, commentary, interviews, special features
Running timeApproximately 105 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Home station National Public Radio
Hosted by Steve Inskeep
Rachel Martin
David Greene
Noel King
Created by Bob Edwards
Original releaseNovember 5, 1979 – present
Opening themeTheme by B. J. Leiderman (1979-2019); composition by NPR/Man Made Music staff (2019-present) [1]
Podcast Podcast / RSS feed

Morning Edition is an American radio news program produced and distributed by 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 among the highest rated public radio shows. [2] [3]

Radio Technology of using radio waves to carry information

Radio is the technology of signaling & communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device called a transmitter connected to an antenna which radiates the waves, and received by a radio receiver connected to another antenna. Radio is very widely used in modern technology, in radio communication, radar, radio navigation, remote control, remote sensing and other applications. In radio communication, used in radio and television broadcasting, cell phones, two-way radios, wireless networking and satellite communication among numerous other uses, radio waves are used to carry information across space from a transmitter to a receiver, by modulating the radio signal in the transmitter. In radar, used to locate and track objects like aircraft, ships, spacecraft and missiles, a beam of radio waves emitted by a radar transmitter reflects off the target object, and the reflected waves reveal the object's location. In radio navigation systems such as GPS and VOR, a mobile receiver receives radio signals from navigational radio beacons whose position is known, and by precisely measuring the arrival time of the radio waves the receiver can calculate its position on Earth. In wireless radio remote control devices like drones, garage door openers, and keyless entry systems, radio signals transmitted from a controller device control the actions of a remote device.

NPR Non-profit membership media organization

National Public Radio is an American privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization based in Washington, D.C. NPR differs from other non-profit membership media organizations, such as AP, in that it was established by an act of Congress and most of its member stations are owned by government entities. It serves as a national syndicator to a network of over 1,000 public radio stations in the United States.

Eastern Time Zone time zone observing UTC−05:00 during standard time and UTC−04:00 during daylight saving time

The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is a time zone encompassing part or all of 22 states in the eastern part of the contiguous United States, parts of eastern Canada, the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico, Panama in Central America, and certain Caribbean and Atlantic islands, along with certain countries and parts of countries in South America. Places that use Eastern Standard Time (EST) when observing standard time (autumn/winter) are five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−05:00).



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 and local stations also produce locally focused content under their Morning Edition banner.

News Communication of selected information on current events

News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through the testimony of observers and witnesses to events.

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] this was not due to Edwards retiring, but rather a highly controversial decision from NPR to reassign him as senior correspondent, which resulted in anger and harsh criticism from many listeners. [5] [6] [7] From May 3, 2004 through November 11, 2016 the show was co-hosted by Steve Inskeep and Renée Montagne, with David Greene joining as co-host in 2012. [8] Inskeep reports from NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Montagne reported from the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California, a municipality within Los Angeles County. Montagne announced in July, 2016 that she would step down as co-host to become a special correspondent for NPR. On December 5, 2016, after Renée Montagne's departure, David Greene began broadcasting from NPR West, and Rachel Martin, former host of Weekend Edition , joined Morning Edition, broadcasting alongside Inskeep from NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C. [9]

Bob Edwards American journalist

Robert Alan "Bob" Edwards is an American broadcast journalist, a Peabody Award-winning member of the National Radio Hall of Fame. He gained reputation as the first host of National Public Radio's flagship program, Morning Edition. Starting in 2004, Edwards then was the host of The Bob Edwards Show on Sirius XM Radio and Bob Edwards Weekend distributed by Public Radio International to more than 150 public radio stations. Those programs ended in September 2015. Edwards currently hosts a podcast for AARP.

<i>All Things Considered</i> News program on the American network National Public Radio (NPR)

All Things Considered (ATC) is the flagship news program on the American network National Public Radio (NPR). It was the first news program on NPR, premiering on May 3, 1971. It is broadcast live on NPR affiliated stations in the United States, and worldwide through several different outlets, formerly including the NPR Berlin station in Germany. All Things Considered and Morning Edition were the highest rated public radio programs in the United States in 2002 and 2005. The show combines news, analysis, commentary, interviews, and special features, and its segments vary in length and style. ATC airs weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (live) or Pacific Standard Time or from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. A weekend version of ATC, Weekend All Things Considered, airs on Saturdays and Sundays.

