Sunday, May 08, 2011

Thankful for Liane Hansen


That's Liane Hansen, a journalist who will be missed. Liane currently hosts NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. having taken over as primary host from Susan Stamberg in 1989. Stamberg first hosted All Things Considered and left for personal, health and professional reasons. NPR lured her back to the airwaves with Weekend Edition Sunday which was originally supposed to be a pre-recorded, audio version of The New York Times' Sunday Arts page. What changed that was world events and breaking news.

Liane took over from Stamberg in 1989 and will be departing at the end of the month. Her final broadcast as host will by May 29th and NPR has created a page where listeners can share their memories of her time on the program.

Weekend Edition Sunday is an important program. If there is breaking news Saturday night or Sunday morning, you're going to hear it on Weekend Edition Sunday. You may not hear it anywhere else. There are no news programs Sunday mornings on Pacifica Radio -- none of the stations has a new program. If you can wait until the evening, you can catch KPFA's evening news. Maybe WBAI is doing a Sunday evening news broadcast. Maybe not.

But you can count on Weekend Edition Sunday. All Things Considered also airs on Sunday -- in non-repeats, live programming -- but, if we're lucky, we're honestly asleep during that.

That's because we start the writing session around 11:00 p.m. Saturday night and go all the way through for as long as possible. (With Dona's pregnancy, we now take breaks during the writing edition -- for naps.) So when we're done, or nearly done, and decide to call it a "night" it's usually close to ten or so in the morning.

It's hard to think of a writing edition when we don't have Weekend Edition Sunday on in the background. Listening to an interview or a report will often make us think of something we've set aside in the scrap pile that needs to be worked on and not forgotten. Or, if we've got a story that we just can't seem to work and Liane and company are covering it, we'll ditch it because we'll know (a) they were already on it and (b) if they're covering it, everyone will be come Monday.

Liane's been an important voice and we will miss her. Some at NPR tell Ava and C.I. that "all you do is pick on NPR." We disagree with that conclusion; however, if all we ever do is pick on NPR, maybe that just makes our praise here for Liane even greater. Best of luck to her and we will miss the voice we've come to count on each Sunday.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }