Neal Conan: Decision to end Talk of the Nation ‘was not mine’

April 1, 2013
Category: Uncategorized

Neal Conan, the host of “Talk of the Nation,” didn’t use the “R word” when talking about the end of his 11-year stint on the call-in radio show.

“While I will definitely be changing my life after I leave NPR, I would not describe the next phase as ‘retirement,'” he wrote in an email to Poynter. “I will want to catch up on eleven years’ sleep, but expect to remain engaged in public life as a writer, speaker and, who knows, maybe on the radio.”

Conan did not go into detail about NPR’s decision to end production of “Talk of the Nation” and encourage member stations to pick up WBUR’s “Here & Now” instead. He did note, however, “the decision to cease production on TOTN was not mine.”

Kinsey Wilson, executive vice president and chief content officer for NPR (and Poynter trustee) said Friday the change was the result of a desire for more shows with the news magazine format and fewer call-in shows. “There’s a real appetite on the part of listeners, program managers and member stations to bridge the gap in our programming,” he said over the phone.

NPR will begin to co-produce “Here and Now” with WBUR, which is expanding the show from one hour to two, and adding co-host Jeremy Hobson to work with Robin Young.

The show will take over for the 21-year-old “Talk of the Nation” on July 1.


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