NPR Plans Morning Addition

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Billing it as a launchpad for a cross-platform content initiative that will include video, NPR is developing a new morning news and information service targeted to 25-44-year-olds.

Morning Edition isn't going anywhere, says spokeswoman Andi Sporkin, but the noncom service will look to target a more specific demo with a two-hour morning news block that could appear on digital radio, Web sites, podcasts, and wireless. "Morning Edition is a tremendous success," said CEO Ken Stern, "but one size doesn't fit all when it comes to news and information."

Starting in March, listeners--and potential viewers--will get to try some of the proposed new programing on for size via an "open piloting" process, tabbed "NPR Rough Cuts," that will combine podcasts, a blog and online streaming to let viewers sample and weigh in on the possible elements of the new programming offerings.

The video could be in the form of online streaming, podcasts or cellphone content, said Sporkin.

While it will initially be user comment, rather than content, that is solicited in the open piloting process, the latter is likely down the road. Sporkin says she gets hundreds of e-mails from viewers commenting on NPR programming and points to that level of involvement in programming as something NPR wants to tap into.

The roll-out of the core two-hour block is targeted for a September roll-out on a limited number of stations at first, says Sporkin, and could be streamed online, on digital channels or elsewhere.

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