NPR cuts Krulwich blog from website

After a four-year run, science correspondent Robert Krulwich's blog on NPR.org, Krulwich Wonders, will end Sept. 30 as the network seeks to cut costs. "NPR (in the form of a super-top executive) sat me down and, after four years of generously supporting this blog, told me it can't anymore," Krulwich wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "It needs to cut costs and — you know the phrase — it has chosen to go 'in new directions.' So at the end of this month, Krulwich Wonders will no longer appear on NPR's website."

David Candow, ‘host whisperer’ and public radio trainer, dies at 74

David Candow, who was nicknamed “The Host Whisperer” for his work training hundreds of public radio hosts and journalists, died Thursday at his home in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He was 74. After a long career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Candow started a consulting business in 1995 and became known throughout U.S. public radio for his extensive work training journalists in writing, editing, interviewing and delivery. In 2008, the Washington Post described him as “a kind of Henry Higgins to broadcasting's Eliza Doolittles.”
His death prompted an outpouring of remembrances throughout public radio from the hosts and reporters he helped over the years.

PRPD, Day Two: NPR, stations prepare for debut of revised newsmag clocks

PORTLAND, Ore. — This week’s Public Radio Programming Conference is giving attendees a chance to prepare for Nov. 17, the day when new clocks for NPR’s newsmagazines take effect and both stations and the network’s news staffers will need to adjust to the revised formatting. Wednesday’s proceedings featured two opportunities for discussion. At the first, NPR representatives fielded questions from station programmers, with Chris Turpin, acting senior v.p. of news, laying out changes in store.

PRPD, Day One: In keynote, Mohn issues promotion challenge

PORTLAND, Ore. — Addressing the nearly 500 attendees of the Public Radio Program Directors conference, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn reassured attendees Tuesday that he would renew the network's focus on radio programming and challenged them to take part in a systemwide experiment to boost listening to NPR's newsmagazines. "If we don't get the radio part right, if we don't get the terrestrial part right, if we don't get broadcasting right, the rest of it isn't going to make a difference," Mohn told the crowd. "So you're going to see from us, and from me, a renewed focus on the broadcasting side of the business." Closing the conference's first day, Mohn used his keynote speech to give thumbnail grades of public radio's performance in areas including news, promotion, programming and positioning.

The time Joan Rivers didn’t become an NPR host

With the death of Joan Rivers, Jay Kernis, former senior v.p. for programming at NPR, shared this remembrance of Rivers on his Facebook page yesterday. It's reproduced here with his permission. Between 2001-08, I was SVP for Programming at NPR and someone told Joan that she would be perfect to host a public radio show. I had interviewed her many years ago for NPR and I knew from producers like Amy Rosenblum just how smart Joan was. I was thrilled to be invited for lunch at her remarkable home on the East Side of NYC.

NPR’s Ellen McDonnell, executive editor for news programming, will retire after almost 35 years

NPR's news division is seeing the exit of another longtime executive with today's announcement that Executive Editor for News Programming Ellen McDonnell will retire. McDonnell oversees NPR news programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She started at NPR in 1979 and worked for nine years as executive producer of Morning Edition. "Ellen is as much a part of NPR's DNA as she is a presence in our daily lives," NPR's Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson wrote in a memo quoted on the network's breaking news blog. "She has touched and transformed nearly every aspect of NPR News, her creativity and zeal surpassed only by her generosity of spirit.