After two decades as a weekly NPR program, the 22-year-old Science Friday is preparing to shake things up. With its move to Public Radio International distribution on Jan. 1, the talk show has ambitious plans to put its content into wider distribution through collaborations with PRI series such as The World and The Takeaway as well as with the PBS science program Nova. WGBH in Boston, which acquired PRI in 2012, is involved in production of all three major series, opening new cross-platform distribution and branding opportunities. A new educational specialist is working to turn more of Science Friday’s content into curricular materials, and PRI is exploring ways to offer its programming through PBS Learning Media, the online resource providing free media and lesson plans to K–12 educators.
Neal Conan’s first foray out of the studio in 11 years took him very far from the studio indeed — all the way to Greenland, where he documented climate change for public radio’s Burn: An Energy Journal. The former Talk of the Nation host contributed to “Rising Seas,” the sixth installment of the ongoing series reporting on energy issues. Conan hadn’t reported from the field since 2002, when he took the TOTN hosting job. He left NPR in June, when TOTN was canceled. Burn host Alex Chadwick, who previously anchored NPR’s Day to Day, enlisted Conan after TOTN ended.
More than 100 public radio stations have picked up the midday NPR news show Here & Now with its expansion to two hours July 1, many of them to fill the void left by the cancellation of NPR’s long-running call-in show Talk of the Nation.
This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. After more than two decades on the air, NPR’s Talk of the Nation will come to an end in June to make way for the newsmag Here & Now, which will be revamped under a new partnership between NPR and Boston’s WBUR-FM. Talk of the Nation will air its last episode June 28, ending a 21-year-long run. The call-in talk show has helped launch big names in public media, including original host John Hockenberry, This American Life’s Ira Glass and PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez. NPR Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson said the network decided to end Talk of the Nation because a newsmagazine might pull a bigger audience in midday.