Elizabeth Blair

Elizabeth Blair is a Senior Producer in the Arts Information Unit of NPR News.

On a daily basis, she produces, edits and reports arts and cultural segments that air on NPR News magazines including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her recent stories explored the rise of public humiliation in popular culture, consumers' changing media habits and the late night TV wars.

In this position that she has held since 2003, Blair's varied work has included profiles of actor Neil Patrick Harris, rapper K'Naan, and the band Pearl Jam. She has written and produced long-form documentaries on such cultural icons as Paul Robeson and Billie Holiday. Blair oversaw the production of some of NPR's most popular special projects including "50 Great Voices," the NPR series on awe-inspiring voices from around the world and across time in, and the "In Character" series which explored famous American fictional characters. Blair is especially proud of her interview with Cookie Monster and her reporting on the 10th anniversary of SpongeBob.

Over the years, Blair has received several honors for her work including two Peabody Awards and a Gracie.

For three and a half years, Blair lived in Paris, France, where she co-produced Le Jazz Club From Paris with Dee Dee Bridgewater, and the monthly magazine Postcard From Paris.

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4:00am

Mon June 13, 2011
Economy

Kansas Gov. Brownback Defunds State Arts Agency

The state of Kansas just did away with its arts agency, the first state in the country to do so. The arts community is up in arms about this, but there are some good arguments for government getting out of arts funding. Other states are heading in the same direction as Kansas.

12:01am

Tue May 24, 2011
Television

Oh, The Void Oprah Leaves Behind

Oprah Winfrey's departure this week from her long-running TV show leaves a gaping hole in daytime television.
Peter Wynn Thompson AFP/Getty Images

Radical changes are taking place on television — specifically, daytime broadcast TV. Soap operas are disappearing. And this week, Oprah Winfrey ends her tremendously successful run in syndication. According to the Nielsen rating service, over 7 million people tuned in to The Oprah Winfrey Show each week.

Nobody really knows what's going to happen to the huge hole Oprah leaves in daytime: Not TV stations, not advertisers, and not her fans.

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4:08pm

Mon May 23, 2011
Music News

Oprah And 'Glee' Say Goodbye With Something 'Wicked'

Idina Menzel (left) and Kristin Chenoweth of Wicked perform during the 58th Annual Tony Awards.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

This is a big week for goodbyes on TV. And to mark the occasion, two major broadcast events will be using the same song. Tomorrow both Oprah and the season finale of Glee will feature the song "For Good" from the Broadway show Wicked.

"For Good" is a song about what we might say to a friend we might never see again.

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12:01am

Thu May 19, 2011
The Message Makers: Inside PR And Advertising

Under The Radar, PR's Political Savvy

Though lobbyists target Capitol Hill, often those in public relations work on issues ahead of them, conditioning the legislative landscape.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

When it comes to the inner workings of Washington, you often hear about lobbyists influencing the political process. But there's another time tested profession that works just as hard trying to do much the same thing: Public relations. In D.C. it's often referred to as "public affairs" or "advocacy." But it's PR just the same.

First, what is the difference between lobbying and public relations? For starters, lobbyists have to disclose their activities. PR professionals do not. But they do work together.

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12:01am

Fri May 13, 2011
The Message Makers: Inside PR And Advertising

With Billions At Stake, Firms Play Name That Mop

BlackBerry Curve 8520.
BlackBerry

Part of a series on the public relations industry

The language of advertising and public relations is meant to seduce you into buying or believing something. The first step — coming up with a really cool name.

Mopping Up The Competition

David Placek was on the team that came up with the names Blackberry and Outback for Subaru. Procter & Gamble once hired his company Lexicon to help create a name for an improved mop.

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