Carolyn Jensen Chadwick, who died here yesterday, "created sound-rich, evocative stories that once defined the NPR listening experience," writes Current.org. Before she became a highly respected producer, she was the first staff employee of National Public Radio back in the day, according to her husband Alex Chadwick, the former "All Things Considered" and "Day to Day" host. Together they created NPR’s "Radio Expedition" series, which one former NPR producer who emailed me today calls simply "the highest production-value radio series ever." From Alex Chadwick:
She came from — and helped establish — NPR's heritage. She favored feature stories and rich sound production, and became expert at both.
She loved writers and photographers, and liked journalists — or some of them.
She thought up the partnership between NPR and The National Geographic Society, and worked to persuade initially reluctant executives in both institutions to give it a try — Geographic stories that would sound as good as the pictures.
She was unfailingly patient and cordial. She never fought publicly, but she almost always got her way. For at least a dozen years she routinely violated numerous company practices about how to produce stories. She was often a headache for managers, but they endured because her ways produced her work, and her work was outstanding.
She was old line New England elegant, and a short skirt sensation. She once crossed the Sahara Desert in a truck convoy with 19 men who stopped every few hours to get out and pee. It's a big desert, and there are no shrubs, but she managed even this with poise.
Carolyn Jensen Chadwick, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma ten years ago, had moved to NPR West in Culver City in 2003. Most recently she and Alex had a company, Conservation Sound.