Margaret Low Smith, NPR’s senior news veep, will depart for The Atlantic

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Margaret Low Smith, NPR’s senior vice president for news, is leaving the network to take a position with The Atlantic as president of its live-event division, AtlanticLIVE.

Smith has worked for NPR for 32 years, heading the news division since 2011. Before holding that job, she worked as v.p. of programming. She started at NPR in 1982 as an overnight production assistant for Morning Edition.

“Her departure will be felt as profoundly as any in recent memory,” NPR Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson wrote in an email to station executives. “Margaret has devoted nearly her entire professional career to NPR and in that time has become its most determined and eloquent champion. She is the best partner I’ve had in nearly 20 years of news leadership.”

Wilson said All Things Considered Executive Producer Chris Turpin will step in as interim v.p. for news.

Smith will leave NPR on Aug. 1 and join The Atlantic in September, replacing founding AtlanticLIVE president Elizabeth Baker Keffer. AtlanticLIVE produces events across the country, including forums, interviews and tie-ins with Atlantic cover stories.