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Bob Boilen Leaves NPR

The legendary music critic, radio host and author Bob Boilen announced his retirement from NPR, on his Facebook account, on September 14, 2023. Here's how he presented it.

I’m retiring from NPR after 35 incredible years. It’s time to find new challenges in life, and I’m excited about some of the possibilities.

I lived the dream when I came to NPR’s All Things Considered without a day of journalism or radio in my background. I was a musician and a video producer in 1988, but the folks at NPR saw something in me and gave me opportunities to take chances and grow. Within a year, I was directing All Things Considered. I did that for 18 years. I produced hundreds of music stories, brought in music writers, and edited and produced their reviews.

In 1999, I imagined a music show for the internet, and in 2000, All Songs Considered was born. In the summer of 2005, All Songs Considered became what I believe was the first original content podcast for NPR.

In 2007, I had an idea called Project Song to spark and document the creative process of songwriting and performance. Project Song has the honor of earning NPR its first Emmy in 2012.

With the launch of NPR music in 2007, NPR covered music festivals, including Newport Folk and, of course, SXSW, where Stephen Thompson’s comment to Laura Gibson became the spark that started Tiny Desk concerts.

All the while, I got to be in an office with some truly unique, talented, and fun people. Most of all, I want to thank all the musicians who have brought me joy, a place of comfort, a place of thought, and a chance to see the world in different ways. And to my colleagues at NPR, wow, what a dream for so many years.

- Bob Boilen


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