Steve Inskeep American Journalist, author and one of the current hosts of Morning Edition on National Public Radio

Steve Inskeep is an American journalist who is currently the host of Morning Edition and Up First on National Public Radio. Prior to being host of Morning Edition, Inskeep was NPR's transportation correspondent and the host of Weekend All Things Considered.

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 , [2] [10] 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). [11]

The Rush Limbaugh Show is a conservative American talk radio show hosted by Rush Limbaugh on Premiere Networks. Since its nationally syndicated premiere in 1988, The Rush Limbaugh Show has become the highest-rated talk radio show in the United States.

<i>Talkers Magazine</i>

Talkers Magazine is a trade-industry publication related to talk radio in the United States. Its slogan is "The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media". In addition to radio, it also covers talk shows on broadcast and cable television, as well as Internet-only shows and podcasting. The magazine advocates the advancement of conservative, progressive, and apolitical talk radio.

<i>The Sean Hannity Show</i>

The Sean Hannity Show is a talk radio show hosted by Sean Hannity on Premiere Networks. The program is broadcast live every weekday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET. The show is produced in the New York City studios of radio station WOR or sometimes transmitted via ISDN from Hannity's home in Centre Island, New York. The show is syndicated by Westwood One on terrestrial radio affiliates across the United States and the Sirius XM Patriot channel found on both XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m.. The primary focus of the program is the politics of the day, with interviews of liberal and conservatives commentators. The Sean Hannity Show is the second most-listened to commercial radio show with millions of listeners, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show.

In 1999, Morning Edition with Bob Edwards received the George Foster Peabody Award. [12]

Peabody Award International awards for excellence in radio and television

The George Foster Peabody Awards program, named for the American businessman and philanthropist George Peabody, honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media. Programs are recognized in seven categories: news, entertainment, documentaries, children's programming, education, interactive programming, and public service. Peabody Award winners include radio and television stations, networks, online media, producing organizations, and individuals from around the world.


The following describes the program format effective August 13, 2018. [13]

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 three minutes (4:00 past the hour) to deliver a local news brief. A twenty-second funding announcement is followed by a ninety-second music bed, allowing stations additional time to deliver news, weather, or funding credits.

The first segment, "A" (duration 11:29), 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 ninety-second break follows; a promotion for Fresh Air and a funding announcement lead into Segment "B".

Returning from the break at 21:50 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 29:00 past the hour, and a promotion for All Things Considered and a short music bed lead into a second full-length newscast at half past the hour. A one-minute music bed follows for a station break. The "C" segment follows at 34:35 and is sometimes covered by stations with local reports as well. This segment features news or cultural reports, generally running the segment length.

At 42:30 past the hour a two-minute music bed is played which most stations cover with news updates or "modules" from other independent radio producers.

At 44:30, a short humorous news item is introduced. These segments are called "returns", because many stations that air local news or announcements return to the national feed at this point. The return lasts thirty seconds, and ends with the tagline "It's Morning Edition, from NPR News," or some variation thereon. [14]

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). [15] 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.

NPR experimented with a modified clock from 2014 through 2018, which notably replaced the standard-length newscast at half past with two shorter newscasts at 19 and 42 past. [16] Member stations complained the clock was "choppy" and "disjointed", that it did not have as many opportunities to insert local content, and that the placement of the humorous return after the half-past local news break was awkward. [13]

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 four people capable of regularly anchoring the program, hosts can rotate out of on-air duties to report and produce feature reports that will air on later dates.

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.

KJZZ in Phoenix, Arizona carries Morning Edition from 03:00 to 09:00 local time, but uses local announcers, news updates/features and traffic/weather reports starting with the 05:00 hour.

Satellite radio

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. [17] 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 (retired in 2017, currently Todd Zwillich) produced by NPR member station WNYC New York and WGBH-FM Boston and distributed by Public Radio International, is featured on SiriusXM Public Radio, channel 205.




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