A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio

By Bob Edwards | Go to book overview

MAVERICK

Should I have seen it coming—that truck that hit me on March 9, 2004?

I was a company man who loved NPR, but I was never a contender for employee of the month (not that NPR has such a thing). People in the news business disagree about the value of stories and how they should be covered—and these disagreements can sometimes be spirited, even passionate. I think it’s a healthy thing that makes a news organization stronger. Maybe over the course of thirty years, a company gets tired of hearing it and fires the guy who won’t immediately salute.

The time I thought I might get the axe was back in 1996 when Bill Buzenberg was the vice president for news. Bill had ambitious plans for expanding NPR’s news coverage but lacked the reporting staff to do the job. Management wouldn’t authorize the hiring of more staff reporters, so Bill developed a nationwide team of twenty stringers under contract and on retainer to report for NPR. This was all very good for our network but not from my union perspective. Bill had established a shadow team of nonunion freelancers whose first reporting responsibilities were to NPR, but they were not getting NPR pay and benefits. Some were being compensated at about a third of what staff reporters were making. In the event of a strike, workers belonging to AFTRA would be out on the street while these twenty stringers would be turning out Morning Edition and All Things Considered. AFTRA was fighting to get these reporters covered by the union contract, so it threatened to take

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A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Redemption 1
  • Launch 3
  • Home 6
  • Voice 12
  • Whel 16
  • Army 22
  • Ed Bliss 30
  • Network 36
  • NPR 43
  • Susan 50
  • All Things Considered 55
  • Sharon 61
  • Pilot Error 67
  • Disaster 73
  • Morning Edition 80
  • Reconsidering All Things 87
  • News Leader 89
  • Overnight 95
  • Fridays 99
  • Style 101
  • Politicians 105
  • Favorites 109
  • Memories 115
  • War 118
  • Two Babes in Baghdad 126
  • Turning Point 128
  • Maverick 137
  • Bobapalooza 142
  • Dennis 153
  • Texas Showdown 155
  • Aftra 161
  • Xm 164
  • Satelute Radio 168
  • The Bob Edwards Show 171
  • Father Greg Boyle 175
  • Bob Edwards Weekend 178
  • Western Swíng 179
  • Hillbullies 183
  • The Invisible 186
  • 3rd Med 191
  • Nola 195
  • Epilogue 199
  • Index 203
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