Madeleine Brand Joins Alex Chadwick as Host of "Day to Day," NPR Midday Newsmagazine
Two-Year-Old Program, NPR’s First New Daily Newsmagazine in 18 Years, Defines Listeners’ Daily Interests between “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”
February 1, 2006, Washington, D.C. -– In July 2003, NPR set out to build on its success with its signature newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered with the launch of Day to Day, a newsmagazine to serve midday listeners.
Two years later, Day to Day has become NPR’s fastest-growing new program, redefined the newsmagazine concept for this previously underserved audience and, this month, adds Madeleine Brand as host with original host Alex Chadwick.
While Brand is new to the host role, she is a familiar voice to NPR listeners as longtime correspondent and substitute host on Morning Edition and Day to Day, and NPR News reporter.
“Besides her years of reporting and hosting experience, Madeleine brings curiosity and a talent for compelling storytelling and incisive interviewing to her new role,” said Jeff Rogers, Executive Producer, Day to Day. “As a member of the Day to Day family virtually since its premiere, Madeleine’s transition to host with Alex also means listeners will now hear two formidable radio talents, together at the helm, expanding the qualities that give Day to Day its distinct voice.”
“Madeleine and I know that being the host of an NPR newsmagazine is one of the great jobs in journalism – and also one of the most demanding,” said Chadwick. “On Day to Day, we’re often doing five or six interviews in the two hours or so we have to prepare for going on the air. I’ve hosted every show NPR has on the air – this one can be the wildest. It is great to have Madeleine as my partner.”
As a journalist, Brand has investigated abuses in the Washington, D.C. foster-care system and in South Dakota juvenile boot camps, as well as the reasons why young women commit infanticide. As a political reporter, she has covered Congress and the Pentagon and, in 2000, was one of two full-time correspondents covering Al Gore’s presidential campaign. Brand has also reported on the Hollywood paparazzi, the British television show Extras, the dispute between Kazakhstan and comedian Sasha Baron Cohen and has interviewed such newsmakers as Bernardo Bertolucci, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ricky Gervais. Brand previously was a reporter and anchor at KQED, San Francisco; WBUR, Boston; WBGO, Newark, and WBFO, Buffalo.
Day to Day, produced at NPR West studios in Los Angeles, currently has more than 1.5 million listeners on 165 stations around the country, including in New York; San Diego; Philadelphia; Seattle; Portland, OR; Boston; and Washington, D.C. (For complete market, station and broadcast time listings, visit www.NPR.org)
While Day to Day has proven to be a success story two years after its debut, its creation was a challenge. With Morning Edition and All Things Considered serving as tentpoles for a news-and information-hungry audience, NPR wondered: what could be offered to these listeners that served their midday priorities? According to Jay Kernis, Senior Vice President for Programming, NPR, there was longstanding interest by stations and listeners to serve this daytime slot, but also a need to redefine the program concept for the new setting. “Day to Day had to both match Morning Edition and All Things Considered, while also being unique and distinct,” Kernis explained. “We wanted to maintain the high quality for which NPR News is known. Yet we also were striving for a pace and a midday informality different from the morning and afternoon counterparts, with fresh voices and stories, driving our listeners to ’Come explore with us.’ As listeners have shown us, Day to Day has found that special voice.”
In addition to hosts Chadwick and Brand, Day to Day features NPR News reporters Mike Pesca, Eric Weiner and Karen Grigsby Bates, along with other familiar NPR journalists on breaking national and international news. The program’s regular contributors include Michelle Singletary on personal finance; Brian Unger, culture and politics, and Xeni Jardin, technology, as well as contributors from Slate, the online magazine of opinion and analysis.
Among the segments scheduled to air this week on Day to Day are a report on a new bus tour in New Orleans called “Hurricane Katrina Tour - America’s Worst Catastrophe;” Day to Day technology contributor Xeni Jardin reports on a new type of audio book recorded by amateurs and available via free podcast -- Jardin finds you get what you pay for. Eric Weiner finds that some American public schools are now offering classes in Mandarin, but critics say the money could better be spent on basic skills, such as math.
Day to Day also has a strong presence on NPR.org, and listeners can access audio of each day’s show after 3:00 pm ET, audio of past shows, a selection of reports from Day to Day regular contributors, a list of the music from recent shows and 20 podcasts of selected Day to Day stories.
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