As we entered 2006, executive producer Mark Schramm had moved to another XM post, so Tish Valva moved up to replace him. Tish’s former job was filled by Jim Rosenberg. Heather Borthwick took another XM job, so I brought in Shelley Tillman, my former Morning Edition colleague. Producer Melissa Gray decided to return to NPR, and Steve Lickteig came over from NPR to replace her. Even with all these changes, I still had a staff who had worked for NPR or its member stations. That’s why we were all excited by the launch of Bob Edwards Weekend on Public Radio International (PRI) at the beginning of 2006. Bob Edwards Weekend consists of interviews that have run on The Bob Edwards Show—repackaged in a two-hour format for public radio stations.
We had all wanted to have a presence in terrestrial public radio. With the creation of the XMPR channel 133 back in 2004, XM was already a partner with PRI, American Public Media, and some of the major public radio stations—all the big public radio players except NPR, which had a relationship with our then-rival, Sirius Satellite Radio.
Most local public radio stations carry the national programs distributed by NPR, PRI, and the others. A great many listeners refer to all of public radio, local and national, as NPR. So when my voice was heard once again on local public radio stations carrying Bob Edwards Weekend, a PRI program, some listeners concluded that I was still at NPR and that NPR’s managers had put me back on the air. Oh, the irony!