NPR Announces Obama Coverage

FishbowlDC has obtained an internal NPR memo, detailing its plans for covering the new president.

Join us after the jump…

    All NPR Staff —
    Now that President-elect Obama has had his first sit-down in the Oval Office, it is time to reveal a few changes in the works for our White House coverage.

    Scott Horsley will come off the campaign trail and break the spell of San Diego to join us in DC as White House correspondent. Many of you know Scott has done double duty as a presidential political reporter and a business reporter for NPR over the past two years. This particular combination of specialties, as well as his uncommon acumen and unflappable calm, make Scott ideal for the White House in these parlous times.

    Scott will join veteran White House correspondent Don Gonyea in covering the transition and early going for the Obama team. Don has put in eight years covering the chief executive, nine if you count the 2000 campaign (which should maybe count for two years on its own). We have asked Don to carry on in his present assignment a while longer so as to ease both Scott’s transition and President-elect Obama’s. We expect this to be a front-burner story well into the new president’s first year or so in office.

    In the same spirit, we are also assigning Mara Liasson to help with coverage of the White House in the months to come. Mara will remain the national political correspondent and focus on the biggest story in national politics: the rise of a new regime in Washington. Mara will also take the story out into the country and bring back the reaction of the governed.

    David Greene, who has made his own transition from print to broadcast so successfully these past four years, will be reporting on some of the final moves of the Bush administration before taking on a new assignment to be announced soon.

    And now that the Senate is returning next week for a swipe at a lame duck session, it is also time to reveal a few changes in our Capitol Hill coverage.

    Andrea Seabrook is back by popular demand (and mine) and will return to her scenes of triumph in the House of Representatives, rejoining the Washington team as of December 29. She will succeed Debbie Elliott, who will be returning to the National Desk as a Southern correspondent and returning to her home in Orange Beach.

    Coming the other way to join us in Washington will be Audie Cornish, who from Nashville has been part of our six-person coverage team throughout the presidential campaign and played a featured role in the coverage of the Democratic nominating convention in Denver. Audie will be the swing reporter covering issues and power in both House and Senate.

    Brian Naylor, who has been back on the Hill for the 109th and 110th Congress, will return to 635 to inaugurate a new Washington Desk beat examining the Executive Agencies and the Obama administration’s efforts to achieve their agenda. The new president has raised hopes and expectations to a degree unglimpsed in generations of American politics. What can he do to fulfill all that? What barriers does he face from inside the government, as well as resistance from outside?

    Reprising his role as Master of the Senate will be David Welna, as soon as he determines how many votes the Democrats will actually have for cloture and which party Joe Lieberman is in. David has made his journalistic home on the Hill for us since 2001. We expect the drama of a Senate where one party really has the majority will be a pivotal part of the new Washington report.

    Please join me in congratulating all these extraordinary journalists on their new assignments, as well as on their achievements in campaign coverage these past two years.

    Ron Elving
    Senior Washington Editor