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NPR Sets Launch of ‘Up First’ Morning Podcast

NPR has a new “Morning Edition” at the ready.

Starting Wednesday, April 5th, the public broadcaster will release “Up First,” a ten-minute daily news podcast culled from the opening moments of its popular terrestrial A.M. counterpart. Hosts David Greene, Rachel Martin and Steve Inskeep will talk with NPR journalists and correspondents to preview the stories they believe will figure most prominently in the news cycle. “Up First” will be available via any method of podcast distribution, including NPR’s own NPR One app, Apple’s iTunes and Amazon’s Alexa.

“We will have been up all night sifting through all this myriad of news to find the smartest takes and the most important stories,” explained Sarah Gilbert, executive producer of “Morning Edition,” in an interview. “We will put it out to the world in an on-demand format.”

NPR is eager to cultivate a younger audience, but realizes a rising generation of news aficionados doesn’t necessarily get its information from traditional outlets. “We know from surveys we’ve done and some other data that the on-demand audience is younger than the core terrestrial radio audience,” said Neil Carruth, NPR’s general manager for podcasting. “We are hoping to reach people who are younger, people in their 20s and 30s. These are people who are interested in high-quality, trustworthy information about their world. They want to stay informed.”

NPR already offers podcasts such as “Code Switch,” a conversation about race and identity, and “How I Built This,” a show that focuses on business innovation, but building an extension into the format using its flagship morning broadcast suggests the broadcaster is ready to use its best-known programs to win new attention. Like its other podcasts, “Up First” will have some form of sponsorship, said Carruth, though he declined to offer specific details.

“Up First” will essentially present the first minutes of “Morning Edition,” said Gilbert.  “We are very keen to pick up the next generation of news junkies,” she said.





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