Audie Cornish to exit NPR, ‘All Things Considered’

"It's time for me to try my hand at new journalism projects and embark on new adventures," she said in a memo to staffers.

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Audie Cornish is leaving NPR after more than a decade, announcing Tuesday that she will no longer host Weekend Edition and All Things Considered.

“Hosting All Things Considered helped me find my voice, but I have never considered the host chair a tenured position and there is still much to learn,” Cornish wrote in a memo to staffers, as reported by NPR.

“It’s time for me to try my hand at new journalism projects and embark on new adventures. It’s been an honor to serve our listeners and a pleasure to work alongside all of you — reporters, producers, engineers, staff, member stations and friends.” 

Audie Cornish to exit NPR, 'All Things Considered'
Audie Cornish / Getty

Cornish joined NPR’s National Desk in 2005, and has since interviewed everyone from politicians to celebrities to authors and influencers, newsmakers, and rock stars. She hosted Weekend Edition beginning in 2011 and All Things Considered since 2012. 

Cornish earned the Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2016 for her coverage of the opioid crisis in Baltimore, per the report. In 2020, the National Press Foundation acknowledged her with the Sol Taishaff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. 

Cornish did not give a specific reason for her NPR departure.

In her note to NPR staff, she wrote: “The teams at NPR and Member stations have always punched above their weight in a very crowded media landscape. I have no doubt that you will continue to do so. I believe deeply in the mission of public radio and its people. As our union so aptly underscores, ‘We Make NPR.’”

Sarah Gilbert, NPR’s vice president for news programming and Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president for news and editorial director, said in a joint statement:

Audie’s keen journalistic instincts and comfort in the host chair have brought NPR to listeners across platforms – from her time as a reporter at NPR Member station WBUR in Boston, to her reporting on NPR’s National and Washington desks, to hosting Weekend Edition, starring in live events across the country, hosting All Things Considered, and working with the team on Consider This. From podcasts to politics, Audie’s skills and presence are distinctive. Her reporting is incisive and human. Whether in the field reporting on natural disasters, following presidential candidates and historic moments in our democracy, or landing illuminating high-profile interviews, Audie has brought listeners a rich array of topics, voices, and perspectives from across the spectrum of American life.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Ari Shapiro, Cornish’s co-host on All Things Considered, said Cornish “opened doors for me in so many ways and taught me so many things – not least how to be a host.” 

“If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take,” Shapiro added.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Cornish said, “No doubt leaving @npratc is a risk. It’s in the Library of Congress! It has been an honor to be part of this legacy of service and to work with the incredible hosts, producers and editors who make it. Thanks for letting me be part of its story.”

She added in a follow-up tweet, “I started working at @NPR when I was barely old enough to drive a car. It’s time. And it feels good to leave this particular stage on my own terms. In fact this is my last week.”

Her last day on the air is Jan. 7.

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