Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, announced Saturday that he is taking a six-week leave of absence to write a book with Tony Bennett.
“I’ll have fun, but I miss our weekly get-togethers when I’m away,” Simon said during Weekend Edition. “I hope to do some good work and learn some things about art and life that I’ll bring back here. I look forward to being back with you in late March.”
Simon said that Senior National Correspondent Linda Wertheimer, South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro and Special Correspondent and former All Things Considered host Melissa Block will host the show in his absence.
Bennett reached out to Scott about writing the book, according to NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara.
“Scott had interviewed Tony Bennett a couple of times before,” Lara wrote in an email. “Mr. Bennett felt there was a good rapport (as did Scott) and he was familiar with Scott’s book about his mother’s life.”
Simon said in a 2015 interview with WNYC that he’s “always” listening to Bennett. And in his book about his mother, Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime, Simon remembered “Tony Bennett on the turntable” in his youth when his mother would hold impromptu parties.