AKA Robert Alan Edwards
Birthplace: Louisville, KY
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Journalist, Labor Leader
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: NPR's Morning Edition host, 1979-2004
Military service: US Army
For 24 years, Bob Edwards went to bed at sunset and got up at 1:00 AM. Edwards anchored National Public Radio's Morning Edition, conducting thoughtful interviews and introducing reports from journalists afield. During his long run, Edwards won two Gabriel Awards; an Edward R. Murrow Award for "outstanding contributions to public radio"; a Columbia University Award for excellence; and a Peabody Award, the most prestigious prize in broadcasting.
In spring of 2004, the network announced that Edwards was too old to appeal to younger listeners. They "promoted" him to a newly created but undefined position as "senior correspondent". But Edwards is still completely coherent and sharp-minded. He has not fallen behind in his knowledge of pop culture, his voice doesn't sound old, and on radio nobody could see any wrinkles anyway. In his last ten years as host of Morning Edition, the program's audience doubled, and it became the most listened-to morning show in American radio. And when NPR announced that Edwards was being transferred out, the network acknowledged receiving more than 30,000 complaints -- more complaints than they had ever received about any issue.
So, what could it be, that suddenly necessitated a new morning anchor at NPR? The answer, most observers and insiders agree, is that he had given a speech at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, a few months before. It was replete with jawdroppingly blunt but completely accurate assessments of then-FCC Chairman Michael Powell, the Bush administration's pre-scripted press conferences, the sorry state of broadcast journalism in general, and the consequences of having very few corporations own virtually all American media. The speech had been widely circulated across conservative websites as proof of Edwards' "left-wing bias."
Edwards, to his credit, did not accept the "promotion" NPR offered. Instead he jumped to XM Satellite Radio, where he now hosts The Bob Edwards Show weekdays at 8:00 AM Eastern Time. In 2007, he took over as President of the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists, or AFTRA, the national union of broadcasting workers.
Wife: Sharon (three children)
High School: St. Xavier High School, Louisville, KY (1965)
University: University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
National Public Radio Morning Edition 1979-2004
Risk Factors: Smoking
Author of books:
Fridays with Red (1993)
Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism (2004, nonfiction, on Edward R. Murrow)
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