Robert Conley, first host of All Things Considered, dies at 85

Robert Conley, the first host of NPR’s All Things Considered, died of parotid cancer Nov. 16 at his home in Virginia. He was 85. As the host who inaugurated broadcast of NPR’s afternoon newsmagazine on May 3, 1971, Conley eschewed written scripts and delivered off-the-cuff intros to stories, while maintaining an air of professionalism. During ATC’s debut, Conley filled around six minutes of airtime while producers scrambled to bring a story on Vietnam War protests to the control room.

NPR makes ATC hosting changes

NPR today announced changes to its roster of co-hosts for All Things Considered. Audie Cornish, who had been guest-hosting during Michele Norris’s leave of absence, becomes permanent co-host of the NPR newsmag. Norris will return to work next month in what NPR describes as an “expanded role” — host and special correspondent. She will produce in-depth profiles, interviews and series as well as guest-host on NPR News programs. Norris stepped out of her prominent on-air role in  October 2011 to avoid any potential ethical conflict in covering the presidential race; her husband Broderick Johnson had taken a job as a senior adviser to President Obama’s re-election campaign. Cornish has been a host and reporter for NPR since 2006.

Dave Creagh, 60, producer and station exec ‘in vanguard of public radio pioneers’

Dave Creagh, an early All Things Considered executive producer who went on to lead other programs and major-market stations throughout his influential 22-year pubradio career, died Dec. 16 at his home in Blowing Rock, N.C., following a short illness associated with treatment of a cancer diagnosed in November. He was 60. “Dave was in the vanguard of public radio pioneers who laid the foundations for a vital communications network,” said John Dimsdale, Washington bureau chief for American Public Media’s Marketplace and a former colleague at NPR. “Over his career, he established high standards for engineering, journalism, production and station management.