"Weekend All Things Considered" newsroom at NPR West in Culver City. LA Observed file photo.
Less than two years ago, NPR made a big thing about moving "Weekend All Things Considered" (and the show's staff) from Washington to Culver City and giving the show, and the entire network, more of a West Coast sensibility. They made such a big deal about it that I went over to NPR West and hung out a little bit with new host Arun Rath for the first weekend. The first show included stories on the remake of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the rock music history of the Sunset Strip and readings from "Moby Dick" by Patton Oswalt at LA-area libraries. “Geographic diversity was very important to us,” Ellen McDonnell, then NPR’s executive editor of news programming, said in a New York Times story on the big move to LA.
Never mind. Rath is already headed back to Boston and the WATC staff is returning east. New host Michel Martin will be in Washington when she starts next month. The Jefferson Boulevard offices of NPR West will once again have, let's say nicely, plenty of room for future growth. There will be no NPR programs originating in LA. Before WATC was here, the network had killed off "Day to Day" and "News and Notes."
One new pro-West Coast addition is that the upcoming new lineup of weekday "All Things Considered" hosts includes for the first time a co-host based in Culver City: Kelly McEvers, formerly a reporter here and in the NPR Beirut bureau. There's at least one producer here with her, and some national reporters and coverage desks, including I believe the first West Coast arts desk for NPR. "Morning Edition" co-host Renee Montagne continues to sit in Culver City too.
In addition to McEvers, weekday ATC's new lineup of co-hosts is adding Ari Shapiro to the existing team of Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish. The new lineup debuts Monday. Martin officially takes over as weekend host on October 3.