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'Morning Edition' welcomes Michel Martin to the host team

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Starting Monday, this program has a new co-host. Rachel Martin has stepped into a new role here, and Michel Martin comes here to MORNING EDITION.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Longtime NPR listeners know Michel's voice. She's been with this network since 2006. She launched the program Tell Me More and then, for the past eight years, hosted All Things Considered on the weekends, meaning she's been my companion in the car as I drive my kids around.

FADEL: Michel started her career at The Washington Post, also reported for The Wall Street Journal and ABC News before coming to NPR. But the bullet points on our colleague's resume, they really don't measure her impact here. She mentors younger staff. She presses to find new stories. She speaks to and reflects new audiences. And finally, her career has advanced to the point where she gets to work the worst hours in journalism.

INSKEEP: Way to go. At a staff meeting the other day, Michel told us she wanted to shake herself up.

MICHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: Look; it's time for a new adventure. I think it's - I think our work, fundamentally, is about what is happening in the world. And I think that if we kind of fall into patterns, then how are we really open to what is really happening in the world? So I just think that, you know, when you have the opportunity to do something new, you should do it. And I also feel, frankly, to set an example. I mean, how am I going to tell our younger, less experienced colleagues to be brave and do something hard if we're not willing to do something hard and be brave?

FADEL: Looking at all that you've done, what is it about public radio that keeps you a part of it for all these years?

MARTIN: Well, first of all, I think it's the intimacy, and it's the reach.

FADEL: Yeah.

MARTIN: I mean, our colleagues are all over the world. We're all over the world. But it's very intimate, you know? We're literally in your ear. One of my - a really distinguished radio host deejay in the Washington, D.C., area gave me some really good advice when I came into radio. He said - you know, he'd also worked in television. He said, you know what? Television is to the room; radio is to one person.

INSKEEP: Yeah.

MARTIN: That's why you'll never hear me say, you guys, you all, everybody out there. He's - no, I'm talking to one person. And really, at the end of it, that's what this is. No matter how many people are actually out there, we're really talking to one person. And there's just something about that - the intimacy of the relationship that feels really powerful. So one of the things that I really appreciate about public media, public radio in particular, is that we are everywhere. But we're also with you. And we are with you in the times when you really need us to be with you. I mean, there are times of great sorrow. We are with you. In times of great joy, you know, we are with you. And there's just something really profound about that.

FADEL: Speaking of being a crier, that got me a little emotional.

INSKEEP: Yeah.

FADEL: In times of great sorrow and in times of great joy. The GOAT, the legend, joins us Monday on MORNING EDITION as our co-host.

MARTIN: No pressure at all, Leila.

FADEL: Just a little bit.

INSKEEP: Get some rest this weekend.

MARTIN: (Laughter) Thank you both.

(SOUNDBITE OF FATB AND S N U G AND NUVER'S "DEW DROPS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.